How to Begin Disciple Making

Starting Line

“Keep the first things first.”  I have no idea who coined this phrase, but it is a good rule of thumb in disciple making.

Let’s begin by seeing how Jesus began His disciple making process:

In Luke 6:12-13 we get a big glimpse into the beginning of Jesus’ disciple making process.  THIS is the epitome of keeping the first things first!

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:

Prayer is the first of the first things.

Please note in the verses above that Jesus had many disciples.  Disciples are followers.  Apostles were  those sent out as messengers with delegated authority.  Keep in mind that the goal of all disciple making efforts is that we produce disciple-making disciples.

It is critical to never forget the goal of disciple making is to make disciple-making disciples.

Jesus prayed all night long for the twelve disciples/apostles.  I don’t know about you, but I have never spent an entire night in prayer for anything.  I have however, prayed for those whom He would choose for me to disciple.  Most of the time I didn’t have a particular person in mind.  It was interesting to begin praying for that someone, or someones, without any prior knowledge of who they would be.

I have performed this process many times in my adult life and I know the seriousness involved in praying for those whom you will disciple.  These would-be disciples are not unknown to our Father, but they may be to us.  There is a divine sense of anticipation when a disciple maker prays for that someone, or someones, they will be discipling.  I know as I pray for whomever He pleases that my life will be impacted as much, if not more, than those I would be discipling.  I knew I would be making disciples, but more than this, I knew I would be exquisitely gifted with forever friends and fellow soldiers in Christ’s army.  We will spend a minimum of eighteen months together, if not longer.  We wouldn’t just meet for discipleship training, we would socialize together, fellowship together, worship together, etc.  Disciple Making is wrapping our life around the lives of those we disciple, not merely one time per week, but truly knowing one another and doing life together.

So PRAY and ask the Lord to bring someone, or a couple of someones, into your path and invite them to join you in discipleship training.  The journey you embark on together will be the best thing you will ever do for yourself, your disciples, and for His kingdom.

A few qualifications for screening discipleship candidates:

  1. Do they have a hunger and thirst for His righteousness?
  2. Do they understand the commitment they are making?  Time:  study time, memorizing scripture, Bible reading, etc.
  3. Are they willing to make the commitment?

While this list may seem limited, they are the starting point.  Lay out the time commitment up front.  We live in a very hurried culture, so make certain they understand that discipleship training will be their highest priority for the next – however long you determine.  If you use discipleship curriculum, you will know how long the commitment will be.

Happy disciple making, brothers and sisters!  May He richly bless the desire of your heart to make disciples for His kingdom.


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The disciplines of the faith are not meant to be dogmatic or legalistic; they are simply a testament of our faithfulness and devotion to the Lord.

Journaling will undoubtedly be more random than some of the other disciplines of the faith such as bible reading and prayer because the pressures on our time are relentless. However, some do and will journal daily.

I can testify to the validity and veracity of journaling. I do not journal daily, but I have in the past.

Four compelling reasons to journal:

Journaling facilitates encountering God

Journaling is a written testimony of the work the Lord is doing in our lives. Journaling always follows bible reading and begins with a response to what you have read. We respond to whatever He has revealed to us in our reading for the day. It may be a few verses, a phrase, or a powerful conviction that spoke to you. Respond to it by pouring your heart out to Him.

Journaling gives us freedom to be who we are

Journaling is where we can be as honest and raw as we want. It is a place to lay out the secret grudges, fears, and pain that we are bearing. He is a very big God who can handle it all and wash it clean. He will give us His perspective when we submit it to His lordship. We will find answers and a line of attack for dealing with the darkest parts of our soul.

Journaling is a healing conversation with God

Journaling is a place of receiving. We spill our fears, concerns, and burdens which we might never share with another human being and find healing in the release.

Journaling creates stones of remembrance

Stones of remembrance are seen throughout the Old Testament. When the Israelites crossed the Jordan to take the land God promised to them, they set up stones of remembrance that they could return to and remember the mighty work of God on their behalf.

Your journal is something you can go back to from time to time and witness the growth and transformation that has taken place.

Those fears, burdens, confessions, etc. will seem trivial in light of the work He has wrought in the process of journaling and prayer. You will recall where you were at the time and how you were feeling and know the spilling of it on paper – to the Lord – marked a moment of healing, cleansing and transformational growth.

