As you know, I am passionate about discipleship. But it often happens that as soon as I speak my passion with some people they get a glazed look in their eye, and then start backing out the door! I think they feel some potential pressure and guilt coming their way, or maybe another program they need to give time to.
Discipleship is intentional relationship …
- Discipleship in intentional relationship by initiating spiritual conversations.
- Discipleship is intentional relationship by asking people their dreams.
- Discipleship is intentional relationship by hearing a person’s story.
- Discipleship is intentional relationship by coaching people to share with others what they are learning about God – before they are saved.
- Discipleship is intentional relationship by encouraging people to gather their friends in intentional relationship to discuss God’s word.
- Discipleship is intentional relationship by mentoring people to hear God speak to them in the Bible, before they come to faith.
- Discipleship is intentional relationship by affirming people. Jesus called Peter to be fisher of men before he was born again.
Great Questions to Ask Someone You’re Discipling
1. What is God saying to you these days?
2. If you could do anything you long to do, what would it be?
3. What do you do that is most life giving to you?
4. How would you describe your times alone with God?
5. When you’re under pressure or attack, how do you respond? Why?
6. Describe your personality & spiritual gifts when you’re in the flesh, not the Spirit? What’s that look like?
7. If you could have anything your heart desires from God, what would it be? For example, if God gave you a blank piece of paper and he signed it and said, “Fill it in... ‘I will give you anything you want’ “, what would you write on that paper?
8. Where would you like to be in your relationship with the Lord a year from now?
9. What are your spiritual growth goals? How can I assit you in achieving those goals?
To initiate intentional discipleship into an existing relationship that is not intentional about discipleship, I suggest you introduce a level of intentionality to your friendship, remaining relational but seeking to be purposeful. I did this last week with a friend who is also an emerging leader... I invited him out for coffee to a local coffee shop, and we caught up on personal news and how we are each doing. As we talked, I looked for areas to encourage and affirm him, which was easy and natural to do. Then I lead into a discussion about a key topic pertaining to his leadership development. I asked a couple questions that I wanted to stimulate his thinking and add some intentionality to our relationship, albeit very low key at this point.
At the end of the conversation, I suggested we get together again in a few weeks. He was very warm to the idea. I will suggest at that time we meet "regularly" to build our relationship and encourage each other. I don't mind if a person sees our time together as peer mentoring... I let the description be determined by the person so long as we are investing in one another intentionally. If a person seeks to disciple me and it is appropriate, I would receive their input, no matter their maturity level, as I believe good discipling always involves a degree of reciprocity, and humility is always good for the soul.