On page 175 of the book, "Joining Jesus - Show Me How," free copies of the Discipling Plan/Template are offered for your use. You may make as many copies of the Plan/Template (below) as you need.
“My Plan for Discipling Others”
It’s time to craft your plan for intentionally and consistently discipling your family and friends. Use the template below to help you craft your plan. The template will help you answer three basic questions: Who will I disciple? Why am I discipling them? How will I disciple them?
Who will I disciple to join Jesus on his mission?
(Who is willing and ready? Who do you think Jesus is leading you to invite into a discipling relationship?)
How will I invite the person(s) into a discipling relationship?
- Write out your invitation. Be sure the expectations are clearly but winsomely communicated.
Tip: Give the Gift of Clear Expectations
Many discipling plans veer off course right away because the invitation we offer lacks clarity regarding expectations. There is no secret about what the process of discipling requires. So be clear in your invitation. An example is the following:
I would like to invite you into a discipling relationship with me [or into a discipling group with me] for the next ten weeks [or whatever number of weeks it will be]. Our goal will be to learn how to seek God’s kingdom and join Jesus’ mission as part of our everyday lives. Are you interested?
(Sure, what does it involve?)
I’d like for you to do three things:
- Every day, I would like for you to follow Jesus around in one of the gospels and take note of what he gives you to believe and do. Don’t worry about what you don’t understand. Just take note of what you do understand. I will do the same thing.
- I would like for you to then look for opportunities throughout the day to put Jesus’ beliefs and practices into play for the good of others. I will do the same thing.
- Once a week, you and I will meet together [or meet together with our group, or meet via FaceTime, etc.] to talk through what we have experienced as we sought to follow Jesus in everyday life.
We will do that as best we can for the next [several] weeks and see what Jesus teaches us. We can then decide if we want to continue or call it good.
When and where will we have our Missional Community gather?
(What options are sustainable for everyone? When you find the best choice, prioritize it in everyone’s calendar.)
- Number of weeks we will meet:
Why are we meeting? What is our discipling goal?
(Example: “Our goal is to help each other learn how to seek God’s kingdom and join Jesus on his mission as part of our everyday lives.”)
- Write down your discipling goal so you can remind each other of it every time you meet:
How will I help the person(s) I am discipling engage Jesus’ discipling process of “Proclamation, Imitation/Participation, and Replication?”
My Plan for Proclamation:
In the Gospels, Jesus begins his training process by engaging his followers with his spoken-truth. He says, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life” (John 6:63). I will facilitate the same kind of training for the person(s) I am discipling by having them listen for Jesus in…
1) The Gospels: I will ask them to take time every day to follow Jesus around in one of the Gospels and take note of what he is giving them to believe and do. To help facilitate this, I will encourage them to ask themselves, “As a result of what I have received from Jesus in the Gospels today, what is one thing he is giving me to believe and do?” I will do the same thing. (Note: devotional tools can be helpful, but don’t substitute tools for reading the Gospels.)
- We will each follow Jesus around in the Gospel of ___________________.(Choose one: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John)
2) Congregational Preaching & Teaching: I will ask them to seek out a Christ-centered congregation every week and listen for what Jesus is giving them through its preaching and teaching ministries. I will do the same thing.
3) The Conversation of Missional Community: I will ask them to participate with me every week in the reflection and conversation of Missional Community and listen for what Jesus is giving them through the stories and insights shared.
My Plan for Imitation/Participation:
In the Gospels, Jesus continues his training process by inviting his followers to join him on his mission in everyday life and then regularly taking time to be alone with them for reflection and conversation about what they are learning while on mission with him. I will facilitate the same kind of training for the person(s) I am discipling by having them…
1) Join Jesus Daily with the 5 Mission Practices & His 5 Lifestyle Practices: As part of their daily lives, I will ask them to look for opportunities to join Jesus on his mission and imitate his lifestyle practices for the good of others. I will do the same thing.
