Plenty of people like the idea of discipling someone, but actually setting out to do it can feel intimidating. We feel unqualified, like we don’t know enough, aren’t good enough, or just don’t know how. Where would we even start?
How to start discipling others
Here’s the truth: there is no secret sauce for discipleship. God designed it to be easy enough for any believer to do, even someone new to the faith themselves. It’s not our job to have all the answers, so we don’t have to know everything. We’re not called to raise up little “me’s” so there’s no need to be perfect ourselves. And we don’t need a curriculum or something to “do”– it’s not a class.
We are simply called alongside others to help them follow Jesus in their own life and in their own way. The Holy Spirit is there, and will help; God is the one who brings growth. We are simply called to come alongside and be faithful to the process.Here's the truth: there is no secret sauce for discipleship. God designed it to be easy enough for any believer to do, even someone new to the faith themselves. Click To Tweet
A simple discipling process:
- Walk Alongside Others: Your presence is valuable as people learn to hear the voice of God for themselves. Be faithful, follow up, and create a safe space.
- Listen Actively: Discover what God doing in this person’s life. Summarize what you are hearing them say and invite them to share more.
- Ask Good Questions: Good questions are open-ended. They cannot be answered with yes or no but instead, invite people to share their perspective.
- Provide Encouragement and Challenges: Celebrate even the smallest of victories and help them identify and take the next steps as the Holy Spirit directs.
- Pray with them: Ask God for wisdom and strength as the person seeks to take the next faithful steps in response to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
An easy way to start
You can disciple someone right now, right where you are and wherever you are in your own faith journey. That discipling relationship could be with someone in our own family or a roommate. Or that discipling relationship could be done by phone or internet conversations.
Here’s an easy way to start: schedule regular time to talk with someone else and ask them these seven questions:
- What are you especially thankful for since we last met? How have you seen God at work?
- How did it go with your action items from last time? What progress have you made?
- What insights or guidance did the Holy Spirit give you in your Scripture readings since we last met?
- How did you share Jesus with others in word and/or deed this week?
- What challenges or opportunities are you facing now?
- How can I be helpful to you?
- What next steps does God want you to take personally? With others?
Try having a conversation like this once– where you really listen to the answers and draw out the other person—and see how it goes. We are so used to content-heavy discipleship that you may be surprised at how much God can accomplish through good questions and listening.You can disciple someone right now, right where you are and wherever you are in your own faith journey. Click To Tweet
Map of Discipleship: This FREE DOWNLOAD helps you readily assess where someone currently is in their journey of discipleship as well as where God may be prompting them to grow next. Also available in Spanish.
The Discipleship Difference: Every person is different and we all reflect God in different ways. So why is our typical approach to discipleship the same across the board? The Discipleship Difference lays out an intentional, holistic, and relational approach to discipleship that is individualized to meet each person wherever they are. Also available in Spanish.