Discipleship: What Next?

One to One Discipleship

Best Practices

You’ve just finished your 15th lesson in one-to-one discipleship. It took you 25 weeks and 20 actual meetings but now that it is done you’re not sure John is ready to train someone else. What’s next? What is your next move with/for John?

First, some analysis:

Reasons John might not be ready:

  • Emotionally unstable because of mental health issues, a recent divorce, loss of job, death in the family, etc.
  • Theologically immature – you have some concerns about his belief system in certain key areas of doctrine.
  • Moral turpitude – he knows more now but his practice of the truth is still scandalously lacking
  • He has a pressing issue – some of these might be things like:
    • inconsistent study of God’s word, they need to know how to study contextually
    • a rebellious son or daughter that is demanding more of his or her time or emotional reserves
    • a marriage that needs some help
    • challenging work season on the job
    • personal discipline is low
    • struggling with pornography, or anger, or in-laws, relationships at work, etc.
    • a disciple might need help with a ministry that they are struggling with

In all of these situations, a discipler may want to choose some specialized curriculum, book, or process that will fit the situation of the disciplee.

Second, remember:

The normal, natural, next step in MOST situations is to challenge the disciplee to pass on what he/she has just been exposed to in the process of one-to-one discipleship with another man or woman. In fact, some of the issues above are often dealt with as a disciple begins to study anew through the same material they have just completed from the vantage point of the one teaching. This is “The teacher always learns more than the student,” principle.

So what are some potential next steps?

Well, it is going to depend isn’t it? It depends on which of the above scenarios is the reason the normal process can’t be followed. So where do you go next?

  • First, pray for wisdom. Ask God to show you what is next.
  • Second, in most instances, it is often helpful to go back to the person who trained you and ask them for their counsel.
  • Third, see below for particular ideas dealing with different problems.
Resources dealing with particular categories of issues:
  1. Apologetic Issues (keeping it simple)
    1. Know What You Believe, by Paul Little
    2. Know Why You Believe, by Paul Little
    3. Know How to Give Away Your Faith, by Paul Little
  2. When the Depth of His/Her Walk is in Doubt
    1. Know Who You Believe, by Paul Little
    2. Encourage them to follow the ChosenRebel.me blog. This might be a good place to start, https://chosenrebel.me/2019/11/11/my-relationship-with-god-is-cold/.
    3. Go to the next volume in the New Life Discipleship material. (One-to-One covers only volume 1 but there are 5 other levels that can be downloaded from http://newlifediscipleship.com.
    4. Meet with them for some period of time with no material but your Bible and model for them how to study, meditate and act on your devotions.
  3. General, Men’s Issues
    1. Read The Measure of a Man (Gene Getz), together.
    2. Read The Man in the Mirror (Patrick Morely), together.
    3. Read Finishing Well (Mills & Parro), together.
    4. Read Everyman’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time, Arterburn). [Caution, be vigilant on this one. Not all of the points are completely biblical.]
    5. The Lies Men Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free (Robert Wolgemuth)
    6. Spiritual Leadership (J. Oswald Sanders)
  1. General, Woman’s Issues
    1. The Measure of a Woman (Gene and Elaine Getz).
    2. The Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free (Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth)
    3. 50 Crucial Questions, (John Piper and Wayne Grudem)
    4. One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are (Ann Voskamp)
  1. Theological Issues
    1. Use LivingWater video’s on Youtube to train disciples in how to share the gospel and make the gospel clear.
    2. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (Gordon Fee & Douglas Stuart)
    3. Knowing Scripture (R. C. Sproul)
    4. The Disciple: God’s Word for Today (John Stott with Tim Chester)
    5. Finally Alive (John Piper)
    6. The Lost Art of Disciple Making (Leroy Eims)
    7. The Master Plan of Evangelism (Robert Coleman)
    8. We Believe: Recovering the Essentials of the Apostle’s Creed (Michael Horton)
  1. Moral Turpitude
    1. Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer, and The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer
    2. The Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges
    3. God’s Way of Holiness, Horatius Bonar
    4. The Holiness of God, C. Sproul
    5. A Contrarians Guide to Knowing God, Larry Osborne
    6. The Divine Mentor: Growing Your Faith as You Sit at the Feet of the Savior, Wayne Cordeiro
  1. Married Issues
    1. Marriage Takes More than Love, John and Carole Mayhall
    2. Marriage: Whose Dreams, Paul David Tripp

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