What is a Disciple?

Let’s look at Jesus’ invitation to his disciples about what it meant to follow him. “And Jesus said to them, ‘Come and follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)

There are three aspects to Jesus command that are necessary for a disciple’s relationship with God.

  • A disciple is someone who is following Jesus. When the disciples respond to Jesus command, “Come and Follow me,” they acknowledge Jesus as their authority. A disciple knows with his head who he or she is following and why.
  • A disciple is someone who is being changed by Jesus. When Jesus says, “I will make you,” it shows that Christ is the one who transforms our heart so that what we believe impacts how we live.
  • A disciple is someone who is proclaiming Jesus. When Jesus uses the phrase, “fishers of men,” he is giving his disciples their purpose, which is to commit their hands to the work of Christ’s salvific work.

A disciple is someone who is following Jesus (head), being changed by Jesus (heart), and proclaiming Jesus (hands). 


The first step in identifying someone to disciple begins with prayer. It is important that we ask God to give us the boldness to step out and disciple someone and the wisdom and discernment to know whom to disciple. Prayer should then move us to action. The best place to start looking should be in the relationships you already have. This will allow you to easily incorporate your discipleship relationship into what you are already doing. A few places to begin looking are your family, your friends, your workplace, your community group or your volunteer team.

Who am I capable of leading?

Often people believe that to disciple someone you must be a “mentor figure.” A discipler doesn’t function like a teacher in a classroom. To disciple someone, you just have to be one step ahead in your faith. A discipler doesn’t claim to be perfect but says, “Imitate me as we grow deeper in our walk with Christ, together.” You may be more of a mentor to this person or you may be a peer who wants each of you to learn from one another’s strengths. Either way, it is important that you lead in humility; not relying on your experiences, knowledge, or competencies, but the Holy Spirit that is inside of you.

What traits should he or she possess?

A person’s attitude is far more important than his or her knowledge or competencies. You want to ask someone who has proven to be F.A.T.

  • Faithful: The person is faithfully following God in your observed areas of his or her life.
  • Available: The person has shown to be available for church events and would be available to meet regularly.
  • Teachable: The person shows the humble desire to learn from other believers in his or her life.

If you want help as you learn to disciple, contact ,   or .

where do I start?

Below is a list of the four resources that we would recommend you go through with your discipleship group. You will see a brief description of the resource and a note section that shows you what the study highlights (Head, Heart, Hands). 

The DFD2 booklet uses the Wheel illustration to show what it means to be filled by the Spirit so that obedience, Bible study, prayer, fellowship, and witnessing become natural, meaningful aspects of your life.

Heavy on: Heart and Hands

Light on: Head


The Gospel-Centered Life will help participants understand how the gospel shapes every aspect of life. Each lesson is self-contained, featuring clear teaching from Scripture, and requires no extra work outside of the group setting.

Heavy on: Head and Heart

Light on: Hands


The Timothy Principle focuses on training a disciple to teach a new believer what it looks like to follow Christ. It gives illustrations and tools to help the student share the Gospel and teach someone about the basic disciplines of the Christian life.

Heavy on: Hands

Light on: Head and Heart


Discipleship Essentials is a practical guide to help one deepen their knowledge of essential Christian teaching and strengthen one’s faith.

Heavy on: Head and Heart

Light on: Hands