Maybe you’ve been following along this month as we’ve explored discipleship. Maybe you’re ready to disciple someone, or perhaps you’ve already started. (If so, I’d love to hear your stories!). If you haven’t quite taken the leap, I hope some practical tools will help you take your next movement step. Below are three things to do at the first discipleship one-on-one.

  1. Find a quiet place to have a conversation.

Everyone has a different style when it comes to discipleship. Sometimes people prefer discipleship to happen during an activity as they run errands, go on a hike, or perhaps cook a meal together. Some prefer a breakfast one-on-one or a tea date. Either way, be sure to carve out time in a quiet place at some point where you can have a heart to heart conversation with your disciplee.

  1. Decide together the purpose or goal of the discipleship.

When I first meet with a disciplee, I always ask what she wants to get out of discipleship. Her answer can help me shape our time together, so that it’s meaningful and worthwhile. Sometimes she knows what she wants, and sometimes she’s not sure, and that’s completely acceptable. If she’s never been discipled, it can be difficult to know what to expect or hope for. You can guide the conversation by giving her options. Generally, if she hesitates, I share what I’ve done with others in the past—read the Bible/do devotions together, read a Christian nonfiction book on a topic she’s interested in, be a soundboard for her to process how she’s growing in her faith. More times than not, she’ll pick the soundboard option. As our relationship grows and situations arise, we will also dig into Scripture for insight, pray together, or serve our local church or community together.

  1. Go over vision and logistics for discipleship.

It’s always a good idea to make sure you and the disciplee have the same understanding of what discipleship is. Perhaps read the Great Commission together (Matthew 28) and discuss how discipleship is all about growing and living out faith in Jesus; your overall goal is that in the process of discipleship both of you become more and more like Jesus. This is also the perfect time to talk about expectations and commitment. Together, we decide how often we will meet (at least once a month, though I think every other week is preferable) and if there’s a certain day or time that works with our schedules. I found the most success when we stick to a certain day and time. Having to schedule each time we meet takes even more intentionality, and it’s difficult to establish a rhythm of meeting. It’s too easy for these precious gatherings to be forgotten in the midst of a hurried schedule. If I know that Mondays at 2:00pm I am meeting with Mary, I make it a priority and block out my schedule. I ask the disciplee to do the same. This helps cut down on cancelations and rescheduling.

Movement Step: Pray and ask God to highlight someone in your circle that you can disciple. As soon as you hear from God, schedule a hang out with a potential disciplee and utilize the three above practicals.