Examples of Journaling

I found a few images of art journaling, prayer journaling, and bible journaling which I thought might prompt some creativity in your journaling. Not all of us are artists, but as I look at these images I see the amount of time that was put into them – time that was invested in glorifying the Lord and impacting the journalist’s soul.



from Anita at




Prayer Journal from Daniella Dickens on Pinterest


From Tumbler – author unknown – Bible Journaling


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Enjoy journaling for the glory of the Lord and the cleansing of your soul and spirit!

Let us know if this article was helpful to you.


Copyright: enterline / 123RF Stock Photosoft backlit background.

Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
Psalm 96:9

How would you define and describe worship?


For many years of my life, I believed worship was a noun.  In my limited experience and knowledge, worship was going to church.

It was a revelation to grow in knowledge and come to realize that worship wasn’t just a noun, it is also a verb. I believe with my whole heart that worship is a state of being verb.

When I came to know Jesus as my Savior and Lord, He opened my intellect in ways I could never have imagined. I LOVE the Word of God. I love the Word of God so much that I spend hours studying it and gleaning its meaning with the use of heavy reference books that magnify the meaning of the words in the original language. I find joy in mining the inexhaustible depth of His Word.

Through life experiences and circumstances I have learned to LOVE the God of the Word. I now find joy in His presence and person as well as His Word.

Having come to this revelation, I wonder at how I missed loving the God of the Word for so many years.

No one taught me to love the God of the Word. It is so much easier to teach others to love the Word of God than it is to teach them to love the God of the Word.

Loving the Word of God comes more naturally. It is tangible. We can see it, touch it, hear it…basically we experience it with our senses.

Loving the God of the Word is otherworldly. It is indescribable. However, it is not beyond our reach.

Human beings are created with an innate capability for worship. We are hard-wired to worship. The object of our worship is what needs to be re-directed when we come to salvation through Jesus.

As Americans enter into the Natl. Football League season, I am astonished at the lengths to which humans enter into worshiping their favorite team. I wonder what our churches would look like if we brought that enthusiastic worship into the sanctuary. We could all put on our Jesus jerseys and pray for a victorious church. Well, you get the analogy.

Worship is a state of being

Worship takes place in the church, but it is so much more than that.

Worship is a state of mind, emotion, and being. When we love the Lord, we transfer our worship from the tangible to The Intangible God. The life force within us is dedicated and consecrated to the Holy One of the universe.


Teach Them to Worship

The best way of teaching a disciple to worship the Savior, Jesus and their God, the unseen Creator of the Universe, the unseen Provider, the God of Truth and the God of Justice, etc. is to ask them to stop and examine who God is as He reveals Himself in the Word.

God reveals Himself and who He is throughout His Word, we just need to slow down and pay attention to what He says about Himself.

Reading the Bible is another discipline of the faith, but so is worshiping Him. Teach disciples to slow down and pay attention to what He says about Himself.


Psalm 24
Of David. A psalm.
1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
2 for he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the waters.
3 Who may ascend the hill of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to an idol
or swear by what is false.
5 He will receive blessing from the LORD
and vindication from God his Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, O God of Jacob. Selah

Here is what we can know and worship about our God from Psalm 24:

  1. The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it [v. 1]
  2. The world and all who live in it are His [v. 1]
  3. He established the world upon the waters [v. 2]
  4. He has a hill [v. 2]
  5. Only the pure can ascend God’s hill [v. 3-4]
  6. He gives blessing and vindication [v. 5]
  7. The pure can seek His face [v. 6]

Responding to who He is in Worship

The more we know about our God and Savior, the more effectively we can worship Him.

Do you see anything in the exercise above that is worthy of our praise and worship? If so, how would you respond in prayer?

Methods of Worship

The methods and forms of worship are as diverse as the people who practice them.

Here is a short list to kick-start your worshiping the Lord and teaching others the importance of it:

  • Music
  • Singing
  • Raising Hands
  • Open Hands
  • Prayer
  • Silence in His presence
  • Adoration
  • Obedience
  • Surrender
  • Dedication
  • Service



This short post does not do service to the subject of worship. Please explore for yourself how you express your love and adoration to God. None of us will give the same answers because we are uniquely created by Him to worship Him as He leads.

