/ Nathan Eshelman

Discipleship & Essential Questions

How does one disciple a new believer or a person seeking to know more about the Christian faith?

Many have ideas about what discipleship looks like, some with greater effectiveness than others. Some will go through the Gospel of John; others will take a person through a series of discipleship programs; some others will use tracts to help them to disciple a person.

But what’s a Presbyterian to do?

The word catechism is from the Greek and then Latin languages related to “oral instruction.” A catechumen is one under instruction—a disciple. The catechism—and for us the Westminster Shorter Catechism—serves as the spiritual ABCs for one seeking to know what it means to be a Christian or for a new believer to begin to take the steps of growth in the Christian faith. Catechisms are intended for discipleship.

As a refresher, notice what is in our Westminster Shorter Catechism and how this form of discipleship answers the essential questions of one in need of discipleship.

What is the purpose of life? Q.1
The centrality of the Bible in the Christian faith. Q.2

What and who is God? Q.3-6
What are God’s acts in creation and in sustaining the world? Q.7-13
What is man? Why are we sinners? Q.14-20

How does Christ redeem us? What are Christ's offices? What is the order of salvation? Q.21-38

How should Christians live? What’s it mean to love God and love our neighbor? Q.39-84.

What is faith in Christ? What are the means of grace, including the sacraments? Q.85-98

What is prayer and Christian spirituality? Q.99-107

Discipleship does not require color-formed blank books; stories about rooms in houses where Jesus may or may not dwell; or spinny wheels of discipleship. Discipleship is presenting the central teachings of the Christian faith with Bible open. 

Why invent the wheel… or should I say, why invent the catechism?

Nathan Eshelman

Nathan Eshelman

Pastor in Orlando, studied at Puritan Reformed Theological & Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminaries. One of the chambermen on the podcast The Jerusalem Chamber. Married to Lydia with 5 children.

Read More