The Four Pillars: The Essential Characteristics of Discipleship


  • Conversion begins as a response in faith to an encounter with Jesus Christ, which becomes the starting point of a life-long process of deeper surrender and conformity to Jesus Christ.
  • “From the outset, conversion is expressed by a faith which is total and radical.” (Redemptoris Missio, #46)
  • “Conversion means, accepting by personal decision the saving sovereignty of Christ and becoming his disciple.” (Redemptoris Missio, #46)
  • “...conversion consists in commitment to the person of Jesus Christ, with all the theological and moral implications taught by the Magisterium of the Church.” (Ecclesia in America, #53)


  • Communion expresses “the mystical unity of Christ with his disciples and the disciples with each other...” (Christifideles Laici, #12)
  • Communion includes relationships centered in Jesus Christ; small groups are concrete expression of communion in Christ (encouragement, accountability, evangelization).
  • "By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35)
  • “...the domain of communion (koinonia) embodies and reveals the very essence of the mystery of the Church. Communion is the fruit and demonstration of that love which springs from the heart of the Eternal Father and is poured out upon us through the Spirit which Jesus gives us to make us all one heart and one soul. (Christifideles Laici, #42)


  • The disciple has a passion for the Truth: “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
  • “If we believe that Jesus is the Truth, we cannot fail to desire ardently to be his witnesses in order to bring our brothers and sisters closer to the full truth that dwells in the Son of God made man, who died and rose from the dead for the salvation of the human race.” (Ecclesia in America #53)
  • Orthodoxy means fully embracing and consistently obeying the teaching of Jesus as it is transmitted to us through Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and the Teaching Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
  • “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching...” (Acts 2:42)


  • "For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!" ICorinthians 9:16
  • “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
  • “...the mission of proclaiming the word of God is the task of all of the disciples of Jesus Christ based on their baptism. No believer in Christ can feel dispensed from this responsibility...” (Verbum Domini, Pope Benedict XVI)
  • “Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize...” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, #14)
  • “For each believer, as for the entire Church, the missionary task must remain foremost, for it concerns the eternal destiny of humanity and corresponds to God's mysterious and merciful plan.” (Redemptoris Missio, #86)