As a pastor, I was often asked, “Can you help me with a process to make disciples with Jesus?” The simple answer is yes – but is it really that simple?
Because of the uniqueness of disciples and disciple-makers, there are many well-worn paths in helping others grow in Christ and move toward Christlikeness. At some point, all of these include time in God’s Word and prayer so I recommend that disciple-makers begin there.
My Disciple-Making Process
Personally, I begin a disciple-making process with another by reading one of the Gospels together. In my humble opinion, it does not matter which Gospel as all have much to say to both a disciple and the disciple-maker. I have friends who insist on reading Mark. I often start with the Gospel of John. My recommendation is to simply follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and know that you can’t mess up the selection of a Gospel to read together.
Once you have selected the Gospel you plan to read, simply read one chapter per week. I ask those I am discipling to read the chapter several times throughout the week in preparation for our weekly conversation.
This conversation is often held over a meal or coffee. Generally, we meet face to face, by Zoom or by FaceTime, and occasionally by phone. The conversation is guided by the ASPECTS Scripture Reflection and Disciple-Making Guide. I created this guide by building upon proven disciple-making resources.
A Typical Week:
1. Both of us read the same chapter from the same Gospel, usually several times throughout the week.
2. We engage in a conversation using the following model.
A. We start with a check-in: How are you doing?
B. The leader prays for our time together.
C. We read the chapter together.
D. We talk through the ASPECTS Talk Sheet.
3. Finally, we each pray using a simple three-step model:
- Upward Prayer | Praise and Thanksgiving
- Inward Prayer | Confession and Petition
- Outward Prayer | Intercession)
4. Following prayer, we confirm our next reading assignment and meeting time.
After sharing this process, I am often asked, “Is it really that easy to make disciples with Jesus?” to which I reply, “Yes, the Holy Spirit does the heavy lifting in disciple-making.” Our primary role as a disciple maker is personal spiritual formation and modeling Christlikeness in our words and deeds. As we become mature disciples of Jesus, it is easier for us to make mature disciples with Jesus.
State Missionary Steve Layton is an associate in the Office of Sunday School & Discipleship. He may be contacted at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 2221, or (334) 613-2221, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was originally published at makingdisciplesal.org.