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I am the good shepherd...my sheep listen to my voice;

I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:14ff)

What is a disciple?

The term used most often in the Bible to describe followers of Jesus is disciple, which literally means learner or student. In the world of the New Testament, the word disciple referred to someone who was devoted to following the ways of a teacher.  Some of Jesus' final words before ascending into Heaven were, Go and make disciples of all nations...(Matthew 28:19-20).

But being a disciple is more than simply aquiring knowledge or following a list of rules. According to the New Testament, disciples of Jesus...

  • ...have responded in faith to the truth of the gospel (i.e. the good news of what Jesus did for us through his death and resurrection).
  • ...have turned from the ways of their old life to begin walking the path of their new life (i.e. repentance)
  • ...are actively following Jesus, relying not on themselves but trusting in the Holy Spirit who provides strength, wisdom, and guidance for the journey. 
  • ...are following Jesus in a community of other disciples (i.e. being a part of a local church). 

We believe that discipleship happens best not through formalized church programs, but in the context of real relationships: parents discipling their children, one-on-one spiritual mentoring, friends leading their friends to Christ and walking them through their first steps of faith. Our role as church leaders is to foster an environment of discipleship by making it easy to be discipled or disciple others. As the Apostle Paul put it, 

Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up...(Ephesians 4:11-12)

At Real Hope, we are deliberately light on adult ministry programming so that we can keep focused on relational discipleship. 


If you would like to learn how to effectively disciple others, let us know and we'll provide some simple and straightforward training. There will always be people at Real Hope and in your sphere of influence who need to be discipled. Join our discipleship team and we'll equip you to invest in others! 



If you are new to the faith, returning to church after a hiatus, or feel you need a stronger spiritual foundation, let us know and we will connect you to a person or group at Real Hope who can begin to disciple you!



If you wonder what your next steps should be when it comes to following Jesus, don't worry, you aren't alone. Whether you are a new believer or a seasoned follower, everyone can strengthen their foundation of faith by reading The Walk.  It's a book written to those who have expressed a desire to follow Christ as his disciple. It assumes no prior understanding of what that means, nor does it assume that the person has actually come to the point of professing faith. 


Multiply is a discipleship curriculum that will challenge you to do what Jesus called us all to do in Matthew 28 when he said "Go and make disciples of all nations." The task may seem large, but it doesn't have to be an intimidating mandate. In Multiply, Francis Chan and Mark Beuving show you how the joy of living your life with Christ in front of others can be restored. You'll discover the confidence and encouragement you need to step out in faith and make disciples out of the people that God has placed in your life.