Practice, practice, practice! The discipline of worship is a lifelong journey of getting to know Him and who He is to facilitate the expansion of our adoration of Him.

Blessings to you in all your endeavors!


19702174 - stack of books

A disciple is a learner.

Make certain the person you are discipling has a hunger for learning or you will be wasting your time. This may sound like a harsh statement, but it is true.

A teacher teaches, but it is incumbent upon the learner to learn. There must be a hunger and thirst for God AND His Word in order for a learner to learn.

Learning the disciplines of the faith is tedious toil. It is only achieved and perfected by those who are willing to commit themselves wholly to the Lord.

Pray for them. Pray the Proverbs for them. For example:

  • Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
    Father, I pray you grant a healthy fear of You to (name of disciple). Let (him/her) not despise the wisdom and discipline set forth for (him/her) in the process of discipleship training.
  • Proverbs 4:7 – Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
    Father, I pray you will give (name of disciple) a panting hunger for your wisdom; give (him/her) a sacrificial hunger to acquire understanding from Your Word.
  • Proverbs 10:8 – The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
    Lord, I pray you give (name of disciple) a wise heart that will accept your commands. Give (him/her) ears to hear and eyes to see the truth you have for (him/her).

Jesus trained twelve men during His three years of ministry. There were multitudes that followed Him, but He selected only twelve motley men in which to invest Himself. There were three disciples (Peter, James and John) who were privy to more than the other nine; they witnessed the transfiguration of Christ and they were invited to keep watch as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His arrest.

One of the key elements of discipleship is an eagerness to learn and grow spiritually.

The multitude was looking for easy answers, miracles, and a feel-good message; anything that would alleviate their present condition. The multitude wasn’t interested in self-sacrifice and demanding training. Their only concern was for temporal relief, not eternal salvation and wholehearted dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Choose whom you will disciple with colossal wisdom and discernment.

Test their commitment if you are hesitant.

I read a story about a fruitful disciple maker who had a young man pestering him for discipleship training. The young man even moved into an apartment overlooking the house where the prolific disciple maker lived. As the young man continued to ask what he needed to do to be discipled, the disciple maker told him to keep the snow off his driveway and then he would consider further. The prolific disciple maker never had a speck of snow remain on his driveway that entire winter. He knew the young man was earnest and eager to learn by his diligence in keeping the snow off his driveway.

Here are a few things to look for in a potential disciple:

  1. Is he/she eager to learn?
  2. Is he/she reliable? Will he/she commit to daily and/or weekly time with you.
  3. Is he/she available to meet with you and put in the effort (homework, daily bible reading, scripture memorization and journaling) required?
  4. Is he/she faithful?

Or, as a friend of mine examines prospective disciples, she uses this acronym:


Teach Them How to Study and Learn

Let me preface this section with a simple prayer I use when I open God’s Word. It goes like this: “Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.”

This simple prayer sets my heart and mind in a state of listening. My mind tends to wander a bit when I’m reading, so this prayer helps me focus my mind and heart upon hearing what He has to say to me.

Inductive Study Method

I was instructed by my disciple maker to NOT purchase a study bible. She told me it would cause me to become too dependent on another man or woman’s opinion or thought – I needed to learn to study it, interpret it, and apply it for myself. She wanted me to be a Berean (Acts 17:11); one who receives the message with eagerness and examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Since I was an eager learner, I grabbed hold of her instruction and education. The final phase of our discipleship curriculum was to study the book of 1 Thessalonians inductively. My disciple maker used The Navigators’ “Design for Discipleship” series that is still in print today. The seventh, and final, book in that series teaches inductive study methods. It was my first introduction into inductive study methods. Since then I joined in Precept Ministries Bible Studies and eventually went through their training to become an instructor. Needless to say, I am a huge fan of the inductive study method.

The inductive study method was first described to me with an analogy of learning the anatomy of a frog. I could either read about what someone else had written about the anatomy of a frog or I could dissect a frog and learn the anatomy – hands on!

I urge you to teach inductive study methods to educate disciples and you will witness Proverbs 9:9 come to life. “Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.”

Experiential Learning

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Although much less rigid and structured than the inductive study method, experiential learning is accomplished with a Bible Reading Plan.

