Would You Disciple Me?

Organic Mentoring

I recently read the book Organic Mentoring by Sue Edwards and Barbara Neumann. (I highly recommend this book.) The premise of Organic Mentoring is that previous methods of discipleship may not be as effective for the younger generations today. Randomly pairing up a disciple and discipler isn’t necessarily the best method, and the younger generations tend to prefer less structure and more of a natural and organic approach.

As our women’s Bible study read and discussed this book together, some of my “older” women felt a burden lifted – they didn’t have to come up with a structured curriculum to take someone through. However, my younger women shared that they still want some structure and accountability.

It’s important to recognize that each individual is unique in what she’s looking for in a discipleship/mentoring relationship. When someone asks me to disciple her, I ask several questions:

  •  What are you looking for in this relationship?
  •  What do you want me to do with you in our time together?
  •  Where are you spiritually? A new believer? A stagnant believer? Or a strong believer who wants to be challenged and to go deeper?
  •  Is there a specific area in which you want to grow?
  •  What is your goal for our time together? What do you want to see as a result of this discipleship relationship?
  •  Do you want something structured or more informal?

Discipleship looks different for different people, depending on where they are in their spiritual journey and where they want to go spiritually. Some want a structured format, while others just want you to hang out with them and talk. Some want to meet every week; others are content to meet periodically. Is one way better than another? It depends on the individual and what she’s looking for.

The goal of discipleship is to help that person grow to spiritual maturity in Christ. The method may look different for each person.

As a discipler, what do you envision the discipleship relationship looking like? As a disciple, what are you looking for? Do you tend to want something more structured and scheduled, or informal with no set schedule or plan? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

  1. Hi Crickett!
    I have been getting a lot of requests lately from women of many different stages of life requesting a mentor. I love your questions – many of the same questions I ask my ladies.

    I am a person that thrives with routine and structure and I find that if we don’t have a consistent time to meet, that we will not meet and then the purpose is never met. Just like having a relationship with God depends on our stopping to read the Bible and pray, having a mentor requires a certain level of commitment in order to achieve the agreed-upon goals. I like to make short term goals and evaluate every few months while meeting weekly or every 2 weeks. If I am meeting with someone less often than that, then they are usually a “self-feeder” and are moving into the phase of mentoring others.

    Depending on what the gal wants, I will use an organized plan such as Real Faith by Bill Bright or Greg Ogden’s Discipleship Essentials. Or I may just ask a series of coaching questions to find out how she is doing?

    Thanks so much for keeping this blog alive.

  2. Heather, great insight! I did find that most of my young women wanted more structure than loosely structured. They want accountability. That’s why I think it’s so important up front to find out what that person is looking for. And I like your comment about making short term goals and evaluating every few months. That is wise. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Heather!

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