June 2, 2011

Discipleship: Getting Started

So far in the discipleship series, we have explored what discipleship is, why it is important, and the qualifications for discipleship. Hopefully, you have considered how you can incorporate discipleship into your life. Perhaps you already have a younger woman in mind that God has given you a special affection for. What now? I would like to share with you how you can initiate the relationship and how you can get started.

Initiating Discipleship 

  • Invite her to join you for coffee or lunch. Get to know her more (I'm assuming you already have a relationship with her) and share more about yourself. At the end of the time, talk to her about discipleship. Say something like, "I have really enjoyed getting to know you. I wondered if you might be interested in meeting with me each week to study the Word, pray, and challenge each other in our walks with Christ." 
  • Tell her a little bit about discipleship and what commitment you would expect from her.
  • Don't let her tell you her decision right then. Ask her to pray about it and tell her that you will follow up with her by phone, email, or in person in a few days.

When she is ready to commit to discipleship, start meeting on a weekly basis. I always suggest meeting at the same time each week, otherwise the commitment is difficult to maintain.

The First Meeting: The Commitment Meeting

  • Get to know each other. Share your testimonies, about your family, about your ministry involvements, your future aspirations, etc.
  • Discuss the commitment, both time commitment and spiritual commitment. Be specific in your expectations about meetings, materials, teachability and openness.
  • Discuss curriculum or material and what kind of assignments you’ll be giving.
  • Give him/her a discipleship covenant and “Plan for personal growth” sheet to fill out and bring back to the next meeting as an indication of readiness to begin. (I will make these available in a later post)
  • Set your next meeting time.
Now what?
Once you've discussed the "Plan for Personal Growth" and the curriculum you'll study, most of your meetings will look something like this: 30 minutes of sharing about your weeks and asking accountability questions, 45 minutes on the material you've chosen (with lots and lots of personal application), and 15 minutes praying together.

What to Talk About:
Martha Peace, in Becoming a Titus 2 Woman, says that older women should disciple younger women in three main areas: doctrine (knowing truth), character (dealing with sin), and ministry (finding and using their gifts).

That's alot of info, I know. What questions come up for you? I'd also love to hear any practical ideas you have for initiating discipleship relationships?