When it comes to planning discipleship and discipling, some people feel overwhelmed wondering where to start and what to do. On the Useful Stuff page and in the Practical Stuff section of this page, you'll find ideas on how to lead a small group, how to have deep conversations, and more.
Below are some big-picture things to consider that will help shape and frame the details of your discipling.
The ultimate purpose of discipling is to help others become more like Jesus. Everything you do is aimed at that. Expanding the definition ("helping other become more like Jesus by ...") will determine what you do in your discipling and why. Expanding the definition to include just a few things you think are most important will give you traction and help propel you forward. Some of the obvious things to include are spending time reading the Bible together, spending time praying together, spending time talking about real life and real questions, and being a model of faithful discipleship in your own life.
It can be helpful to narrow things down even more. Identify one main goal or outcome that you want your students to experience with you and embrace themselves. What is one belief, one passion, and one practice you hope your students will take with them when they move on from your ministry?
Many people focus on Scripture. They want their students to believe the Bible is trustworthy and meaningful; to love Scripture and desire to engage with it; and to become more comfortable and confident learning from and living out the truth of God's Word.
What is it for you? What's the one main thing you want your students to leave with? How you answer that question will shape how you disciple others.
When mapping out a semester or a year of discipling content, you could follow one of these tracks:
Leading up to each discipling small group or one-on-one, it's essential to be prepared. This doesn't mean creating a long list of to-dos, writing extensive lesson plans, or rehearsing a scripted intro. It does mean having spent enough time in the Scripture passage to allow opportunities for reflecting, learning, and digesting it yourself so that you can help guide students to a place of learning and discovery.
Some ways to do this:
Check out some online commentaries, study guides, and audio Bibles here.
Resources for people who help others become more like Jesus.
Send us your ideas for new discipleship resources.
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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2103 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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