Get our One Year Discipleship tool free by clicking here. Buy our Following Jesus: Discipleship Essentials workbook here.
The following principles will help you get started with discipleship.
Set up an Appointment.
Get their contact info.
Schedule a time that works for both of you with in the next week.
Ask about their testimony, (even it you think you know them).
Clarify the gospel.
Share your testimony (be real about what God has done in your life; this is meant to be a relational time).
Invitation to Grow.
At the initial meet up, ask if they would like to regularly get together to grow in God’s word and their personal walk with Christ.
Share about discipleship. You could suggest going through the One Year Discipleship tool (get it for free here) or the FollowingJesusworkbook (get that here). You can start working through either of those transferable resources together to grow in your walks with God.
Build the Relationship
Commit to growing together for a set period of time to start (till the end of the FollowingJesus resource, or for a semester, 6 months, a year or more).
Train them to do the same (multiply Christ Like multipliers).
These 25 guidelines will help you with the follow-up process.
Be motivated by Agape love (for God and the person you’re following up with). Be relatable and friendly; build good lines of communication with the person.
Pray for this person.
Rely on the Holy Spirit to work in their lives.
Take the initiative to schedule your appointments.
When setting up the first appointment, you need an opening transition statement as to what and why you would like to meet with them. Ex. "John/Susie, would you like to see how God works in our lives in a practical day to day way?" Or, “Do you have some time tomorrow or the next day to get together and talk?” Have your schedule handy to plan a time.
Always call them the night before to confirm and remind them of the appointment.
At the end of each appointment, set up another appointment.
Have a Bible on the table during your appointments. Always help the new disciple see the Bible as the only source of truth for living his life.
Build a relationship and personal credibility.
Be sensitive to their needs and interests.
Meet them where they are at. Don’t expect them to act like a mature believer if they aren’t yet one.
Be personable, relatable, and genuinely interested in them and their interests.
Be encouraging and uplifting in all that you say.
Balance your relationship with common interests and fun activities. Remember, who you are to a person determines a lot of what he takes in from you. The acceptance of content and new knowledge depends to a large degree on how he views the Christian sharing the information.
Be sure to let them see you as a person who is also growing in Christ; and share with him appropriate issues that you are presently trusting God for (ex. problems, challenges, difficulties).
Answer their questions first, then proceed to share more with them afterwards. When answering questions, always help him to think first about what God would say, instead of what you, a friend, or book would say.
No matter where they are at in their walk with God, use a transferable discipleship resource like the One Year Discipleship tool (get it for free here) or the Following Jesus workbook (get that here). This will help multiplication happen naturally (they'll be able to go through this later with someone else).
Do not "preach" at the person but rather ask him questions to help him learn things from the Bible himself. Think of your time as guided learning not forced teaching. A great resource for thinking of good questions to ask is 201 Great Questions.
As you are talking, write out verses, diagrams, illustrations on paper, and give it to him as you are ending the appointment. Encourage them to keep this for future reference.
If you do not have time to finish all the material, simply continue it next time.
Remember, "Too much, too soon, too bad; too little, too late, so sad" - Don’t overload them with info, be patient! Don’t dumb it down, help them take the next step.
Remember, they do not yet think, talk, or act like a Christian, so do not ignorantly lose your credibility by doing one or more of the following:
Do not talk in "heavy" Christian religious language; talk in a normal way. Do not try to communicate too deep, avoid rabbit trails; keep it simple.
Do not verbally or non-verbally communicate a standard of performance such as legalism, "rules and regulations," dress codes, language use, or any other “Christian” mannerisms. The new disciple must learn to thrive in his new freedom in Christ and follow the Holy Spirit's direction rather than the philosophies of others; avoid legalism.
Do not "spiritualize" everything in your conversation; be real with them. Meet frequently but in proportion to their level of interest.
There must be a willing commitment to spend effective time with them.
Do not get discouraged thinking that you did something wrong when someone doesn’t become a Christian, doesn’t want to meet with you, or starts, but then drops out.
Remember, you’re responsible only to be available to let God work through you in His Spirit’s power, trusting results to Him.