Discipleship Dictionary

Discipleship Dictionary


The Church is God’s People (who we are) saved by God’s Power (what He has done and is doing) for God’s Purposes (the good works He created us in Jesus Christ to do) - wearesoma.org

The Church is the entire Body of Christ - not just a building, service team, worship service, or an individual local church. - Tony Edwards

Covenant Discipleship:

Based on John Wesley’s Bands and Classes, Covenant Discipleship Groups develop a group covenant and meet weekly to hold one another accountable to the General Rule of Discipleship and individual commitments to works of devotion and compassion as well as collective commitments to justice and worship. - Tony Edwards

A disciple is one who worships Jesus, is being changed by Jesus, obeys Jesus and teaches others to do the same - wearesoma.org

A disciple surrenders every area of life to the Great Commission and makes one’s entire life an act of worship and service to God and God’s people.  The mission field includes one’s work, family, friendships, and community service. - Tony Edwards

General Rule of Discipleship:

To witness to Jesus Christ in the world, and to follow his teachings through acts of compassion, justice, worship, and devotion under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. - Book of Discipline


Your personal resources.  This could be money or it could be other assets (land, vehicles, etc.). Robert Schnase describes our intended relationship with our resources to be one of extravagant generosity.  All of our resources come from God and we are entrusted as stewards, not hoarders, of God’s resources.  Ultimately, we should challenge ourselves to release more of our personal resources to make disciples of Jesus Christ. - Tony Edwards


The story of God. This story includes the themes of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration.  The Gospel helps us understand who God is, what we did for us, who we were, who we are now after experiencing Jesus, and what we must do as a result.  God created our world, sent Jesus to earth to die on the cross for our sins and to be our Lord and Savior, and sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and guide.  He did all this because He loves us in spite of our weaknesses, sins, and desire to make our own decisions.  God is the hero of our story.  We strive to understand and communicate our story in the context of God’s story. - Tony Edwards (adapted from wearesoma.org)

Great Commission:

Jesus came near and spoke to them, “I’ve received all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.” - Matthew 28:18-20 (CEB).

Make disciples:

Making disciples involves leading by example and mentoring others move to deeper levels of spiritual maturity by serving God with their prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness in all areas of life. - Tony Edwards


The mission is the Great Commission - making disciples of Jesus Christ.  This is the mission of each believer in Christ, lay or clergy.  The mission is bigger in scope and longer in duration than a particular mission trip of church ministry activity.  The mission is a 24/7 mission that permeates all of our relationships and activities, including but not limited to typical church activities. - Tony Edwards

Missional Community:

A community of Christ followers on mission with God in obedience to the Holy Spirit that demonstrates tangibly and declares creatively the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a specific pocket of people (neighborhood, school, nursing home, gym, etc.). - Todd Engstrom

Missional communities make disciples of Jesus Christ through Bible study, social justice/activist groups, evangelism, small groups, support groups, weekly meetings, and church gatherings. Churches with missional communities exist not to bring people in for meetings, but to send disciples out to make more disciples. Members of churches with missional communities don’t go to church. Instead, they are equipped and empowered to be the Church in the lives of others. - Tony Edwards (adapted from Seth McBee)


Prayer is our opportunity to communicate with God. Prayer is our opportunity to remain in awe of God, thank God for what he has done, acknowledge our disobedience to Him, and ask for him to transform a situation.  You can pray alone, with a small group, or as a congregation. - Tony Edwards


We are not intended to walk with God alone.  You can’t make disciples without interacting with others.  Every member of the Body of Christ has unique spiritual gifts, and the Body of Christ needs your gifts to help us be more effective at making disciples.


Service is acting on the Great Commission.  This can happen inside or outside a church building, in a church ministry or small group, or a one-time ministry opportunity.  Service is serving the mission field to which God is calling you. - Tony Edwards


Any area of our lives that tempts us from submitting completely to God’s will. - Tony Edwards


Witness is accountable discipleship or evangelism.  Witness is being willing to talk about your journey to spiritual maturity and help others mature spiritually as well.  Witness is sharing your testimony and the Gospel in a natural way.  Witness is living by example.  Witness is mentoring a group of disciples. - Tony Edwards


Worship is living in amazement of God. In a world of smartphones, drones, and driverless cars, it’s hard to be surprised by anything anymore.  However, God is more amazing than any of these technological achievements.  Also, it’s easy to take God’s blessings for granted in a society where we are taught to believe that we accumulate resources based on our own efforts.  Worship is a lifestyle of gratitude for God’s salvation, love, acceptance, and provision. That’s amazing. - Tony Edwards


Attended church two or less times in the past twelve months. - Thom Rainer


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