In order to grow in spiritual maturity, discipleship is a helpful and Biblical method to use. There are various ways that discipleship aids in maturity. Discipleship is a unique and holistic approach to faith and community.
What are some discipleship ideas to help me grow in spiritual maturity? Ideas for discipleship can include, consistent meetings, vulnerability, accountability, prayer, fasting, corporate worship, Bible study, scripture memorization, setting goals, and using available resources. There are over 20 discipleship ideas to grow in spiritual maturity.
In this blog, I have listed and explained 20 discipleship. The following discipleship ideas can be used for all ages, whether it is children, teenagers, adults, or seniors. These are 20 practical and Biblical examples of discipleship. These can be used by the discipler, and for the disciple.
20 Discipleship Ideas
Discipleship is beneficial and crucial for all ages and all stages of faith development. We make disciples because Jesus clearly commanded us to. Discipleship is personal. It is walking alongside someone in his or her life, teaching that individual about the principles of the Bible and the life of Jesus. Discipleship is an on-going process. First, an individual is discipled. Then, that same disciple learns to disciple others.
Your goal as a disciple-maker is to equip your disciple in the way of faith. You ultimately want your disciple to be equipped and ready to disciple others. This may be a long process but it is the ultimate goal. If you are the one being discipled, your role is to soak up as much wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that you can. This comes from prayer, studying the scriptures, using your resources, and gleaning from other people of faith. Eventually, you to will be able to lead others in this process.
1. Consistent Meetings
One of the most important aspects of discipleship is consistency. There must be consistent meetings and communication. At times it may be impossible to meet this based on certain circumstances. If this cannot be attained, there should be as much virtual communication as possible. Whether this is through email, messaging, writing letters, or phone calls, these efforts should be made.
The best time to meet is weekly. The next would be biweekly. Try to work something out for both the disciple and the discipler. If the meetings occur at the same time and day during the week that is also beneficial. In addition to in-person meetings, stay in contact throughout the week, or at least have the opportunity available for phone calls, and text messages.
In order to take discipleship to the next level, there must be vulnerability on both ends. The discipler sets the tone for this by his or her own vulnerability. This doesn’t mean that the discipler has to share all personal information. Especially use wisdom if stories of a wild past would portray the wrong view to a new believer that these things are okay or glorified in your testimony.
Don’t press too hard into personal issues, especially at the beginning of discipleship. Offer an option to opt-out of answering personal questions. For example, say something like this, “Would you be willing to tell me more about your relationship with your sister? There is no pressure either way.” As a disciple, be willing and brave to be vulnerable. Allow your trusted mentor to know you on deeper levels to allow them to speak life into those situations.
Accountability is being honest about where you are. Its honesty about struggles, fears, and areas of sin. Accountability exposes darkness and allows the light to come in. Keep in touch with one another each time you meet up. Additionally, allow the option for immediate contact if needed. If your disciple struggles with specific temptations, keep your phone readily available and encourage them to call you whenever they feel tempted.
You can also be vulnerable as a disciple-maker. Include your disciple with some of your struggles to show that you can relate. This also empowers the disciple to feel needed and as if they have something to bring to the table. Of course, always be careful in what you share as the disciple-maker. Heavy issues should be shared with your own mentor.
Discipleship is much like friendship. Allow yourself to become close with the person like you would with a sister, brother, friend, or parent, depending on the age range. Retain healthy boundaries, but don’t get caught up in too much professionalism. In Christ, we are a family and a community.
5. Partake in Daily Life Together
Whenever possible, partake in daily life together. You can carpool, run errands, work on projects together, and do fun activities together. This provides more opportunity for discussion and the building of trust and relationship. If you are the disciple-maker, support your disciple in their sporting events, and extra-curricular activities.
Prayer is a crucial aspect in all areas of faith, especially spiritual maturity and discipleship. It reveals to us who God is. It helps us conform our broken will to God’s perfect will. Teach your disciple to prayer. Pray together and pray for one another. Furthermore, pray about all things and before all things. Open up your meetings with prayer and close them with prayer.
