Why do we not see more discipleship taking place around us? One of the reasons I have found is that even though people may sincerely desire to disciple someone, they don’t know what they would do with that person. Do I take her through a curriculum? If so, what would I teach her? Or do I just hang out with her? What do I do?
In my last post, Will You Disciple Me, I mentioned that I would share with you three levels of discipleship, what I do with someone in each level, and the goal for each level. Today I will only address the first level.
The first level: A new believer or someone who has never been grounded in his/her faith
When Bonnie discipled me at LSU, this is where she started with me. Although I was not a new believer (I had accepted Christ when I was nine years old), no one had ever taken me through the basics of the Christian life. I had not been grounded in my faith, and as a result, I drifted away from the Lord in college. Bonnie gave me a foundation for my faith by taking me through the “basics.”
The goal: Ground them.
Ground them in their faith. Give them a solid foundation. With this level, it’s important to take them through Scripture, give them something to work through each week to help them become familiar with where passages are in the Bible. Give them handouts that they can keep and refer back to as needed.
What I do: With this level, I take them through what we call in Campus Crusade “basic follow-up.” I actually start here with everyone I disciple, even mature believers, because I don’t want to take for granted that they know the basics. Also, I want to make sure they know how to clearly take someone else through this material. I do it a little differently with a mature believer, but I still begin with basic follow-up.
I take them through five areas:
- Assurance of salvation
- Assurance of forgiveness of sins
- The power source for living the Christian life (the Spirit-filled life)
- The process of spiritual growth (prayer, Bible study, fellowship, and sharing your faith)
- How to have a Quiet Time alone with the Lord
I may take several weeks to cover just one of these areas, or, if I’m taking a mature believer through this for review, I may cover these areas quickly. Adapt the material and the speed you move through it to your “disciple.”
We will look at each of these areas briefly in future posts, and I will add some downloadable resources to the resource page on my website, so check back regularly.
I’d love to hear from you concerning discipleship. Did someone ground you in your faith right after becoming a believer, or was it later in life, or maybe you’ve never been taken through basic follow-up? How did being grounded in your faith impact your life? For me, I was never the same after Bonnie took me through “basic follow-up.”
If you’re not discipling someone, what is holding you back? Begin with the foundation, the basics of the Christian life; then build on it. Next time, we’ll talk about level two of discipleship.