disciple in 15 words – what is clear

Yesterday I asked for help. I wanted you to talk about the word “disciple” in 15 words. Twelve of you made comments here and I got a DM on twitter and an email. That’s amazing!.

Here’s I what now know.

Disciple isn’t just this:


Being a disciple may include sitting and listening OR standing and talking.

But it’s about learning and applying and wrestling and struggling and questioning and acknowledging ignorance and acknowledging that someone is more like you want to be than you are and spending time together and spending time trying and spending time messing up and spending time together sorting it out and spending time trying again and understanding that part and spending time learning the next thing. It’s about learning by listening and by watching and by doing and experiencing and by thinking and by waiting. It’s about teaching with a whole life and learning for a whole life.

I think. At least, that’s what I’m hearing in what you said.

Add to the definitions here or comment on what I just said.

Or go and play this weekend.


One last question, though.

You are discipling (all of the stuff above) someone. Who is it? What are they learning?


2 responses to “disciple in 15 words – what is clear

  1. i read this after reading your question


    oh my head
    i had no idea what the word meant
    i was thinking more along the lines of apostle
    this is great 🙂
    without this question i’d have not bothered to look it up
    til maybe long into the future
    because i already kinda knew it

    anyone who teaches me about God and Jesus
    the folks who share scripture
    personal experiences

    i guess i am a disciple to my kids??
    though my faith in myself is far from solid
    loving someone is not the same as acting loving towards them
    acting as in taking action
    not as in pretending
    though being a parents takes a share of faking it

    did Jesus ever fake it?
    in the “these people are driving me crazy
    they just don’t get it
    but i need to breathe and stick with it
    and hope they figure it out.
    that it will be worth it.
    i need to have faith even though i want to just throw in the towel.”

    i want to be sitting around that table again

  2. on the parenting side, there are times that we love someone without liking them at the moment. And there are times that love is an incredible act of the will, a choosing to love, a deciding to love.

    wonderful question about Jesus. I’m not sure that I would use the word faking it, as in pasting a smile on his face. However,

    1. as he is thinking about dying the next day, he does ask his dad if it’s possible to not have to do it…but he says, in essence, “you get to decide.”

    2. early in his work, he spends an afternoon and evening taking care of everyone who showed up. he gets up early, before sunrise, and goes off for some quiet time talking with his dad. Peter and the rest come looking for him saying that everyone is looking for him. He says, “we’ve got to go to other places.” My sense of that text (Mark 1:35-39) is that he is saying, “they want me to help them feel good. I need to do the work I came for.” There is a little frustration there.

    3. There are times when he says, “Don’t you guys get it yet?”

    So yes, I think there were times he got pretty frustrated. But, as I was reading in Velvet Elvis the other day, it was the frustration that comes from knowing that someone has the capacity and just isn’t getting it, a frustration that is rooted in love and respect and hope.

    like a parent.

    I love that table.