Being and Making Disciples

Dwight Moody seldom used the word discipleship in his writings. Instead, he often spoke of “usefulness” as a way to describe that state Christians enter as they deepen their commitment to following Jesus. For Moody, being useful could not be disconnected from one’s commitment to be conformed to the image of Christ. Whatever else it might entail, Christian usefulness demanded that one’s competence not outpace one’s character.

Moody understood Christian usefulness as standing over against a more lackadaisical Christian life noting,

If I know my own heart to-day, I would rather die than live as I once did, a mere nominal Christian, and not used by God in building up His kingdom. It seems a poor empty life to live for the sake of self. Let us seek to be useful. Let us seek to be vessels meet for the Master’s use, that God, the Holy Spirit, may shine fully through us.


I’m inclined to think that D. L. Moody was on to something. I’m also inclined to think that those who presented at the Leading the Way Live event at the D. L. Moody Center this past October would agree.

Gina Mueller, Chris Goeppner, and Jonathan Bubar have devoted much of the life and ministry to discipleship. We are pleased to offer you the opportunity to benefit from the practical and theological insights they offered about discipleship this past October. You can also watch We encourage you to watch these videos and to consider how you might engage deeply in the Master’s call to be and make disciples. In addition, we would encourage you to commit to participating in Go Dark, Shine Bright in May 2022. When you sign up for Go Dark, Shine Bright, you will get access to “Being Christian in a Digital Age,” which contains practical tips and reflections on what we can do to be and make disciples in the digital age.

When we dedicate our lives to Christ, we enter a life of discipleship as we learn what it means to observe all of God’s instructions (Matt 28:20). Discipleship is our way of resisting the world and embracing the wisdom of God through the obedience of faith. Discipleship is not a self-help strategy. It is a process by which we learn to move and breath in the world as men and women convinced that “all authority in heaven and earth” has been given to Jesus and that he is with us even “to the end of the age” (Matt 28:18, 20).

Our prayer at D. L. Moody Center is that all of God’s people would commit to being and making disciples. Invest in discipleship today. You can access the presentation, as well as linking to the sign up page for Go Dark, Shine Bright below.


JAMES SPENCER, PHD is President the D.L. Moody Center, an independent non-profit organization based in Northfield, MA, and author of Useful to God: Eight Lessons from the Life of D. L. Moody and Thinking Christian: Essays on Testimony, Accountability, and the Christian Mind