So you are discipling a gal. Perhaps you led her to Christ, perhaps she asked you to disciple her. Maybe she is a woman in your church or small group you knew needed someone to come alongside her and help her grow deeper in the Lord.
Whatever the case may be, you need a plan. You may not feel the need for a plan at first. You may be meeting for coffee as she shares hard things in her life. You are giving biblical counsel and offering prayer. But over time, you will want a plan. An effective, thought-through pathway for her Christian growth.
There are a two ways to think about structure when it comes to discipleship:
Structure During the First Year of Discipleship
The First 9 Weeks:
Week 1: Get to Know You Sheet
Week 2-7: Start Here Six Foundational Lessons for Growth in Christ Bible Study
Week 8: Bonus week! No discipleship appointment, do something fun! Nails, Sonic, walk, dessert at a fun new café, playdate with kids, craft, etc. NOTE: this week can be done ANY week during the first 8 weeks.
Week 9: Discipleship Evaluation. You as the discipler, evaluate yourself. You as the discipler ask your disciple for feedback. Please see these two blog posts for how to do this, or my book chapter to see this as well.
Pause Here. Is she plugged into a local church? Emphasize the importance for her further growth to be plugged into a local body of believers. She needs to be hearing from other biblical teachers and serving in an area of the church. Never underestimate the local church in her growth and development.
The Second 9 Weeks:
Week 10-16: Next Steps Seven Foundational Lessons for Growth in Christ Bible Study
Week 17: Bonus Week, no discipleship. Do something fun! Care for a friend together, freezer meal prep, walk a nature trail, peruse a Christian bookstore.
Week 18: Discipleship Evaluation. You, as the discipler, evaluate yourself. You, as the discipler, ask your disciple for feedback. Please see these two blog posts for how to do this or my book chapter to see this as well.
Pause Here. Is she ready to disciple someone else? Is she living with her eyes open to how God can use her in the lives of others? Encourage her to invite others to church, to Bible study, to pray with and even disciple others.
The Rest of the Year:
Assess the growth of your disciple. Now that the basics are covered, assess what you think (as her discipler) she needs to focus on next. What is holding her back (if anything) from discipling someone else? Pray, seek God, and write down your list. Have your disciple think through what she thinks she needs as well. Does she need direction in …
I recall discipling a woman who had numerous questions about other religions. We had already studied the basics of the Christian faith together. Furthermore, her children, who attended public school, were always asking her questions about different religions as their classmates were a variety of these other belief systems. After much research, I bought us a Bible study on religions from a Christian worldview. We read a short workbook together and watched a video series that accompanied the chapters. I learned a ton doing this with her and she felt so much more confident answering her children’s questions.
The Bottom Line
Having structure in your discipleship journey during the first year discipling someone will help you feel confident in your spiritual investment. Instead of random and haphazard, you will week by week cover the basics of Christian faith and help your disciple build a solid foundation upon which to grow in Christ. She will have fun bonus weeks and input along the way! Eventually, prayerfully, she will use the same structure with another woman in the future! Exciting times! Hang in there!
I would love your feedback! Did you find this helpful? Is there something else you use to guide your discipleship efforts? Feel free to contact me on my website to let me know how I can help! I want you to feel successful!
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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.