One of the reasons I hear most often is that people don’t know how to disciple others or what to do with them. Where do I begin? Do I take her through a curriculum? If so, what would I teach her? Do we just hang out and talk?
I like to start at the same place with everyone I disciple – laying the foundation for spiritual growth, going through the basics of the Christian life with them. This is very important for a new believer, but it’s also important for someone who has never been grounded in her faith.
When Bonnie discipled me at LSU, she started with laying a foundation. 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 never 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.
But I also start here with mature believers because I don’t want to take for granted that they know these important things, and I want to make sure they know how to clearly take someone else through this material. (I actually had an 80-year-old believer tell me no one had ever taken her through these foundational principles and she wish she had gone through this years ago.) I do it a little differently with a mature believer, but I still begin with the basics.
The goal in this level of discipleship is to ground them in their faith. 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. I developed a nine-week study, Building Your Spiritual Toolbox: Laying the Foundation, that others can use to help ground someone in her faith.
In laying the foundation we look at:
- How to be sure of your salvation
- How to be sure you are forgiven
- How to draw from the power of the Holy Spirit
- How to grow in the Christian life
- How to spend time alone with God
- How to study the Bible
- How to develop your SHAPE
- How to share your faith
I may take several weeks to cover just one of these areas, or, if I’m taking a mature believer through this, I may cover these areas quickly. I adapt the material and the speed I move through it to the person I’m discipling.
I’d love to hear from you with any questions or comments about laying the foundation for Christian growth.