In order for everyone to know what their next step in their spiritual journey is, we provide a “map” for everyone who attends our church. That same map is posted in written, graphic, and video form on the internet and talked about at least twice a year in business meetings.
A Map, not a Menu
This information is not a menu, where you can pick and choose which classes you would like to attend or which ministries you would like to be involved in. It is a map because it shows you which route to take in your spiritual walk.
- Basically, the map starts with someone going through the Foundations Bible study (Grace Discipleship Series) as the first step. It doesn’t matter if they have been saved two days or two decades, this book is the springboard for disciple-making. If someone is young in the faith, it might take them a year or two to complete the study together with his disciple, as they will have many questions along the way. If someone has known Christ for longer, then the mentor will still go through the study with them so that they can then teach it to others.
Along the way, the mentor-disciple relationship should develop into a Paul-Timothy relationship like we see in 2 Timothy 2:2. The mentor will encourage them in their Christian walk in their personal holiness, to be more faithful to attend and serve in their local church and to start praying about who they would disciple in the future.
At first, meeting together once a week is ideal. In order to make this more feasible, we encourage our people to meet together before or during the Wednesday evening service.
At this time we encourage the disciple to join the church (if he hasn’t already).
- The next Bible study in the Grace Discipleship Series is The Walk, which explores ten practical areas of the Christian life.
The mentor-disciple relationship is so much more than studying together. The mentor will want to intentionally develop a relationship with his disciple and be transparent enough so that they can see his struggles and follow his godly example.
At this point, meeting together monthly for Bible study and prayer should be sufficient, if the mentor is including his disciple in other aspects of his personal and/or family life.
3. After that, we usually go through Changed Into His Image by Jim Berg.
4. The next step is to go through a personal evangelism course like The Exchange seminar or similar Bible study together. The goal is that the disciple would be equipped to share the Gospel in a relational way with their unsaved family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
At this point (if not sooner), they should be ready to begin to disciple a new believer or a Christian who is younger in the faith.
Outside of worshiping together on Sundays, the mentor should be meeting with his disciple in three ways:
- One-on-one Bible study and prayer, every 2-3 months
- Together with the other person who the disciple is either evangelizing or discipling, to do ministry together
- On a personal or family level, to have fun together
5. And it doesn’t end there! The intentional relationship of mentor-disciple will continue for life! 1 LIFE, 2 A LIFE, 4 LIFE
They can continue to meet together for prayer, encouragement, and study in the Word as often as necessary (every 3 months or so). They can read quality Christian books in small groups and/or take Bible Institute classes together. (Small groups do not replace one-on-one discipleship but serve to add another layer to disciple-making.)
6. Legacy – The last step on this spiritual journey is leaving one’s legacy on this earth.