Hopefully we don’t need to convince you that you should be discipling someone in the faith. But many of us struggle to translate that desire into action. “How do I find someone to disciple? Who should I be discipling?”
If you find yourself asking this question, you’ve got some work to do. There are lots of Christ-followers who long for a mentor, a coach, a guide, a disciple-er – but they don’t know how to connect with such a person. The fact that you’re asking the question, “Who should I be discipling?” is evidence that God is at work in your life. Trust him to bring someone into your life with the same desire.
This is often where many of us get stuck. Consider the following steps:
- Pray Specifically – Pray for two minutes each day asking God to lead you to a person who is FATR (Faithful, Available, Teachable, and Ready-to-Reproduce Christ’s qualities in others). Remember, Jesus prayed all night before He called the twelve!
- Think Strategically – Look first in your home church and your current spheres of involvement or influence. God may have already put a person right under your nose. Is there a FATR person in your small group? Bible study? Ministry Team? Workplace? Sports/Hobbies? Neighborhood?
- Seek Counsel – Once you have the names of 2-3 potentials, ask a spiritual mentor, small group leader, pastor, or elder if they can envision you in walking the spiritual journey together. These “counselors” can help you to think wisely with your head as well as with your heart.
- Ask the Person – Humbly ask the person if he/she would consider entering into a discipleship relationship for a season in order to build each other up in Christ. Remember, you are NOT inviting them to join a program, nor are you just asking them to have a meal or coffee once in a while. This is an intentional relationship to spur one another on to become more like Christ. It might go something like this:
“Would you consider walking together for a season of discipleship in order to help each other grow to become more like Christ? We would meet face-to-face at least every other week for the purpose of mutual encouragement, challenge, accountability, and prayer. I would suggest we bring focus to our times by thinking in terms of UP, IN, and OUT relationships. If that sounds like it would be meaningful, would you pray about it and talk to your spouse? Let’s chat next week and see what you’re thinking. The only pressure you should feel is that of the Holy Spirit moving you forward.”
If the person says “No” – There are a variety of reasons that a person may not be ready to commit to a discipleship relationship with you. Don’t be discouraged. In fact, you may have to ask several people before God leads you to a hungry one. Just consider this a part of your personal growth as a disciple! At this point, go back to step 1 and work through the process again (or revisit your list of 2-3, and ask the next one).
If the person says “Yes” – Schedule a time and talk more in-depth about what this season of discipleship might look like. As you meet, ask her/him to summarize their understanding of what they are committing to. Correct or clarify where needed. Then, if you are still on the same page, rock on!
Pray for your next disciple right now!