Yup, Jesus used mainly his discipleship model to train apostles and prophets. His plan was to leave his ministry to 12 apostles (plus the 72 others), some of whom were also prophets (like John and Peter), and to train them for this, he used discipleship---not bible schools or seminaries. You have to grasp this truth or else you totally lose it. The secrets of the Kingdom is given only to some---to those who get Jesus' truths, not man's religious theories. To others, everything is said in parables.
So your discipleship should be fit to train would-be apostles and prophets. Is it? Can it grow believers to their priesthood call? Can your discipleship raise up anointed men and women of God who'd do ministries? Well, don't worry. If you do it Jesus' way, you have no problem. The Jesus discipleship has power to raise up anointed church leaders. It is complete.
Your discipleship should be fit to train would-be apostles and prophets.
If you're serious about ministry, you should be in a genuine Jesus Discipleship. It teaches on preaching, discipleship and healing---evangelism, discipleship and signs and wonders. These three are musts. You'd notice that almost every time Jesus evangelized, he performed healing and miracles. And he brought along his disciples to demo them. His ministry consisted mainly this. Nothing more. No church anniversaries, no Christmas concerts or parties, no gimmicks.
A genuine discipleship, then, teaches on the three as well. It's not bible study as churches do it today. They buy study materials and hold classes. Or tackle the study materials in cell groups. Jesus never did that. He taught as the Spirit of God led him. He opened his mouth and spoke the Father's words. The Father spoke through him. He didn't use any study material or outline. It was all supernatural. He demonstrated everything hands-on and IMPARTED them to his disciples through the Holy Spirit.
Actually, the 12 lived together with Jesus. They saw how he actually lived, thought and reacted. They did things with him and experienced firsthand the real Jesus. The Jesus "off camera," as it were.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete. [1 John 1]Your disciples should be able to say that of Jesus through you. In another sense, they should say the same about you. They should be able to say, "Yes, I know this guy. He is a real man of God. I see how he lives and interacts with people in his unguarded moments. I really see Jesus in him. I desperately want the Jesus I see in him. So I will pursue Jesus through him. I want his Jesus."
Nope, it doesn't mean the discipler has to be perfect like Jesus. It means Jesus must be clearly seen in the discipler's humanity and individuality---or despite his humanity and individuality. Paul had a lot of weaknesses---he said he was the worst among sinners and inferior among the "super apostles"---but Timothy and Titus saw Jesus in him and pursued Jesus through him.
Nonetheless, he didn't stop being weak or the worst of sinners. He forgot what was behind and pressed on toward the goal. That's the genuine man of God. A genuine discipler. A genuine spiritual father in faith. You don't claim or consider to have laid hold of it. But one thing you do---you totally repent of (and disregard) your past sinful life and press on to reach Jesus' goal for you and win God's heavenly call in Christ [Phil.3.14].
Then you teach the same to your disciples.
You teach this not just through formal bible studies but through your life. You demo it. You go with your disciples through ordinary daily life and they see you live what you teach in actual situations. It's not a church program you do in your church building on Sundays. You buy groceries or shop in malls or eat in fastfood stores or watch movies or do actual business or cook or have lunch or engage in sports or casual talks with them and they learn through your example. It's life to life.
They see how you treat people, especially lowly people or subordinates, and react to them. They see when you get angry (and what makes you angry). They see how you behave in buses, the MRT or jeepneys. They see how you confront wrong and evil, how you handle bad people and how you balance patience and indignation as Jesus did. And now and then, as you take on ordinary life together, you give them powerful rhema Word (Word from God's own mouth in real time) just out of the blue.
Nothing is programmed or rehearsed. You are "led" all throughout. (I do the same in our worship service and summer camps). The danger with most churches today is, they're not used to being "led" anymore. They plan their programs--they plan everything else they do---and pretend they are led. Jesus didn't do that. He merely executed the Plan. He received Word updates from the Father on the spot. That's what you do in a Jesus Discipleship. You execute the Plan made before the creation of the world. This trains you to rely on the real-time and direct leading of the Holy Spirit. The same way Jesus operated in his ministry. This is what you teach your disciples. You teach and demo.
And you demo to them hands-on signs and wonders, healing and miracles, as Jesus did his disciples. Your disciples should see God doing the miracles through you. This is Christ in you the hope of glory. You lay hands on the sick and they get healed instantly. They see you command nature. They see angels minister to you. They see spirits subject to you. No excuses. No ifs or buts. By God's grace and promise in his Word, he makes this happen to any who believe. And you teach and demo this in a real discipleship.
This is what makes genuine Jesus discipleship an astounding phenomenon the world cannot rival. We don't need to borrow from the world to make our ministry click. Stop looking for gimmicks or what works in the world. All we need is God and his supernatural power. Just believe. The devil will also do signs and wonders in the last days, but it will be nothing compared to what God will do through us, the church.
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms (angels and devils), [Phil.3.10]These are just some of the things included in a genuine Jesus Discipleship. Well, it may produce aggressive Peters, doubting Thomases or arguing Peters and Johns among your disciples. Even those who wonder who among them is the greatest, or to ask favors about who'd sit at your right and left. Or even produce Judases.
But the beauty and power is that these carnal behaviors are clearly exposed in a Jesus Discipleship. Light exposes everything hidden in darkness. The Holy Spirit exposes them to you so that your disciples cannot hide carnality from you. The 12 couldn't hide their dark sides from Jesus. The Spirit will do the same to you. You'd discern through the Spirit's gift in you the present spiritual conditions of your disciples---if you're truly "led" and know how it is to be "led."
This is better than do the most wonderful discipleship program and not know what's happening among your disciples right under your nose.
True discipleship is not pampering people, careful not to offend them and pleasing them so they'd stay in your church. It's not giving them what they need or want or what they want to see happen. It's training and disciplining them to stand on their own to pursue Jesus and manifest him in their bodies. It's training them to be real men and women of God, anointed to do God's will.
By the way, your discipler should be your discipler for life. You don't change discipler every so often. Doesn't work that way. Even when he had ascended to heaven, the disciples were still called Jesus' disciples. They didn't look for a new one when Jesus left. And your discipler gradually becomes your spiritual father in faith. So choose careful who your discipler would be. Pray for it.
GOD's Flesh E-Book: To buy, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. GOD's Flesh: "...yet in my flesh I will see God." [Job 19.26-17].