While discipleship activities include those contained in the Relating and Events tabs, this tab contains ideas and resources for one-to-one discipling or mentoring.
Women are more likely to miss out on discipleship / mentoring opportunities, because male leaders will often be cautious of having regular 1-1 meetings with women in the church – and many churches still only have males in leadership.
One-to-one mentoring is particularly useful for:
- Leaders, who may be isolated by people’s expectations, and face pressures that are less able to be discussed in a group setting
- Mature Christians, who are often in informal leadership, and may be concerned that knowledge of their own faith struggles will cause others to stumble
- Individuals who do not fit into any of the natural groupings within the church
- People who are isolated due to illness or other factors
How to begin mentoring or 1-1 guidance relationships
These can be formal, with a planned approach (see worksheet below) or informal.
Formal mentoring can be set up by the church leadership team, where leaders or potential leaders are paired with more experienced leaders in the church or from another church. The Baptist Women’s Board have finished trialling a programme for this purpose, “Tuakana”, and are happy to guide churches into doing this.
1-1 informal discipleship naturally occurs when one person builds respect of another after observing them for a time, and then approaches them for guidance. This can be one-off, or it could develop into an ongoing thing.
Or it can occur in the other direction, where a mature Christian approaches a newer Christian and offers to teach them skills, introduce them to a new ministry, or just hang out with them.
It can also be set up as part of a programme. For example, if people are invited to fill in a form which invites them to sign up for a chat with a complimentary coffee at a local cafe.
- Talking about how our work / ministry is progressing, any issues or roadblocks
- Conversations with planned or unplanned topics
- Reading and discussing the Bible together
- Reading and discussing a book on theology
- Prayer journal keeping, with discussions
- Action plans and reporting back – appropriate if there is a goal in mind
Discussion questions / topics
These questions can be asked by mentor or mentee, so they are phrased ‘we’, but they don’t have to be one followed by the other.
- What spiritual disciplines do we connect with most?
- What does our prayer life look like at its best? What methods did we use at what time?
- How do we act when we’re upset at how things have gone in our life?
- Are we ever angry at God?
- How do we remember to follow Jesus faithfully through the day?
- When and how do we feel attacked?
- How do we fight temptations?
- How is the best way to hold each other to account?
- Whose life story has affected us the most?
- What steps are useful for improving our walk with God
- What is a significant event in our Christian walk?
- How do we share our faith with others?
Mentoring planning worksheet
Fill out a worksheet with the following questions:
- Goals for mentoring relationship – what do you want to work on?
- What my mentor/mentee can expect from me
- What I expect from my mentor/mentee
- Duration and frequency of meetings
- We will assess progress by reflecting on…
- Questions I could ask…
- Questions I might be asked…