This type of discipline can take two forms. an iron-sharpening-iron approach where two men enjoy somewhat equal spiritual maturity; the other is a mentor-disciple relationship aimed at encouraging spiritual growth on the part of the disciple. Our focus here is on encouraging those men who are in the stands to move onto the playing field.
Step One: Planning
With your pastor and the core leadership team:
- Develop guidelines for a one-on-one disciple ministry. The guidelines will enable the mentors to understand the objectives and give them a framework within which to work. See sample guidelines.
- Identify men in the church who are mature in their walk and men who need a closer walk.
Step Two: Organizing
Ask the more mature men if they would be willing to be involved in a one-on-one disciple-making. Ask the mentors to select a primary and alternate from the list of men to be discipled. Then pair the men off.
Next have the mentors pair off for encouragement, accountability, and prayer. Remember, most men are not relationally oriented, The men who are disciples usually are not committed spiritual growth. The soil may be hard. Praying for each other is critical.
Step Three: Launch
Consider launching the ministry by meeting with the mentors. The purpose is to make sure everyone is on the same page and allay any fear by clarifying expectations. See kick-off meeting notes.
Step Four: Relationship Building
The purpose of discipling is to to get the men to tune in to the Holy Spirit’s frequency. A starting point is building one-on-one relationships. Start relationship building with weekly phone calls. An occasional meal out and doing things together are important in developing the relationship. As the relationship develops, ask “How can I pray for you?” Eventually, you will be able to gently move the relationship toward a firmer spiritual footing. As this happens, suggest studying a book together and discuss the content and its impact. Contact at church on Sunday is important but does not allow sufficient time to nurture a relationship. Blocking out time during the week for a phone call or getting together, gives the impression of intentionality.
Step Five: Follow Up and Encouragement
Periodically contact the mentors to see how they are doing, check progress in building relationship, and thoughts about when and how to move to the next level in discipling.
Consider holding a meeting with the mentors as a group on a quarterly basis. The men can share how tings are going in their discipling relationship and encourage one another.
The key to the effectiveness of this ministry is the Holy Spirit. We can encourage and even exhort our men to a deeper relationship with the Lord. However, it is the Holy Spirit that motivates.
Discipling is spiritual warfare. Bathe this ministry in prayer!
Men’s disciplemaking 1/12/04