Discipleship involves teaching one another to observe all that Christ commands us to do (Matt 28:20). This takes place through the formal preaching and teaching of God’s Word when the assembly has gathered together. The New Testament illustrates other ways that discipleship can take place as well.
One such illustration is how Paul discipled Aquila and Priscilla. While in Corinth, Paul found this couple and “stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade” (Acts 18:3). They ministered together in Corinth where Paul taught them and the believers in Corinth for eighteen months (Acts 18:11). One can easily assume that Paul had many conversations with them about God’s Word while making tents together. They were privileged to hear his teaching as well. In short, they were discipled.
After this, Paul traveled with Aquila and Priscilla to Ephesus, left the couple there, and continued his travels (Acts 20:18–23). At this point, we see another illustration of personal discipleship. Aquila and Priscilla heard some bold preaching by a man named Apollos. He was eloquent, knew the Scriptures well, and spoke with great fervency (Acts 18:24–25). However, his knowledge of Christ was incomplete. Aquila and Priscilla “took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:26). Briefly put, they discipled him. And what was the result? He showed from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah and “greatly helped those who through grace had believed” (Acts 18:24–28).
We can never do without the regular preaching and teaching of God’s Word. We must also remember, however, that discipleship is personal and can take place apart from the weekly assembly of believers. Who are you discipling today?
Pastor David Huffstutler