Date of Award
Master of Divinity (MDiv)
The greatest imperative left by Christ to His Church is clearly delineated in His last words, as recorded by Matthew:
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Jesus has clearly declared, then, that every person whom He has called to Himself must accept the mandate to disciple others. Certainly, then, every called minister is a discipler. The firm belief of the author is that not every minister knows what it means to disciple. In his book, Your Church Can Grow, C. P. Wagner has clearly indicated his conviction that the Great Commission is not simply an appeal to procure "decisions." Rather, the Great Commission is a plea to the membership of the Church to "make disciples." Disciples are committed, continuing Christians, given to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, actively involved in the edification of His Church.
If then, the command is to disciple, the church ought to have in its possession a biblical concept of discipleship. The apprehension and application of a biblical concept of discipleship, then, is the burden of the author of this thesis.
Brown, Lawson E., "In Search of a Useful Concept of Discipleship in the Gospels" (1980). Western Evangelical Seminary Theses. 139.