One of the big hurdles for first time disciple makers is not knowing how to get a discipleship relationship started. Some people can intuit where and how to start with the person they’re working with. Unfortunately, those people aren’t the only ones called to make disciples- we all are. We created a tool called “The Talk” that helps set expectations in a new discipleship relationship for both the disciple and the disciple maker. Here are three versions of the “The Talk” for three different situations.
This tool can be used when you first start with someone who identifies as a Christian but has not been discipled. It covers the definition of discipleship, their self assessment, the importance of Growth Rhythms (spiritual disciplines) and the format of your time together (Meet-Ups). Find it here.
The time right after someone comes to faith is critical. We use this version of the “The Talk” to review that person’s decision by unpacking the Gospel and Lordship with them. We also introduce some simple Growth Rhythms and cover how Meet-Ups work. Find it here.
Believe it or not, non-Christians will get into discipleship relationships with you if they are curious or feel God’s calling. This version of “The Talk” helps people understand how their curiosity could be an invitation from God into relationship. It also explains what they should be looking for when exploring Jesus and what belief really looks like. Find it here.
Why Use “The Talk”?
Having a way to explain definitions, direction, and expectations early in a discipleship relationship helps avoid a lot frustration for both disciples and disciple makers. If someone is clearly not on board with the direction and format of your discipleship, its better to get that out early.
Using the actual tool of “The Talk” instead of just improvising that conversation increases reproducibility. When it’s time for your disciple to start discipling someone else, its easy to hand them “The Talk” and say, “Remember when we read this? Now do that with your new disciple.” It’s tougher to say, “Remember when we talked about all that stuff several months ago like…? Now you have that same talk with your disciple.”
When everyone in your ministry is using “The Talk” you’re creating and preserving a disciple making culture. Our churches need a disciple making culture more than a few discipleship relationships here and there. We are always looking to expand our pool of potential disciple makers to strengthen that culture. It’s easier for us to approach potential disciple makers with this tool in our hand than just giving some advice and wishing them well.