The Path for Helping People Follow Jesus
The church is in a state of crisis. In the United States, membership is declining across most denominations. Pastors and church leaders are falling in public scandals. Biblical doctrine is being replaced by feelings, experiences, and culture-driven ideology. Across the world, the church has been marginalized by apathy within and attacks from outside, or it has begun to assimilate ancient pagan practices that have stripped it of the powerful, life-changing impact it could have.
The solution is a return to Biblical Discipleship.
Each of the eleven chapters includes study questions for personal and group study. Get 20% off when you buy 10 or more copies for your group, class, or organization.
Daniel Goepfrich, Th.M, D.Min.
Oak Tree Community Church (South Bend, Indiana)
Adjunct Faculty, Greek
Calvary University (Kansas City, Missouri)
Adjunct Faculty, Bible
Word of Life Africa Bible Institute (Uganda)
Word of Life Hungary Bible Institute (Hungary)
Word of Life Philippines Bible Institute (Philippines)
Associate Professor of Greek and Hebrew
Colorado Biblical University (Fort Morgan, Colorado)
Vyrsity (Fort Dodge, Iowa)
Professor, Bible and Theology (15 years)
Tyndale Theological Seminary (Hurst, Texas)
International conference speaker
North America, Africa, Europe, South America, Asia
Daniel and Saralynn have been married since 1997 and have three sons, one daughter, and two daughters-in-law
Nearly 20 years in the making
For all the programs and curriculum that are offered, there is little written on what discipleship is and why it is important in this life and the life to come.
This work is the result of nearly twenty years of research, study, reading, writing, and teaching on the topic of Biblical discipleship.
This started in the church where I was born and grew up, both physically and in Christ, but since then I have been privileged to teach these principles to fellow believers in several other churches in the United States and other countries.
Making disciples—encouraging and building up one another to maturity in Christ—is the responsibility of every believer, so this book is written for all Christians, not just pastors or academics. It is my prayer that we all become actively involved in the Biblical process of coming to know Jesus better and love Him more and help others to do the same.
What are people saying about Biblical Discipleship?
Director, Tyndale Learning Center, New Hope Baptist Church, Parrish, FL
When asked “what is discipleship?” most people respond by saying it is being devoted to evangelism but little else. Some get technical and say, being a disciple means, “being a follower of Jesus.” Daniel Goepfrich explains in Biblical Discipleship that discipleship has a learning curve which he systematically lays out. Goepfrich takes the Christian life from beginning to end, defining what salvation is and what it is not. After identifying many aspects of salvation (justification, redemption, imputation, adoption and more), he defines a path from spiritual infancy to childhood to adolescence and finally to adulthood – what is involved in being a disciple. Biblical Discipleship recognizes the importance of the Christian’s rewards, warnings, and judgments and how they all factor into God’s glory. To conclude, a sequence of eschatological events illustrates the Biblical view of things to come – for the believer and the unbeliever. This book is well worth considering for personal study or small group.
While salvation occurs in that brief moment when someone first believes in Christ for eternal life, discipleship is a lifelong process. Daniel Goepfrich’s Biblical Discipleship is a breath of fresh air in a world that misconstrues these two vital doctrines. Not only does Biblical Discipleship set the record straight on the issue of salvation by grace, but it also lays out the course for a discipleship lifestyle that is Biblically derived with a dispensational perspective of things to come. Discipleship is the responsibility of all Christians, so Goepfrich presents this material in an accessible format with study questions for small groups or personal reflection. This is a great resource for explaining what believers should be doing with our lives as we await our glorious future.
Dr. Paul Miles
Executive Director, Grace Abroad Ministries, Lviv, Ukraine
Rev. Peter Wabuti Odanga
Diani Beach Fellowship, Kenya, East Africa
Finally, someone gives discipleship a fair look in context of biblical treatment. Daniel’s strength is backed with his gift as a sound student and teacher of the word of God. He gives keen attention on salvation in first three chapters and clearly expounds on what salvation is, what it includes, and what salvation is not. Biblical Discipleship is a gift and a tool for any small group, church setting, or Bible school student.
Discipleship can be difficult to articulate but Goepfrich makes it easy to understand. What is discipleship? When does it start? Does it ever end? What is the point of all of this? Most of these questions are explained in detail with logical illustrations. This book will get you started on a process he has called “the path” – a set of Biblical steps leading to maturity.
Field Coordinator, Word of Life Fellowship, Rwanda
Dr. Johnson C. Philip
President, Trinity Graduate School of Apologetics and Theology
Discipleship is an enduring theme in the Bible, and each generation needs to discover afresh the what and how of it. Each generation also needs to discover it in the light of what the Bible says. I say this because practically all non-Christian religions and movements emphasize one kind of discipleship or other, and these ideas have such wide influence that Christians often look at this topic from the non-Christian perspective that they have received. This kind of evaluation does produce a certain kind of discipleship, but it is not Christian in nature. Discipleship is Christian in nature only if it is derived Sola Scriptura, uncontaminated by non-Christian philosophies. In this book the author introduces the what of the subject purely on the basis of the Bible. Once he does that, he explains the rest in a Biblical manner.
