Following persistent online evangelism is the important step of pursuing discipleship. The goal is to create a path for the Lord to develop new believers into genuine followers of Christ. This can be difficult, and sometimes frustrating, but ever rewarding.
I. Determine to be personal
A. Decide on your theology of discipleship
- Determine what Biblical discipleship is
- Was Jesus more informal or structural oriented?
- Did Jesus approach everyone the same?
- Decide what Scriptures you will use to base your discipleship on
B. Decide on your goals for discipleship
- Is your goal to just get through the curriculum?
- Is your goal to give Biblical knowledge?
- Will your discipleship end once the person goes through the curriculum and joins the church?
- Where does mentorship fit into this?
II. Determine to be planned
A. Choose your curriculum
- Choose the curriculum that best fits your situation
- A more basic curriculum would be best for a new or young church
- You could have two stages; one for the basics and one that is more thorough
B. Choose your members
- Choose members that would be best as the “foundation” discipleship team. These would be faithful, more mature members
- It would be best to start with an eager few than to “force” it on several
- Try to choose by age and gender as this will be helpful when pairing them up with new believers
- Train the discipleship team by teaching them the selected curriculum
C. Choose your procedure
- Once someone is saved, have an in person or online meeting to introduce them to someone on your discipleship team
- Select the right discipler match by age, gender, and/or life experience background
- Have the discipler set up the weekly time that is best to meet with the new believer
- If in person, decide if the discipleship needs to take place at the church or if you are ok with it happening “off campus”
III. Determine to be persistent
A. Stay on course
- There will be many distractions that come up but determine to finish
- Teach you disciplers to use the time wisely and not just “hang out” or spend too much time in small talk
- If the disciple misses too many meetings, it’s best to put the discipleship on hold until it can resume
- Do everything you can to complete the course but realize that not all will
B. Stay Focused
- Keep the long-term goal of multiplying disciples in focus
- Remember, It’s Christ doing the work, through His Spirit
- Not everyone who initially followed Christ was constant with their dedication and walk with Him
IV. Determine to be persuasive in church attendance
A. Promote the local church fellowship
- Throughout the discipleship, stress the importance of the assembling of the local church
- Make reference to fellowships, friendships, and services
- Stress ministries that the disciple may be interested in
- Allow this to come naturally and not come across as a premeditated plan to “get them in church”
B. Provide a path to attend the local church fellowship
- As you stress attending the local church, keep in mind that some will “jump right in” while others will take more time and will need several helps to aid the process
- Have the disciple attend a cook-out or picnic with other church members their age
- Have the disciple attend a special meeting where they will receive a certificate for completing the discipleship coarse
- Have them attend a “Newcomers Orientation”. This can be a short meeting after morning church where the pastor or someone goes over the basics of the local church, the ministries they have, and the “how and why of joining
- Invite the disciple to the appropriate Sunday Bible study class fellowship
- The discipler should determine to continue in a close relationship with the disciple even after the disciple starts attending faithfully