How does one evaluate the quality of their discipleship? What should be the litmus test to see if their discipleship is actually effective and results in life change and more Christ-likeness in their disciple?
As you evaluate your discipleship, you can start by thinking through the basic elements of a discipleship appointment. On a scale from 1 (being low) to 5 (being high) how well did you:
Keys to Evaluate in Growing in Your Discipleship Efforts
Small talk: This element of a discipleship appointment is important as you want your disciple to know you care about her entire life ... not just spiritual things. In this time, you gauge how she is doing and feeling. You also need to be aware of any significant aspects of her life at the time. I have been guilty of completely jumping over this element to get to Bible content, reading, memorization, etc. This did not do well as I tried to build a relationship with my disciple!
● To improve: Before the discipleship appointment, think though areas to ask her about that were brought up at the last meeting. Share about your life as well so this does not resemble an interview!
Accountability: This is where both you and your disciple share areas of your life you are wanting to improve upon. Perhaps your disciple wants to spend regular time in the Word each day but the business of life seems to crowd out the set aside time. You can commit to pray for her. Ask her how it is going while also helping her think through ways to succeed in this area.
● To improve: Share real, authentic areas of improvement needed in your life. Trust that when you share your real life and ask for help and prayer, your disciple will feel more comfortable reciprocating. Life change and transformation will then begin to happen.
Content: This is where something biblical is taught, studied, discussed and applied to life. The goal in discipleship is for your disciple to look more like Jesus as you meet with her. This takes place week after week as you take her to a passage of scripture. Study it and talk about it.
● To Improve: For the first 6 weeks, make your content "Start Here: Six Foundational Lessons for Growth in Christ" (to ensure she understands the very basics of the Christian faith). After those lessons are complete, you can see Chapter 10 in "Discipling Women" for numerous options and ideas for content. This year, I used the One Year Bible and would choose something from that week’s reading to discuss, study and then apply to our lives. Last year, I did a study about different cults and world religions as my disciples kept asking questions in this realm.
Prayer: This is where you pray with her for anything she recently mentions in the small talk, accountability and content portion. Ensure you are praying out loud so she learns how to pray, not just about prayer.
● To improve: Don’t run out of time for this. Seeking God on her behalf, along with her, is key to her growth. Give time for her to pray out loud as well to gain confidence in her own prayer life. Lastly, don’t forget to pray for people to come to know Christ. Keep a prayer list together of people you are praying for.
The Bible is clear that God causes all the growth in a person’s life. Our role as disciplers is to be used by God as loving, encouraging, Christ-centered teachers in another woman’s life. It is always beneficial to keep in mind that time is valuable, we only have so much of it. We need to regularly evaluate our discipleship ministry. Tune ups are important given the huge task of ripe harvest fields and few workers.
Whether speaking, training, or discipling, Lori brings a passion to see women raised up to be all they can be in the Lord, teaching to women of all ages on a wide variety of topics. She currently makes her home in Katy, TX, with her husband Alan and two young children Josh and Jake.