Discipleship has implications for every aspect of the Christian life. Every Christian needs to be a disciple of the right kind because it will affect not only our present but also our future. I highly endorse this book because it has been written on the basis of what the Bible says about discipleship.
Biblical Discipleship was clearly written by a man who has been teaching on the topic of Biblical discipleship for many years. From the outline of the book to the thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter, this work reads very well, addressing pastors, teachers, and laymen alike – or in short, every believer. The author’s passionate appeal to the reader is felt in every chapter and makes this book a surprising page-turner. Biblical Discipleship reflects deep Biblical insight into the topic at hand.
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, God presents a clear goal for His people: They are meant to be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. The believers’ spiritual maturity is expressed in their practical abilities to fulfill all that God has called them to do. The means by which this maturing is to be accomplished is by all Scripture. Often, God’s goals turn into the believers’ tasks. We are to make disciples. We are to teach our brothers and sisters in the Lord all Scripture so that they may be equipped for every good work.
Unfortunately, there is a profound lack of understanding in the churches today of what solid discipleship training entails. Often, even deacons and elders have a difficult time explaining what a Biblical disciple really is. The mark of a disciple is obedience, and a lifelong learner willing to sit at the feet of the Savior to study the Scriptures, to know Him better, to follow Him, and to serve Him. Daniel Goepfrich offers an easy to follow roadmap that allows every believer to fulfill God’s calling to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). I highly recommend this book.
Director of Publications and Editor-in-Chief, Ariel Ministries, San Antonio, TX
Dr. Don Trest
Fellowship Bible Church, Pass Christian, MS
Daniel Goepfrich does a masterful job of explaining key components in a Biblical model for discipleship. The author sets a proper foundation for understanding the process of discipleship by distinguishing the Biblical doctrine of salvation from the spiritual life and growth of the believer in Christ which follows salvation. He also demonstrates that the ongoing process of discipleship has benefits to the believer in this life and in the life to come. Goepfrich sets forth eight steps along the path toward spiritual maturity in his exegesis of 2 Peter 1:5-7. These spiritual markers act as guideposts pointing the believer toward maturity in Christ and the goal of Christlikeness. It is in “The Spiritual Maturity Clock” wherein the author described the process of discipleship as four stages that the believer typically passes through on the path to maturity: “infant, child, young person, parent.” Goepfrich explains that “…it is possible for us to identify where we are in our spiritual growth and discover and take the steps necessary to move to the next stage in our spiritual development. The more mature we become the more we will be able to help others grow as well, fulfilling the Great Commission of not just being disciples but making disciples.”
Biblical Discipleship is a practical and common-sense tool for discipleship in the local church as well as in academic settings.
Dr. Billy Graham once stated, “Salvation is free, but discipleship costs everything we have.” In this book I have found one of the most complete, careful, and constructive manuals on the entire process of the gospel that I have seen in years. Dr. Goepfrich traces the gospel from the work of Christ, to faith alone in the Lord Jesus for redemption from sin, and the path of discipleship. His twenty years of research in this field has provided a manuscript worth its weight in gold. He even offers excellent comparisons to how the gospel of Christianity differs from cults and false world religions. Additionally, he touches on character traits of what mature godly disciples will exhibit. Traits like brotherly affection and unselfish love help this work retain a deep level of practicality that sadly some miss from too much time in the musty monastery-like academy circles.
One of my favorite sections of his work covers something not often seen from scholars or theologians from the American academy, a family motif or model of analysis of discipleship maturity. Familial theology permeates Scripture from Genesis to Revelation, yet the idea remains neglected in more circles than I care to think about. Yet in this manual the idea of maturity is rooted directly in the ideas that Apostle John taught us, with three or four ranks of maturity in disciples. John explained this concept by noting these levels of gospel maturity in familial terms: (1) little children (which would also include the infant category that Dr. Goepfrich highlighted), (2) young men and/or women, and (3) fathers and/or mothers in the faith, i.e. those who can reproduce others (see 1 John 2:12-14). Every evangelist, pastor, teacher, and elder would do well to have this book in their repertoire of armor to fulfill the Lord’s command to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). I highly recommend the book, of course, but more importantly the theologian standing behind it, who exhibits both surgeon-like theological skill while having excellent theological bedside manner, an all too often rare combination.
Dr. Keith A. Sherlin
Professor/Theologian/Author, Founder & Teacher @ Christicommunity
Executive Director, The Alliance for Biblical Integrity, biblicalintegrity.org
Daniel Goepfrich has written a very helpful book on the much-discussed topic of discipleship. As he notes in the introduction, it can be difficult to find good material on this important subject. He offers a clear and accessible resource for both the disciple and the one who disciples others in the three major sections of the book: “Salvation,” “Discipleship,” and “Eternal Effects.” As someone who is also involved in teaching internationally and making disciples around the world, and who has taught alongside Daniel in conferences, I highly recommend his book as a noteworthy addition to your discipleship library.