Bible Reading Plans are readily available online or in your local book store.

I would highly recommend advising a new disciple to read one book of the Bible at a time. The stories are congruent and compelling.

Experiential learning occurs by the power of the Holy Spirit in the following areas:

  • Teaching – The Holy Spirit teaches us what is right.
  • Rebuking – The Holy Spirit teaches us what is not right.
  • Correcting – The Holy Spirit teaches us how to get right.
  • Training in Righteousness – The Holy Spirit teaches us how to stay right.[1]

How are you doing in the Learning discipline of the faith?

Remember, those you disciple will model your lifestyle and practices more than they will your teaching.

In the comments section below, let us know what methods you prefer for teaching disciples to be lifelong learners.


[1] Wiersbe, W.W., & Wiersbe, D. 1986. The elements of preaching: The art of biblical preaching clearly and simply presented.  Tyndale House Publishers: Wheaton, IL.


Man Praying the Word

The first disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. He taught his disciples to pray by giving them a pattern for prayer.  We find it in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4.  We know it as “The Lord’s Prayer,” and many a Christian has memorized it. However, it is a pattern for prayer.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name,”
– Acknowledge He is our Father who resides in heaven and that His name is to be revered.

“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,”
– acknowledge He is sovereign over all the affairs of men and we want His will above our own; submission and humility in prayer

“Give us this day our daily bread,”
– petition Him for our daily needs; i.e., sustenance, harmony, peace, life to the fullest, contentment, whatever our needs for the day may be

“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors,”
– confession time!  Confess your sins (yes, we are all forgiven sinners) and forgive those who have sinned against us.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
– praying He will keep us on the narrow path, that we will not turn to the left or the right, but remain squarely in the shadow of His wings.

Teaching disciples to pray is, to put it lightly, a challenge.

Prayer is a posture we are unaccustomed to assuming. Western culture advances the school of self. Self-sufficiency, self-assurance, self-aggrandizement… There is a constant, droning, self-conversation running through our minds at all times.

Disciple makers teach others to turn their self-conversation into a conversation with the Lord about the things we are wrestling with.

In prayer we are acknowledging The Lord who dwells in heaven and hears our prayers. This is a paradigm shift that will forever change the life and lifestyle of the new and learning disciple.

The first feeble attempts at prayer are challenging for all who have chosen to follow Jesus.


Methodology of Prayer

One of my favorite methods of teaching new disciples to pray powerful and effective prayers (James 5:16) is to introduce The Prayer Hand Illustration, and then teach them to pray the scripture in each of the five areas of prayer.  I believe the Lord delights in hearing His children pray His Word back to Him.  I love hearing my grown children repeat things that I told them when they were small, so I’m sure He delights in the same.



courtesy of The Navigators @

Allow me to walk you through this process.  Teaching prayer will be ongoing throughout your time with those you disciple.  Don’t dump this on them in one sitting.

Go through these five aspects of prayer and concentrate on one of them at a time.  Once they get the hang of it, move to the next.


Examples of praying scripture:


(voice your wonder at who He is)  The Psalms are excellent for praise.

Psalm 18:1 I love you, O Lord, my strength.

Turn it into a prayer:

Father in heaven, I love you because you give me strength for this day. I have no strength of my own to offer; only You make me strong.


(thank Him for what He has done for you)

2 Corinthians 4:13-15 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Turn it into a prayer:

Lord, I thank you for raising the Lord Jesus from the dead so I too am raised from the dead. Thank you for pouring out your grace upon me in overflowing measure.

Thank you for (whatever answers to prayer He has given you)


(praying for others)

Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Romans 8:26-27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

See also: 1 Timothy 2:1-4 there is a list of others whom we should be praying for as well as the main purpose of our prayers for them – [v.4] “that they would be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.”

This aspect of prayer is easier for most.  They know who they want to pray for and what the need is.  The verses above will help them understand it is our duty to pray for others.  It is particularly important to teach those you disciple to pray out loud.  The more they practice, the more comfortable they will be.

How often have others asked you to pray for them?  It occurs quite often in my life.  I have to confess that I would say, “I will pray for you,.”  then neglect praying with them then and there.  I cannot recall how many years it took me to feel comfortable praying on the spot for someone who asks for prayer.  It is second hand now, but please know – particularly for introverts – praying with others is a major hurdle to jump!