Fasting has been a part of the faith since the beginning. It commonly goes alongside prayer, and petition to the Lord. It is not required but it is beneficial. Most Christians who regularly fast speak highly of the depth they have with the Lord during that time. Jesus Himself fasted, as well as His disciples and their disciples.
8. Faith Building
To reach spiritual maturity, faith is necessary. Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him.” We must have faith to continue to grow deeper in intimacy with the Lord.
One easy way to build faith is by keeping a prayer journal. Write specific prayers down and then look back at them later. Many times these prayers are answered in one way or another, even if it wasn’t what we were initially expected.
9. Bible Study
To grow in maturity, believers must know what the Bible says. They must know what God is for and what He is against. This is necessary to walk in holiness and to forsake old ways of sin. Additionally, the more we know about the Bible, the more we honor, revere, love, and desire God. Read the Bible together and follow study questions or use a Bible study supplement to lead you through the process.
10. Rely on the Holy Spirit
When it comes to discipleship and growing in spiritual maturity, don’t rely on yourself too much. Do what you can to grow, yet don’t fall into a works mentality that states that you receive your right standing with the Lord through the things you do or don’t do.
Philippians 2:13 explains, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Ask the Holy Spirit to help you in your weakness. Continue your personal walk but trust the Lord for your confidence and strength.
11. Corporate Worship
Gather corporately for worship. This can be at a church, an event, or with a couple people. Worship is a powerful thing to experience. Throughout history, believers gathered together for worship. We should also follow this model in our discipleship.
12. Group Gatherings
In the same way, we should gather in group settings. This allows the disciple to be around other people who are being disicpled. This is encouraging and refreshing as disciples realize they have people to relate to. Furthermore, it opens up the opportunity for the disciple to reach out to other strong believers and leaders. It is not bad for a disciple to have various people they meet with or rely on during their process of growth.
13. Scripture Memorization
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Memorizing scripture is one way to do this. The more scripture we understand and have readily available, the better. It serves as a comfort in a hard time or conviction in a time of temptation.
14. Serve in Ministry
Serve together in ministry. Whether that is through a local church or a volunteer program. Hands-on and interactive opportunities allow for greater depths of training. It also allows the disciple to ask more questions about the faith or ministry that wouldn’t come up in conversation otherwise.
15. Set Goals
Personal and collective goals should be set. What does the disciple want to grow in or receive? What does the disciple-maker want to accomplish? These things should be clearly stated and worked towards.
16. Set Aside Time Daily
Both the disciple and disciple-maker should set aside daily time to grow their own faith. True maturity cannot be achieved if the only time of prayer, scripture reading, and worship occurs during meetings. To grow to maturity and to be successful in receiving discipleship and discipling others, this is crucial. If we do not fill ourselves with the Lord, then we will pour out our flesh in our interactions and ministry.
17. Listen to Podcasts
Either listen to podcasts together or assing podcasts to your disciple. Podcasts are an easy and practical way for the understanding of scripture, especially for new believers who do not know how to study the Bible. The Bible can be very confusing, podcasts can give a disciple a quicker understanding and a head start for their Bible readings.
18. Books, Commentaries & Resources
Books and commentaries are helpful resources for growth in particular areas of struggles. Additionally, they give background to scripture. They can answer questions about scripture quickly to save the disciple from pro-longed confusion. The more immersed a disciple is, the better. The disciple will grow faster when they are surrounded by various resources. Therefore, worship music, Christian music, podcasts, books, apps, and other internet resources are extremely beneficial.
19. Attend Events and Conferences
Events and conferences are also impactful experiences for disciples and disciple-makers. They can rekindle the fire, or start a fire. They are refreshing and inspiring. They give new perspectives, testimonies of God’s faithfulness, and strategies.
20. Meet in a Local Church
Consistency within a local church is critical. By meeting in a local church, the disciple and disciple-maker are being fed the word of God and our being encouraged by other believers. Christians need a community. In fact, community was God’s design. The gathering of believers was God’s design.
Hebrews 10:23-25 declares. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”