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Believer vs. Follower vs. Disciple

Today. I want to talk about the difference between being a believer versus being a follower versus being a disciple. And if you hear those terms, they have a decidedly Christian bend to it, and I'm going to be coming from that context specifically as it relates to Christ Jesus. And I'm going to use that as a model for explaining where you need to be on that spectrum when it comes to your second half success plan.

When it comes to Jesus and the Christian faith in particular, one of the terms that one uses for someone who is converted to Christianity, is, "Are they believer? Do they believe the good news about Jesus Christ, that he was raised from the dead and everything that comes with that? So there's the believer aspect. And even in Jesus's time, there were a lot of folks that believed him while he walked the earth.

They heard things about him and they believed enough to eventually become followers. They sought him out and a lot of times they brought their sick and they're lame. And the folks that needed healing and he would lay hands on them. And they would sometimes follow him around from town to town in mass, and they would consume his information. They would listen to his sermons. They would hang on his every word. So he had a bunch of followers.

And then you had disciples, Jesus famously selected 12. They followed Jesus more closely than most did, and were privy to information that maybe most weren't. What came along with that was a deeper commitment where they actually started to do the things that Jesus taught and Jesus preached. So believer, follower, and disciple. What does this have to do with your second half success?

There are areas of your life where you certainly have a belief about where you want to go. A belief about the big goals that God has for you. And you may be in believer realm. And one can look at a definition I heard about belief is that a belief is merely a thought that you keep on thinking. So there are a lot of areas where you have a belief about what the success is that you want to experience, what that should look like for you.

Also, there may be some places where you are a follower. Now, obviously in the day and age that I'm recording this social media is huge. One of the metrics that social media influencers will use to indicate their level of popularity is the number of followers that they have.

And basically this is the number of people who are consuming their content, absorbing their information watching their videos, listening to their podcast. How many followers do they have or subscribers consuming information, consuming the content.

And that's another level of commitment. Another level of engagement that these people have with this person and or the things that they teach or preach or talk about or discuss or go on a rant about.

And then there's another level after that. And that's the level of being a disciple. In other words, demonstrating the discipline. And in order to be disciplined, that means typically you're going to be doing some things. So you're moving from being a believer, again, thinking a thought over and over again, to moving from that to a stage of being a follower, consuming content consuming information, and then finally taking action on the content that you're consuming and then being disciplined to becoming a disciple.

What does this mean for your second half success. Might I suggest that if you look at the number of areas in your life where you want to see some success, particularly the big goals that God has for you, and in other areas in general- let's say it's health career, family, marriage, community, stewardship, finances, business, and all those areas- an exercise that you can perform is decide where on the believer-follower-disciple spectrum are you.

There may be some areas where you are merely a believer... Where it is a thought that you keep thinking about this particular area over and over and over again. And you may only be at that level. You have yet to begin to consume any content or become a follower of a particular doctrine or practice or person.

There may be some other areas where you are indeed a follower where you have some mentors, either virtual or physical, or some practices that you are learning about.

And you are consuming that content and consuming that information. And you're learning a lot. You're becoming a follower of that.

And then there may be some areas where you are definitely a disciple, where not only do you believe, and not only are you a follower, but you are actually putting it into practice. You are implementing those things that it's going to take to move the needle in that area.

So on that spectrum, that's your homework. After this podcast episode is to look at those areas of your life, list them down and then think and decide, okay, am I believer? Am I a follower? Or am I a disciple? And the goal is in any area where you are less than a disciple, decide to move from the lower level to the better level of being a disciple. God bless and take care.

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