I recall as young discipler meeting with three women for regular discipleship. We were just about to start our second semester of discipleship when one gal nervously spoke up.
“Lori, I wish we could just talk about how we are doing during this time.”
Another gal said, “I wish the time was not so rushed.”
The other gal, “Can we talk about anything else besides the Bible sometimes?”
I was a little taken aback. Didn’t they appreciate all the time I poured into my Bible lessons with them? Did they not see how much scripture I had led them to memorize? Didn’t they appreciate the gospel training I had taught them so they could reach others for Christ?
I had thought everything was OK. I now realize how much courage it took them to speak up and suggest changes. As I evaluated my discipleship efforts later that evening, I realized how task driven my discipleship had been. Our time full of scripture memorization, check-off lists and answers to a training manual we were going through along with a Bible study.
I made numerous adjustments to my discipleship approach based on their feedback. As I grew as a discipler, our relationship deepened as friends. I began to start the time with small talk, just casually asking how they were doing. We either did the training manual or the Bible study but no longer both in the same meeting. I now knew what they were dealing with in their personal lives (not just spiritually), therefore our prayers together we much more heartfelt. I even scrapped the discipleship content one week. We made dinner together instead and I taught them one of my favorite recipes!
Your disciple may not feel the freedom to suggest changes that would enhance your time together. So why not build in a regular evaluation time, (twice a year perhaps) to have an open, honest conversation about your regular time together?
Just say, “Next week when we meet, I would love for us to talk about how our discipleship time and relationship is going. What suggestions or ideas you may have to enhance the time moving forward?” Below are some suggested questions.
Discussion Topics for Discipleship Evaluation
1. What I have enjoyed the most about our time together is ...
2. What I would like to adjust as we move forward is ...
3. Questions and topics that I hope we can cover in the future are ...
4. Other issues I would like to talk about are …
My hope is that as both of you share ideas, suggestions, thoughts and feelings about your time together, your relationship with deepen and topics perhaps you both felt awkward bringing up would be discussed.
It takes humility and character to listen, adjust and improve. When the women we are meeting with feel like they can share ideas (topics of study in the future, hurt feelings, wanting a challenge, etc.), you both grow to new depths with the Lord and each other.
P.S. I have a form pre-made for this inside my free Discipleship Starter Kit. See page 16 for Discipleship Evaluation for Both the Discipler and Disciple.
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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.