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Jesus told us to go into all the world and make disciples, teaching them to obey all that He had commanded. Making disciples involves several aspects:
  • Helping someone come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord for the first time
  • Helping someone become connected to a church
  • Helping someone grow in their faith
  • Helping someone begin to disciple someone else
It is our desire to see everyone in our church in a discipling relationship, being encouraged by someone who can help us to grow, and turning around and helping someone else to grow in their faith.
Discipling someone can be intimidating for some of us. We sometimes feel inept. We recognize our own need to grow in our faith and wonder how we could possibly help someone else. We’re afraid that we won’t have the answers to their questions, which will make us look dumb, or even worse, reflect poorly on God.
But discipling is one of the most natural activities for a Christian. We love what Jesus is doing in our life and we want to encourage others to experience the same joy. We don’t need to know all the answers. We can always check in with the pastor, or do our own research. We just need to be a step or two ahead to help someone grow in their relationship with God.
A discipling relationship includes a mentor and a disciple. A mentor is someone who takes the lead in helping another Christian to grow in their faith and relationship with Jesus. A disciple is someone who recognizes their need to grow in their faith and allows their mentor to guide them. 
This relationship can take many forms. Some partners may choose to use a curriculum to guide their conversation. Some discipling may be directed toward a specific skill or position, such as training to be an elder or deacon or worship leader. Whatever the form, the priority of the relationship is spiritual growth, and not just the transfer of information. Mentoring is more than just teaching. A mentor meets the disciple wherever they are in their faith journey, and helps them to take the next step in their faith development. 
To make discipling easier, we are suggesting the following steps:
Step 1: Pray
If you are looking for the person God is leading you to disciple, then pray and ask for God’s leading and confirmation. If you were asked to disciple someone specific, then pray and ask for God’s affirmation that He wants you to meet with this person. Pray, listen, and then respond accordingly. Don’t allow any insecurities you might have to keep you from obeying God’s call. The only aspect related to ability that might disqualify you is if you think the other person is more mature in faith than you are. If you have something to share with this person, and if God confirms that He wants you to serve in this way, it’s safer to obey than to resist!
Step 2: Asking
The initial contact with a potential disciple is always awkward. Most of the time, some groundwork will already be laid that will reduce some of the discomfort. Even then, both of you will feel awkward at first. Just remember that Jesus wanted each of His disciples to be in this kind of relationship. You are doing what Jesus wants you to do. Allow His desire to be a stronger influence on you than any feelings of discomfort.
Step 3: The Meetings
At the first meeting, the mentor sets the rhythm for upcoming meetings. You set the tone for the kind of conversation they can expect. You are the leader and in charge of the conversation, but you also are encouraging them to participate.
So, for example, you open and close the time in prayer, but at the end of the meeting, you give the disciple an opportunity to also pray. At the first meeting, you are deciding together where they are in their spiritual journey, what aspects of faith they might already be familiar with and how they might want to grow.
A suggested outline for this meeting is as follows, but feel free to adjust as the Spirit leads you:
1.  Mentor opens in prayer
2. Discuss some of the things the disciple has lately been learning about God
3.  Using Peace Church's Learning Plan, decide what you are already familiar with and what the next step could be.
4. Decide what material to use for discussion, if any
5. Share what you each are currently reading in the Bible
6. Share prayer requests. Mentor closes in prayer and gives the disciple the opportunity to pray. 
After that first meeting, you begin to find a rhythm to your meetings. A typical discipleship conversation might look like this:
1. Open in prayer, mentor praying and giving disciple the opportunity to pray
2. Spend a few moments catching up. If the disciple is dealing with a crisis, consider throwing out the rest of the schedule and dealing with the crisis with scripture and prayer
3. Discuss material from the study you are working on. 
4. Share insights you each have received from your general reading of the Bible
5. Share prayer requests (both mentor and disciple share)
6. Pray for one another
7. Periodically acknowledge the time when the disciple can begin to mentor someone else. 
To help you as you support and encourage your mentee, we offer the following tools:
Faith Journey Assessment - Our learning plan is connected to the map we use that guides our faith development. To help you know where to begin, we encourage you to ask your disciple to take the faith journey assessment when you first begin to meet. Then, once a year, we encourage them to take the assessment again and compare the results. Our hope is that we will all be growing more completely dependent on the faithful love of God. 
Spiritual Growth Assessments - There are a number of other surveys that can be helpful to you and the person you are meeting with. Check out these examples and decide whether they would be appropriate. 
Christian Character Index - How are you doing as a follower of Jesus?
Worldview Quiz - Discover what kind of worldview influences the way you interact with the world
Obstacles to Growth - What is getting in the way of a deeper relationship with God?
Worldview Index - Do you see the world from a Biblical point-of-view?
Love for God - How does the love of God affect your life?
Bible/Theology Knowledge Surveys - While knowledge is not the same as faith, our faith does seek to know more. You can use these surveys to see how familiar the disciple is with the Bible and the theological truths God has revealed to us.
Spiritual Learning Plan: This plan includes a map that guides teachers, leaders and mentors as they help their students and disciples to make progress on their spiritual journey. The plan includes:
  • Scope of content, and the sequence of learning, that we recommend
  • Assessments that help people determine their progress
  • A list of outcomes we hope to see in each member of our church
Spiritual Question Suggestions: Along with the suggested guideline for a discipleship discussion mentioned earlier, here is a list of other questions that could be productive in your conversation with your disciple:
1. What do you think God feels [or thinks or is doing] in you as you experience this situation or relationship?
2. How does what is happening affect your calling, (calling = the point where your passion meets the need of the world)
3. Have you prayed about it? Are you in fellowship? Are you giving? Are you spending time in the Bible?
4. How might anxiety or fear be present in this struggle?
5. What is prayer like for you? What kind of prayer is most appealing to you?”
6. How is it for you when you read the Scriptures?
7. What is something you desire in your life these days?
8. Who in your life (past or present) has given you a taste of God’s love?
9. When or where are you most likely to be aware of God’s presence? When or where are you least aware of God’s presence?
10. How is your view of God changing because of this experience?
11. How would you like God to help you in this?
12. How do you think God is inviting you to respond to this?
13. How would you like to experience God in the next few weeks?
14. What would be helpful to you right now?
Directed Bible Reading: Often, a mentor will be asked to suggest a part of the Bible that a mentee could read. Obviously, there’s a lot to choose from. While the Gospel of Mark provides an easy entrance into scripture, this quick summary of each book of the Bible can also be helpful.
Training: For those who wish, Pastor Gary is available to meet three times with each mentor, going through a discipleship conversation as described earlier. He is also available for consulting any time a mentor has a question.
Discipling another person can seem to be intimidating, but the thrill of walking with someone as they come to know Jesus better is unlike any other experience. You can expect bumps along the way, exciting moments of victory followed by disappointing setbacks. Either way, you are being faithful to Jesus, going and making disciples. That alone, obeying His command, is worth any cost!