For this purpose, we recommend that the entire 52 lessons be used.
Alternatively, the following 14 lessons for the one-on-one discipling:
- Saving Faith
- The Gospel
- Evidence of Salvation
- Eternal Security (3 lessons)
- Position and Practice
- The Law and the New Testament Christian
- Christian Growth and Spiritual Victory (4 lessons)
The program has the following objectives:
Discipleship of every member - The first goal is to give some basic Bible teaching to every church member. They will have opportunity to ask questions and get answers. Paul’s goal in Colossians 1:28 should be that of every church: “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” No member should be left behind.
Training teachers - The second goal is to provide a means for training new teachers and an opportunity for the people to develop spiritual gifts. The program provides opportunities for serious ministry, including opportunities for the more mature young people. The best way to learn is to teach. According to The Learning Pyramid, developed from research by the National Training Laboratories in Bethel, Maine, we retain 5% from hearing a lecture, 10% from reading, 20% from an audio-visual presentation, 30% from a demonstration, 50% from a group discussion, 75% from practice, and 90% from teaching others. This is because the act of teaching something to others requires that the teacher understand the material himself. Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
Multiplying the ministry - The program takes some of the teaching workload from the leaders.
Fellowship - Another goal is to help develop closer relationships between church members and to encourage them to talk about spiritual things rather than worldly and vain things of no eternal value.
The program is set up in the following way:
The first step is to select qualified disciplers. These can include older teens that meet the standards. Some basic suggested requirements are as follows:
- A good Christian testimony
- Submissive attitude to authority
- Agreement with the church’s doctrine and practice
- Having read the Bible through at least once
- Having the ability to teach others in a one-on-one private context
- Having the time to devote to this project
The potential teachers study the first lesson on their own and prepare to teach it.
The church leaders set up training sessions to go through the course, hitting the high points of the lessons and providing teaching tips. During the training sessions, the potential teachers present a portion of a lesson to the leaders and the other trainees, after which they are critiqued.
When the teachers are deemed ready, they are prayerfully assigned a student, female students being assigned to a female teacher and male students to a male teacher.
The next step is for the teachers to set up appointments with their students to meet with them privately and to go through the material. They should meet consistently once a week, except for emergencies.
The leaders should try to attend some of the first lessons to provide further training and to make sure that the teacher is effective.
The leaders must monitor the program to make sure that the teachers are actually meeting with their students and making good progress and to see if there are any problems. They also need a brief report from the disciplers as to the spiritual progress of the students. A monthly teacher’s meeting is a good way to facilitate this follow-up. All of the disciplers can be present to give reports in person. Or one person can be put in charge of the discipling program, and he can collect the weekly reports and present them to the leaders.
Another option is to appoint two-person teams for discipling. A more mature and knowledgeable and gifted Christian is teamed with a younger or newer or less gifted Christian. The teaching can be done by one of the team members or by both, depending on the situation. The older team member is responsible to help develop the newer one. If the second members of the teams mature and prove themselves, they can become leaders in new teams.
The teachers should try to get to know the person they are discipling. They should encourage the person to ask questions and try to give answers. But they should avoid acting like an expert (unless they are), and if they aren’t sure of the answer to a question they should say that they will try to find the answer that week and will given an answer in the next session.
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