The Vision for Discipleship

By Shawn Kennedy

The Kingdom commission of Jesus is a vision for discipleship. Discipleship is not a one time event, it is a lifelong journey. Discipleship is not just for new believers in Christ, it is for every believer in Christ. It is not an optional part of the Christian life, it is an essential part of the Christian life. Discipleship is the process of becoming a fully devoted follower of Jesus.


Matthew 28:18-20

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.


The Kingdom commission begins with a Kingdom announcement or declaration. The announcement or declaration is that Jesus has all authority and power. The reason why this is extremely important and cannot be overlooked is because as believers in Christ, we are sent with His authority and His power.


When we go into a place, whether that be a foreign country on a mission trip or just the coffee shop down the street, we carry with us the same command: to tell others about Jesus and to be initiators of God’s Kingdom. In other words, we are to live gospel-centered, Kingdom-driven lives. All of us are agents and ambassadors for Jesus to those who are lost and separated from God.


The next part of the great commission is to make disciples. While the Bible is clear that we cannot change anyone’s heart, we do play a huge role in the process of someone choosing to follow Jesus Christ. We have the opportunity to help others in the journey of becoming fully devoted follower of Jesus.


Fully devoted followers of Jesus should be involved in taking the gospel to friends, family members, neighbors, as well as the rest of the world. There are many places outside of the United States where people have very little opportunity to hear about Jesus and His Kingdom. As followers of Jesus we are to be people who understand that the gospel is not geographically exclusive or limited. God is a global God and His Kingdom is a global Kingdom.


The Kingdom commission given by Jesus begins with focusing on power and ends by focusing on a promise. The promise of Jesus is that no matter where you go and what you do, He will be with you. He promises His presence as the source of comfort, security, and peace needed along the journey. This is the great promise, from the King of Kings, to His people.

Shawn Kennedy is a part of the Lead Pastoral Team at Existence Church and is the Director of Kingdom Come Discipleship. He is the co-author of  Kingdom Come: A Gospel-Centered Guide to Discipleship. Shawn has a passion for helping others become gospel-centered, Kingdom-driven, disciple-making followers of Jesus.