How does “disciple” become a verb?
The word “disciple” literally means learner. In the Scriptures it is used 269 times, but only as a noun. The first followers of Jesus were called his disciples (noun) and he commanded them “make disciples” (Matthew 28: 18-20) of others.
Over the years, Christians started to use “disciple” as a verb. To help another believer grow in faith and obedience means “to disciple” them.
You cannot be an obedient disciple without also discipling–it would be like calling yourself a cook without ever actually cooking!
The first Christians took Jesus’ great commission literally by making discipling a top priority of the early Church. This was the dynamic “strategy” behind the phenomenal growth seen in the book of Acts.
Today, to call ourselves disciples (noun) of Jesus, means also that we disciple (verb) others, that we are obediently responding to his call of “teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” If all of us who call ourselves disciples would take seriously the call to disciple, God only knows what he could accomplish in our world today.
Disciples who disciple really do count for God!