I often find that people want to disciple someone, but they are held back by fears and a feeling of inadequacy. “What do I do with them? What if they ask me a question I can’t answer?” The purpose of this website is to provide resources to help you disciple others.
Today I’m going to address some of the questions I’m often asked about discipleship.
- Do I need to have a natural affinity for the person in order to disciple her? In other words, do I need to be naturally drawn to that person? The answer is yes and no.
It is helpful if the relationship comes naturally and easily. Surveys show that the effectiveness of discipleship is directly proportional to the quality of the relationship. Relationships are key in discipleship and mentoring.
That doesn’t mean you should never disciple someone to whom you’re not naturally drawn. There will be times when God wants you to do that. And it may not be as easy for you, but it’s worth it. However, my most effective discipleship relationships are with those to whom I am naturally drawn.
- How do I find someone to disciple or to be discipled by? Look around you! Look for someone in a natural setting, like your small group or your Sunday school class or another venue that brings people together around a common goal. Look for someone you have a natural affinity for or someone God has laid on your heart. Don’t wait for her to ask you; take the initiative.
In the past, I have been part of discipleship programs that pair up women for discipleship, but we found that those are not as effective as the discipleship relationships initiated by one of the two people on their own.
- What do I look for in someone to disciple?
Some look for FAT people (faithful, available, and teachable). I look for two qualities in a disciple: a hunger for God and a teachable spirit.
- How long do I meet with someone? As long as the Lord tells you to. I usually set up a time frame when we start. “Let’s meet together for 3 months … 6 months … a year – and then reevaluate.” But I don’t have a set timeframe. There is no formula that fits everyone and God always makes it clear to both of us when it’s time to stop meeting or take a break.
A word of caution: Don’t become possessive of your disciples. If God wants to simultaneously use someone else to build into your disciple’s life, celebrate with them. Don’t become jealous or possessive. Each of us has strengths (and weaknesses). Someone else might be able to teach them something that you can’t.
What questions do you have about discipleship?