The following is a list of very practical ideas that will help you be more effective as well as helping you enjoy discipling another individual. You may want to study the passage listed after each idea.
1. Major on being an encourager. As you listen, ask yourself what you can encourage them about. Hebrews 10:24-25
2. Realize that you are entering into a life-long friendship. Your relationship will be foundational to all you hope to do. Proverbs 17:17
3. Make sure you are well prepared. Get organized before you spend time with another. Go over the passages and illustrations you hope to share, making sure you are familiar with them. Know the context of the verses you use. 2 Timothy 2:15
4. Set the pace. You can’t take someone farther than you have gone yourself. You can’t build solidly into someone else what is weak or unfamiliar in your own life. Philippians 4:9
5. Modeling is the key to reproducing your life. More things are caught than taught. Be transparent with those you are helping. Share your weaknesses and struggles as well as your strengths and victories. 1 Timothy 3:10-11
6. Repeat all things. Make no apologies for going over familiar ground. The basics are basic; keep hitting the basics. Philippians 3:1
7. Don’t “dump the truck” (i.e. tell them everything you know). Teach them only what they need to know now. John 16:1-14
8. Take them with you as much as possible. Many lasting impressions are made during discussions in the car or during recreation together. Mark 3:14
9. Treat them like an adult. Don’t talk down to them. Share with them as a friend. 1 Peter 5:1-3
10. Fit your follow-up plans to the person, not the person to the program. Be flexible. Meet their needs as well as build into their life. Don’t spend all your time “putting out fires.” Think structured building into another’s life, but beware of the “assembly line mentality”. 1 Corinthians 3:9-10
11. Always focus on Christ and relate all you do together to knowing Him or making Him known. Point them to Jesus. Hebrews 12:2
12. Communicate an attitude of acceptance and love. Be their fan. Be their friend. John 13:34-35
Discipling another individual is a great privilege and challenge. As we invest in the lives of individuals like Steve, we will see them growing to maturity in the Lord and they in turn helping others. Paul referred to himself as a “fellow worker” with God (1 Corinthians 3:9). He also called himself an “expert builder” (1 Corinthians 3:10) of people. May we all seek to be expert people builders, building others up in the faith to the point where they can in turn help others.