By Michael C. Mack
QUESTION: We, as elders, are looking at discipling some of the younger men. Can you suggest some of the best programs or curriculum?
“Start an authentic personal relationship with them. If this doesn’t happen, nothing else will. I work in corporate America, in addition to my roles in the church. I have seen in both entities efforts to ‘assign’ mentors, and this just doesn’t work. You have to have a relationship with someone before you can mentor them.”
—Michael Fountain, elder, Minerva (Ohio) First Christian Church
“My most fruitful times of discipleship have been very purposeful. I’ve been discipling two guys for about 18 months. We spent the first six months learning to read the Bible, journal, and pray. At the beginning, we brainstormed potential commitments we could make in order to walk more closely with God (things like reading and journaling about three chapters of the Bible between now and next week, and picking one person at work to pray for every day this week). Every few weeks, we’d choose one of the ideas and commit to doing it for a week. Then we’d come back the next week and talk about how it went.”
—Brian Jennings, lead minister, Highland Park Christian Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma
“Jesus mentored by taking the 12 with him. They watched him minister to the sick and listened to him teach principles of the kingdom. Then he sent them out to do the same as they had seen and heard him do. Mentoring out of books is OK, but there comes a time when those being mentored need to go out and put what they were taught into practice.”
—Richard Sprague, Elder, Kempton (Indiana) Christian Church.
“Schedule time with him. Pray with him, testify to him, confess to him, and then . . . listen to him without trying to ‘drive his car.’ Eventually, he will begin to lead those prayers, testify, confess . . . and listen to you without trying to drive your car. No curriculum required. Just the Scripture you are internalizing. We already know a lot more Scripture than we are doing.”
—Frank Summers, church planter, New Beginnings Church, West Tawakoni, Texas