One effective method of equipping the saints is through discipleship. Many effective discipleship approaches exist, but one of the simplest, most rewarding methods, is one-on-one discipleship. This method is also called life-on-life or mentoring. Since my college days, I have personally utilized this method as one of the ways to obey the command in Matthew 28:19 to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”
5 reasons to disciple one-on-one
1. One-on-one discipleship develops lasting friendships.
When two people work together towards spiritual maturity, the Holy Spirit connects their hearts in a way that is difficult to describe. They grow together while they grow in the Lord. Trust is built, accountability is established and encouragement is close at hand.
2. One-on-one discipleship is flexible in schedule.
Since this method involves only two individuals, meeting places and times can be very flexible. Even when traveling, you can utilize your mobile phone, smart device or computer to connect virtually.
3. One-on-one discipleship modeling.
The good news with this method is that the person being discipled can see your life “up close and personal.” The bad news with this method is that the person being discipled can see your life “up close and personal.” As the disciple-maker, we cannot model perfection, but we can model a godly, consistent Christian life.
4. One-on-one discipleship has staying power.
Because of the built-in relationship and accountability factors, this model is very effective over time. One-on-one discipleship relationships can last a lifetime and equipping can happen in both directions.
5. Almost anyone can disciple one-on-one.
Any Christian who is sincere about his walk with Christ can build into the life of another person. You can start where you are! You can share what you know. You can learn together!
Steve Rice is team leader for church consulting and revitalization of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.