2) Gather in Missional Community Weekly: I will ask them to gather in Missional Community for reflection and conversation about what they are learning while on mission with Jesus. I will utilize the 5 Discipling Practices (below) in order to frame and direct our time together.
A Sample Agenda for Our Missional Community:
- People arrive and catch up with each other.
- Find out what Jesus may already be up to by asking, “How’s Jesus been messing with you this week? What questions are you asking?”
- When ready, open with prayer and restate the Discipling Goal.
- Remind each other of our “True Identity and Mission in Christ,” and “In Here is for Out There.” (Discipling Practices 1 and 2)
- Prompt reflection and conversation with the 5 Questions. (Discipling Practice 3)
- When helpful, remind each other “All of That is Still This.” (Discipling Practice 4)
- Leave time at the end for the following questions: (Break into smaller groups if you need to save time.)
"What insight did you receive today and how can you put it into action this week?” (Discipling Practice 5)
“What small part of our experience today can you replicate with your family or friends during the coming week? How did it go last week?”
“How can we help you with prayer?”
The 5 Discipling Practices:
1. Remember Our True Identity and Mission in Christ
This is who we are; this is what we have; and this is what we do.
2. In Here is for Out There
What we do in here with our Missional Community is for the sake of joining Jesus on his mission out there, replicating our training with others out there, and eventually multiplying our group so that more people can be discipled out there.
3. Ask Good Questions
We use the 5 Questions as a starting point for prompting reflection and conversation.
4. All of That is Still This
All the many details of theology still boil down to this: we are restored in Jesus and called to imitate his simple Lifestyle Practices for the good of others.
5. Insight into Action
We take time to plan how we can turn our insights into action steps for the coming week.
My Plan for Replication:
In the Gospels, the third part of Jesus’ training process is Replication. Soon after he begins training his followers, we see Jesus sending them out to begin replicating their training with others. This is the key to multiplying his redemptive movement. I will facilitate the same kind of training by having them…
1) Ask, “What part can I replicate at home?” As noted in the Sample Agenda above, toward the end of each Missional Community gathering, I will ask, “What small part of our experience today can you replicate with your family or friends during the coming week?” By taking small but intentional steps like this, they gain experience in how to disciple others. I will routinely ask them how it is going.
- Over time, as their experience and confidence grows, I will help them fill out their own Discipling Plan for their family or friends so they can become even more intentional and consistent in discipling them.
2) Take Turns Leading the Missional Community as Training: I will help each person gain experience in leading a Missional Community by having them take turns leading our group through the agenda. I will initiate this as soon as everyone is comfortable with the rhythms of our gatherings. Then we will rotate the leadership role each week. The goal is to prepare them to eventually multiply and lead new Missional Communities.
- When they are ready, I will help them begin a new Missional Community.
Summary Statements for Mission and Discipling
Frequently review the summary statements below in order to consistently bring clarity to the people you are discipling.
- What is the mission of God?
According to God, his mission is to redeem and restore all things through Jesus.
- What is our mission mindset?
Jesus is pursuing his Father’s mission and he invites us to join him. We don’t go for Jesus. We go with Jesus. He does all the heavy lifting of redeeming and restoring human lives. We just get to help.
- How do we join Jesus every day?
Joining Jesus on his mission is as simple as enjoying the people around us, investing in a couple pre-Christian friends, and then seeking, recognizing, and responding to what Jesus is already up to in their lives. The 5 Mission Practices and 5 Lifestyle Practices of Jesus help facilitate this.
- What is discipling?
According to Jesus in the Gospels, discipling is the process of showing the people of God how to participate in the mission of God as a daily lifestyle.
- What are we discipling people to do?
We disciple people to imitate the simple, redemptive lifestyle practices of Jesus.
- How do we disciple people?
We invite people to join Jesus on his mission and help them engage his discipling process of “Proclamation, Imitation/Participation, and Replication.”