Disciplemaking or Mentoring?


Discipling others is one of my favourite things! I have discipled men, women, boys and girls. Each person is unique and one of a kind. Below are some helps, but first…

What is disciple making?

(AKA: Spiritual life coaching, mentoring… whatever you name it…)

To me it is a lifestyle of intentional spiritual friendships.

…It is doing life together with one or more people. It’s walking out a journey together. Each journey is different just like each person is different! Jesus spent most of his time with 12 men and a few women. That’s it. He was not about huge numbers.

I’m all about organic lifestyle disciple making and I love intergenerational relationships especially. (Titus 2 is a favourite passage of mine.)

(I know we love our programs, but programs are only launch pads for intentional relationships. Programs fall short… If we spend years doing a program and no disciples come out of it, it’s time to throw out the ‘sacred cow’ program and start from scratch…!)


Listen to the Holy Spirit for the next appointment.

It’s way more fun and fruitful to go back to the Coach (Holy Spirit) for the new play!

What do we study?

We always start with God’s Word. When we do intentional study, my favourite study tools are Discovery Bible Studies or Reflective Readings simply using God’s Word.

Before I meet with someone or a group of people to disciple, I am in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to lead the conversation. Most often there simply needs to be intentional listening, asking open ended questions, and praying.

(I’m still learning this… and don’t pretend to be perfect.)

Don’t rely on your own strength. God knows best what the person needs. Pray, pray, pray! Of course you’re going to make mistakes. You’re human. God redeems and turns our errors into victories!


Do I mentor?

Sometimes, but there are limitations to mentoring. Mentoring is defined as putting something INTO a person.

I prefer Disciplemaking or coaching… Why?

Disciplemaking or coaching is drawing the Holy Spirit OUT!

I find that’s way more fun! I want to lead people to Jesus and hear His voice. I may have something good to offer, but I love teaching people how to fish, rather than just feeding them my fish.


Do I use other people’s materials?

If I use materials to go through or I sense we need to study some basics in a different way, I have referenced the following material to assist us in our journey together… letting the Spirit lead as we go…

Beginning in Grace  – I first ‘met’ Ed Underwood on Twitter years ago and he shared his materials with me. He provides it for free! (And here is the link to his Beginning in Grace Leaders guide.)

There you go! Just some basics. Nothing scary.

Again… Just don’t rely on your own strength. God knows best what the person needs. Pray, pray, pray! Point them to their Good Shepherd.


Other helps:


One of my favourite basic books on living a disciple making lifestyle is:

The Invested Life: Making Disciples of All Nations One Person at a Time

The book asks these key questions:

  1. Who is discipling you?
  2. Who are you discipling?

It shares the makings of a good disciple-maker. Here are some… He/she…

  • practices hospitality (Romans 12:9-13).
  • cares for the whole person (Luke 2:52).
  • helps their team master the basics of the faith (1 Timothy 4:1-5).
  • helps their team learn to share their faith with all people everywhere (1 Timothy 2:1-8).
  • helps their team learn how to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18–20; 2 Timothy 2:2).
  • helps their team members become wise spiritual leaders (1 Timothy 3:1-10).

Related articles:

Intentional Friendships

Deep-Spirited Friendships | Soul Shepherding

Quit the Program?

Over 20 Years And No Disciples?

Vibrant Churches: Discipleship Plan

Disciplemaking MOVEments – this is moving fast!

Contagious Disciplemaking

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