(praying for my needs)

Matthew 6:26-27 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

[Note] There is a vast difference between needs and wants. What do you NEED today that you do not currently possess? Is it material, spiritual, or relational? See your life in light of needs versus wants. Pray for both and leave them at His feet today.

Ask Him for your daily needs. Mt. 6:11 – give us today our daily bread

Turn it into a prayer:

Lord, thank you for providing all that I need for this day. I have food to eat, and a home for sleeping. Lord, I ask that you sustain me in this day, give me insight to see You in all my circumstances today.

Pray for your day, let Him know what concerns you have, the needs you have, the desires you have, etc.


(agreeing with God about my sin)

Psalm 41:4 I said, “O Lord, have mercy on me;
heal me, for I have sinned against you.”

Speak each word of Ps. 41:4 as your prayer and confess your sins.

[Note]  If the one you are discipling is a new believer, they may not be able to acknowledge their own sin.  I once had someone tell me, “I didn’t sin this week.”  Teach them from scripture, what sin is and why it needs to be confessed and repented of.  You may need to point out their sin to kick-start their listening to the Holy Spirit in the area of sin.

It is my prayer that this tool for teaching disciples to pray is helpful to you.  The best way they will learn this is to hear you pray for them often.  There is nothing more penetrating to the soul than someone praying for us, out loud, in our presence, with a heart full of love and support.

My prayer for you, dear reader, is that you will grow in your prayer life as a result of this instruction.  I pray He will give you the desire to seek Him all day long and carry on a conversation with Him.  His smile is a blessing that keeps us going and growing!


Bible Reading

Bible Reading

Peter, James, and John fell asleep when Jesus went to pray at Gethsemane and asked them to stay in this place and keep watch. Jesus returned to them three times and found them sleeping. Mark 14:32-41

We read this story and react with embarrassment or mocking at their falling asleep, but the truth is, we are all prone to proverbially fall asleep when it comes to the disciplines of the faith.

When you awaken in the morning, visualize Jesus sitting on your living room couch. He is longing to meet with you every morning. He desires to be the first, but we sleepily walk past Him and get on with the business of our day without giving Him a moment’s thought.

Our lack of discipline causes us to fall asleep when He is waiting for us to meet with Him every morning. This is a ringing siren that we do not fear God enough to give Him the first fruit of our daily lives.

The disciplines of the faith are our first fruit. They are the stuff of which disciples are made and affirmed.

Bible Reading

Why is bible reading such an important discipline to learn?

I would say the most important reason is found in Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than a double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Since the word of God is living and active, meaning it is alive with the Holy Spirit; the very nature and essence of God is with us as we read His Word.  It is in the reading of His Word that He shows up and corrects, rebukes, and encourages us.

Reading your bible daily is a discipline that requires perseverance and a plan.

We all live chaotic lives with pressures and demands, but the discipline of daily bible reading will pay dividends in alleviating the pressure and chaos that threaten to undo us at every turn.

Let the anchor hold! The Word of God is our anchor. It keeps us in safe harbor when the world around us is caught in the tempest.

Find a Bible reading plan and discover what works best for you in completing it.

Many might instruct that Bible reading take place first thing in the morning. However, God doesn’t care the time of day; He only cares that you consistently show up!

Any disciple maker worth their salt will instill the disciplines of the faith.  The fundamental nature of disciples is to follow and model.  If you, as a disciple maker, are reading your bible daily the affect will be obvious to those you disciple.

Go ye, therefore, and make disciples…. Mt. 28:19


Here are a few recommendations for Bible Reading:
  • Go to Blue Letter Bible and choose a Bible Reading Plan
  • Go to Bible Gateway and choose a Bible Reading Plan (available in audio format)
  • Go to The Listener’s Bible; beautifully read by Max McLean (short and sweet)
  • Get up an hour earlier and read in a quiet place
  • Listen to the bible during your morning commute
    • Find a Bible app with audio for your electronic device
  • Read before going to bed
  • Disciple Makers: encourage journaling when reading, then ask them to share some insights when you are together

3 Habits for Hearing His Voice

Hearing His Voice


Luke 8:8 “He who has ears, let him hear.”

