According to Dallas Willard, the “Great Omission” of the Great Commission is discipleship. As much as I hear this message, I can’t help but be challenged by it. Amidst all the distractions we face in the ministry, it’s so easy for discipleship to get lost in the shuffle.

In this video, we see a few examples of what discipleship looks like. My question to all you readers out there is… What does discipleship look like for YOU? What is YOUR definition of discipleship? What is your ultimate goal in cultivating a disciple of Jesus Christ? I think it’s an important question to ask, and I’m eager to hear your thoughts.


3 thoughts on “The Great Omission of the Great Commission

  1. So Jesus said to “teach them what I have commanded you.” I think discipleship is teaching people to love God with heart, mind, and soul and to love others as themselves, as these sum up the law. What does it mean to love someone, and how do you teach love? Well, I think the Five Love Languages theory is pretty interesting. Every human receives love in a different way. God, then, because He is the composite of the human population’s many reflections of Himself, receives love in lots of ways.

    1. He loves it when you spend time with Him. He loves it when you pray, and worship, and talk to Him.
    2. He loves it when you obey His commands. He loves it when you try and live a life that’s worthy of His calling.
    3. He loves it when you love others. He loves it when you give to others, pray for others, feed others, and care for others.
    4. He loves it when you listen to Him. He loves it when you spend time in the Word, spend time in the Spirit, and then store up in your heart what He’s told you.
    5. He loves it when you trust Him. He loves it when you seek out His will, and not your own, for your life, and then follow His voice to the path He has for you.
    6. He loves it when you serve Him. He loves it when you serve others.
    7. He loves it when you put your faith in Him. He loves it when you understand how much He loves you.

    Of course, to love someone doesn’t mean you go through the motions with an empty heart. Jesus was always more concerned with the inward than the outward. Jan once said to a friend of ours that “You won’t be happy with God until it’s God that makes you happy.” The Bible says “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will grant you the desires of your heart.” That is, once you desire Him, He gives you Himself.

    I think the first part of discipleship then is to pray with whoever has accepted Christ (and continue to pray) that God would give them a heart for Himself, that they would grow to truly and deeply love Him and know Him. You can attempt to carry out the actions above with new Christians (Bible study, prayer, worship, spiritual gifts, service, evangelization, etc.), but unless you are continually praying with them that they will know and love God, these actions are meaningless.

    John Piper’s Desiring God (although a bit heavy and not the most engaging read) talks a great deal about this kind of concept.

  2. Hey Emily,
    Sounds like a pretty foundational perspective to me. You can’t go wrong with focusing on the things you mentioned. Thanks for giving your input.

  3. wonderful Jesse! I’m sending this particular post (& youtube) to my discipleship cluster. 🙂 Really enjoy reading your thoughts about Church and God. You do it, because He’s your God!

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