The characteristics of a disciple are many, but we believe this acronym is a great way to remember how the first disciples followed the ultimate example, Jesus Christ. They let His words and works reside in their hearts and the hearts of others.
D - desires the presence of God
A disciple understands the importance and value of being in the presence of God. God’s presence in our lives is what’s most important, and we cannot take that for granted. Our daily devotionals are one of the many ways we keep up our interaction with God (Luke 10:38-42).
I - ignites others around them by the Holy Spirit
Disciples are motivators through the Holy Spirit. Our presence should be contagious. The Holy Spirit within us is a warm and encouraging fire for those around us. A disciple makes people better because their involvement is God’s involvement.
S - stays in prayer for the church, their family, and the world
An intercessor is someone that intervenes on behalf of another, and that is exactly what a disciple is and does. Prayer is not just an act, but a lifestyle (Ezekiel 22:30; Luke 18:1).
C - concerned about God’s kingdom
The work of God’s kingdom is of the utmost importance to every disciple; the same way it was for Jesus Christ. Being sons and daughters of God, His kingdom is our kingdom. We allow the Holy Spirit to help us balance life and ministry so we can successfully grow the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:33).
I - involves oneself in outreach
Disciples are the extended hands of Jesus. We fulfill the great call that Christ gave us all, which is to not only be disciples, but to also make more disciples. We recognize the church is a place to be refueled for outreach ministry and the continuation of growth (Matthew 25:35-36).
P - plans daily devotional time with God
Quiet time with God is crucial for us, and we must make that time with Him daily. Setting up a specific place for prayer and a time to have a conversation with God is integral in discipleship. It is in these devotional times that we can open our hearts and minds to the vision God bestows upon us individually (Mark 1:35).
L - leaves the sinful past behind
Although we may not all have an experience like Paul where our lives drastically change, our daily walk should be visibly different. People should notice a difference because becoming a new Christian is becoming a new creature (a new person) in Jesus. We must allow the old things to stay in the past so we can focus on our new bright future with our Savior.
E - exemplifies the teachings of Jesus
Every day, we strive to be more like Christ. The word of God is the standard for all situations, and the Holy Spirit is there to remind us whenever we are tempted to do otherwise. Compromise is not an option because it will not only cut us short from God, but it will also hinder the potential for others. Our example is a representation of Jesus and displaying His teachings is what gets others interested in joining the fold.
The characteristics of a disciple are not easy ones to uphold, but that is why we have our strength coming from God, our example coming from Jesus, and our assistance from the Holy Spirit. True disciples continue to love God with daily interactions with Him. The daily interaction allows us to be more Christlike every single day as we continue to share His love with the world today.