I am not certain that I am right, as I have been corrected many times before, but I believe that discipleship is not based on the number of followers you attract with your teachings. Rather than counting the numbers of your disciples, you should be examining the quality of your instruction and guidance that actually registers with your students.
Many religious disciples define their mission as to convert as many people as possible to their religion. I wonder if this is God’s mission or man’s mission. I predict that God will be more interested in quality over quantity. I have seen many who have been converted to a religion based on a thin veneer of faith. And many of those who were converted in one day may be found in the bowels of iniquity in the next.
During the Vietnam War, soldiers were asked to provide numbers of enemy kills. This led to multiple counts of the same dead bodies, many times counting civilians who also were killed, and, of course, phantom kills. The numbers were useless. The numbers of dead were not relevant to anything. Obviously, they were not relevant to winning the war.
When America negotiated for an end to the war, our leaders angrily told the Viet Cong leaders that they lost every battle and lost many more soldiers than we did. One of the opposing leaders quietly stated, “Yes, but that was irrelevant.”
Obtaining more numbers of battles or kills is not the real issue. The goal is to win the war. And there usually are several avenues to reach that goal, but those routes typically are paved with quality over quantity. The analogy of winning a war applies equally to reaching another goal – finding peace in the afterlife by unifying with God.
If you have perfect attendance at church and make large contributions and shake hands with several hundred like-kind disciples each Sunday, these numbers are irrelevant to becoming one with God. If you truly want to instruct others and assist them in reaching God, you must go beyond the surface and dig deep into the soul of God.
If you want to offer discipleship, you must first become one with God yourself. You cannot train others until you have reached this level. Then, you will be able to explain to others how to allow God into you, making Him such a part of you that you become one with Him.
Since there are more things that are unknown than are known, we must prepare for the worst and hope for the best. The consequences for our poor life choices will be much easier to stand if we have God within us. Nobody has returned from Judgment Day to report on the activities, but we must prepare by allowing God within us, but always hoping for the best. However, God as part of us is the only way to deal with the worst. Your duty in discipleship is to make others think… and to think about God so that the unification can be consummated before it is too late.