As disciples, it is our supreme privilege to hear the voice of our Shepherd, Jesus.

How do we know we are hearing Jesus’ voice and not the voice of an imitator or imposter?

The sheep know their shepherd’s voice.

John 10:4b  …his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

When I became a mother I had the benefit of staying home to be her mother.  Her bedroom was on the second floor of our tiny townhouse. When she would awake from her nap, I would whistle to let her know I was coming to get her.  This tiny baby was able to whistle when she was four months old!

Do you think she recognized her mother’s voice?  She certainly recognized her mother’s whistle – and imitated it well.

Think for a moment about your parents’ voices.  Are you able to recognize those voices in a crowded room?  Indeed we would recognize those voices anywhere, anytime.

Not only do we recognize the voice of our parents, but we recognize the content of their character by the content of their conversation.  We hear their voices in our thoughts; they influence our character all the days of our lives (good and bad).

It is the same with knowing our Shepherd’s voice.  Every steadfast disciple of Christ has learned to recognize His voice and follow it as well as imitate it.

His voice is in our heads and hearts.  Therefore, it comes out of our mouths via the process of transference.

Whatever our hearts are filled with spills out of our mouths unaware.

 “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34b

Have you ever participated in a conversation with a bitter person?
What about an angry person?
What about a Jesus lover?

Think about all your family members and friends for a moment. They are a mixed myriad of characters that have influenced your life story and your voice.

Each person we engage in relationship with has a distinct character aspect to their conversation.  We recognize them by the content of their conversation.

All disciples need to learn to recognize Jesus’ voice by the content of His conversation with us in His Word.

As disciple makers, it is essential we teach those we disciple to hear The Shepherd’s voice.  So, how do we go about teaching the delicate skill of hearing His voice?


There are three critical habits that must be formed in every disciple’s life.  It is not an overnight occurrence but a repetitive, habitual, learned discipline.

#1   Reading God’s Word

“The Word of God is living and active and sharper than a double-edged sword.” Hebrews 4:12

Teach those you are discipling to acknowledge the truth that our God, Savior, and Holy Spirit are present when a saint opens their bible to read.

I have made it a habit of saying this simple prayer as I open my Bible:

 “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10


3 Benefits of a Simple Prayer:

It places us in a position of consciously listening for His voice.
It acknowledges His presence in our midst.
It subjugates our self to His authority over us.


Reading God’s Word is a habit to instill in every soul you disciple.

Teach them to listen for His voice as they read.  Instill in them a fondness for His Word. As they meet Him in His Word, they will become familiar with His voice because it is living and active and sharper than a double-edged sword.

It is noteworthy that we all benefit from journaling after reading.  This is where we process what we have heard.  In this electronic age we are able to journal electronically.  Teach them the discipline of journaling after they read God’s Word.  The journal provides stones of remembrance that we can go back to for encouragement.  It enables us to see the work the Lord has wrought in our lives for His glory and our highest good.

Introduce them to a Bible Reading Plan.  Any Bible Reading Plan for learning to hear His voice is one of the more successful tools for making disciples.

You may discern that a Bible Reading Plan is what will work best for you and those you disciple.  Let the Spirit lead in deciding the best approach for the one you are discipling.


#2   Scripture Memorization

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”  Ps. 119:11

I know, I know – I’m hearing your audible sighs from cyberspace on this one.  However, I can testify to the validity and veracity of scripture memorization.

As a brand new babe in Christ, I was put under the strict discipline of a valiant disciple maker who required me to memorize scripture.  I memorized one verse per week.

Those first memory verses are still hidden in my heart to this day.  They pour forth in my mind and out of my mouth with ease.

I like to refer to scripture memorization as “God’s Tool Box.”  The verses and passages we commit to memory are always with us and are available for God’s purposes as we interact with others in our daily lives.  By memorizing scripture, we are transformed into His living, breathing representatives to a lost world.

Why Memorize Scripture

Allow me to borrow a superb list of scripture memorization benefits from John Piper. I am giving him full credit and linking to his blog post called “Why Memorize Scripture.”  I could not have constructed a better list.  (The link to this article can be activated by clicking on the title, “Why Memorize Scripture.”

