Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Practical 1-2-1 Discipling

I began to work with Steve on a weekly basis, helping to build the basics of the Christian life into his life. Just as a builder comes to the building site with a plan, I too planned beforehand what I desired to share with Steve at each meeting.

These follow up plans consisted of short bible lessons related to the topic I had planned to share. I had previously done a bible study on the topic and summarized this study into a short lesson that I could impart to another individual. Each lesson consisted of a motivation section (a verse, quote, example) to help build anticipation for the topic and then the lesson, a few verses related to the given topic. Whenever possible I tried to share from one central passage rather than multiple verses in different bible books. Examples would be: servanthood – John 13, love – 1 Corinthians 13, faith – Hebrews 11, or the Lordship of Christ – Luke 14:25-35.

Once compiled, these follow up plans are saved for future opportunities to share with others that the Lord may bring into my life. I collect these follow up plans in a follow up notebook. Then when the Lord brings others into my life that He would have me to help, I’m ready with ideas on how to begin.

Just as a builder must start with a foundation, I wanted to lay a solid foundation in Steve’s life. We worked on such foundational topics as assurance of salvation, quiet time, prayer, Scripture memory, meditation, obedience, witnessing, fellowship, and the importance of God’s Word. After being assured that the foundation was solid, I began to help Steve in other areas of his life, seeking to build on top of this solid foundation.

These ‘superstructure’ of the building that I was seeking to construct in Steve’s life, by God’s grace and with His help, consisted of three general areas: doctrine (used in the broadest sense of knowledge of God’s Word), character, and ministry (the ability to personally help others).

When discipling another, be sure to have the mindset of a builder, not a doctor.  The doctor mentality waits for the ‘patient’ to describe their latest symptoms and then dispenses some ‘spiritual medicine.’  This attitude only builds increasing dependence upon the doctor.  But a builder proactively builds into the life of another seeking to build dependence upon Christ instead of themselves.

Be a disciplemaking builder, not a doctor!

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2 thoughts on “Practical 1-2-1 Discipling

  1. Konstantin on said:

    Great insights, Tom. I like 1) having a mentality of a builder, not of a doctor; 2) having a prepared plans|topic; 3) teaching from one passage vs. multiple ones.

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