  • Conformity to Christ
  • Daily Triumph Over Sin
  • Daily Triumph Over Satan
  • Comfort and Counsel for People You Love
  • Communicating the Gospel to Unbelievers
  • Communion with God

Scripture Memorization Chuck Swindoll

Helps for Memorizing Scripture

Topical Memory System
The Topical Memory System has been used by generations of Disciple Makers and is a proven means for memorizing scripture verses that encounter life’s various demands.  Published by The Navigators.

Scripture Typer
An excellent free app for your electronic devices called ScriptureTyper.  You type in your memory verses and this app helps you memorize it by displaying some of the words of the verse (every other word) and you fill in the missing words.  You can also type the verse from memory until you have mastered it.


#3 Prayer

What does prayer have to do with hearing His voice?

Prayer is our conversation with God, therefore prayer is a two-way conversation.

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Isa. 64:24

The prompting we receive to go to prayer is from Him.

In the midst of prayer He hears us.

Teaching those you disciple to pray is critical to their progress as a disciple.

Can you imagine going through your entire life never communicating with the people you love?

How can we say we love Jesus if we never communicate with Him?

Prayerlessness isolates us from God and His mountain-moving power.

Prayer is where we get to know Him and His voice, but He also gets to know us and our voice.  Prayer is where He transforms us into His image.  He changes our mind, He corrects us, and He transfers His character into us.

Prayer is beneficial on many levels:

Prayer humbles us.
Prayer places us in His presence.
Prayer is our lifeblood to the ruler of the universe.
Prayer puts us in touch with the one who has all the answers.
He assures us He is in our midst while we are in prayer.
He answers prayer.
He prompts our spirit to pray for matters we do not foresee.

Here is a link to The Prayer Hand.  It is a tool for teaching disciples to pray.

In conclusion, let us all discipline ourselves in such a manner as is pleasing to God.  Let us draw near to Him that He might draw near to us and speak into our heart and soul that we might have ears to hear His voice.

Please comment below and let us know if this article has been helpful for you.  We invite conversation at Disciple Makers!

The Bridge

The Bridge Illustration

The Bridge Illustration

One of the most important tools in a disciple maker’s toolbox is The Bridge Illustration.

It is one of the most effective evangelism tools on the planet!  I don’t know where it originated, but I have used this tool with great effectiveness for many years.

Whether the person you are discipling has been a church attender for many years or knows absolutely nothing about Jesus, this tool delivers the full power of the Holy Spirit whenever and wherever it is deployed.  As you engage in disciple making you will discover that most people lean on their church attendance as evidence that they are a child of God or they don’t know anything about Him at all.  There is often a complete lack of understanding why Jesus had to die on the cross.  They may think they know God, but they do not have a living and active relationship with Him.  Until their blind eyes are opened to the truth, your discipleship efforts will be in vain.

The Bridge Illustration will open the eyes of the blind.

I have borrowed this particular Bridge Illustration from The Navigators due to its simplicity.  However, you will never use this particular illustration because you will be able to draw it on a napkin in a restaurant, the back of an old piece of scrap paper, or a marker on a piece of glass – whatever you have at hand in the moment.

The Bridge Illustration


How to Use The Bridge Illustration

  • Memorize all the verses and write them as you draw the illustration above
  • Draw the left cliff with a stick man on top
    • Share the Bible verses as you explain man’s separation from God and the penalty of sin
    • Write the verse reference on the drawing
  • Draw the right cliff and write “GOD” on top
  • Talk about the chasm between man and God.  Draw ‘The Bridge’ = Jesus Christ, our only salvation
    • Share the verses as you explain God’s miraculous provision for man’s salvation
    • Write the verse references
  • Ask for a decision
    • Wait for an answer – don’t be afraid of the pregnant pause, just wait for a response
    • Answer any questions
  • Lead them in a prayer to receive the gift of salvation provided by God in Jesus
  • If they have accepted  Christ write the date on the drawing, give them the drawing and ask them to keep it in their Bible as a memorial.
  • If they do not make a decision to accept Christ, give them the drawing and ask that they keep it somewhere safe.  It may come back to them in the future.

The entire process of sharing The Bridge Illustration takes 10 minutes or less depending on questions.

Come back here after you share The Bridge Illustration and tell us the story.  We all need to hear testimonials for encouragement!

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