Mentor Training Introduction

Mentor Training - Introduction

DISCIPLESHIP:  a Suggestion or a Command? 

The last thing Jesus told his disciples in the Gospel of Matthew before ascending to heaven is often called “The Great Commission.” 

Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” 

Do you think this was a SUGGESTION from Jesus – or a COMMAND?

Let's see what Francis Chan says about this...


If it is, indeed, a command, shouldn't we take it seriously?

Congratulations on choosing to become equipped to “make disciples” – to walk alongside another believer when God orchestrates that relationship. 

In order to fulfill Jesus’ mandate from these verses, we need to discuss several questions:

1. What is the PURPOSE of discipling?

2. WHAT is a disciple? 

3. HOW do we “make them” and teach them? 

4. What are the expected RESULTS or goals of “making disciples?” 

Every disciple is a convert, but not every convert is a disciple. 


1.  WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF DISCIPLING?

Every person is born with a predisposition toward independence from God. That disposition tends to strengthen as the child grows into an adult.

If the person accepts His gift of salvation, then God begins a process of inward transformation (sanctification). 

The pace and depth of that transformational process is affected by the understanding and openness of the new Christian.

The intent of discipleship (mentoring, “spiritual parenting”) is to help newer (and older immature) believers to understand what God is doing in their life, in order to significantly influence and accelerate that process.

Romans 12:1-2  … brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Colossians 1:28-29  (Paul wrote) We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me.

2. WHAT IS A DISCIPLE?

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary includes this definition, Christians are called His disciples, as they profess to learn and receive His doctrines and precepts.  Disciples of Jesus are often referred to as “little Christs.”

That means Christians are called not just to ACT like Jesus – but to BE like Jesus, to have His heart attitude of total dependence on the Father.

Dictionary.com defines a disciple as a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another. That means not just “head knowledge”, but “heart knowledge.”

We are all disciples of something. Are we disciples of Jesus? Are we being transformed from the inside out by our relationship with Him? He will help us understand His Word, give us the desire to live out His commands, and the power to do what He asks of us. 

Discipleship must be focused on life transformation, not just acquiring information.      

Bishop Keith Cowart FMCUSA, GC19, July 2019 

3.  HOW DO WE MAKE DISCIPLES? 
(HOW DO WE TEACH THEM?)

The most common method used to help new believers today is to hand them a Bible, encourage them to attend church services and join a small group. While it is certainly possible for Christians to grow spiritually in this environment, consider which is easier:

1. To learn something new on your own; or

2. To have a mentor / guide to help you learn exactly what you need to know?

Reflect on this analogy: If we hand a thick computer manual to 100 people who have no prior computer understanding, a few will eventually manage, with difficulty, to figure things out. But many more will become frustrated and decide that it’s just too hard.

Which would you prefer, to be given a manual to learn on your own, or have  someone take the time to personally tutor you and answer your questions?​​




We could truthfully state that the manual has all the needed knowledge, and the information is clearly presented. How about building a house or rebuilding a car transmission? How many inexperienced people would want to be handed just the manual or blueprints and be expected to do a decent job? Not many.

What if having a personal tutor, a spiritual mentor, could accelerate the spiritual growth of a new believer, or help an older Christian to break out of the “ups and downs” of their journey and be transformed into a mature, fruitful and reproducing Christian?
That is the purpose and mission of Discipler Training International – to provide resources to help believers grow more rapidly in their Christian walk, progressing to spiritual maturity, spiritual fruitfulness, and spiritual reproduction.



A Biblical Model for Personal Discipleship

The DTI model of discipleship focuses on mentoring / tutoring (spiritual parenting), meaning the DTI lessons are structured to be used in conversation between a spiritual mentor and their mentee.

In this model, based on 1 Thessalonians 2:3-13, Paul clearly depicts himself as a “spiritual parent” (spiritual father and mother), caring for his spiritual children. The human parallel is intentional and unmistakable. God gave us this discipleship model to help all “faithful” believers who want to grow and invest in the lives of other believers to help accelerate their spiritual growth.

From Paul, with Silas and Timothy  - 1 Thessalonians 2:3-13

THEY WERE SINGLE-MINDED IN PURPOSE

:3-6  … so we speak, not to please men, but rather God, who examines our hearts. For we never used flattering speech, as you know, or had greedy motives—God is our witness—and we didn’t seek glory from people, either from you or from others. Although we could have been a burden as Christ’s apostles,…

THEY CARED FOR THE BELIEVERS AS A MOTHER CARES FOR HER CHILDREN

:7-8  … instead we were gentle among you, as a nursing MOTHER nurtures her own children. We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.

THEY BECAME ROLE MODELS TO THE NEW BELIEVERS

:9-10  For you remember our labor and hardship, brothers.  Working night and day so that we would not burden any of you, we preached God’s gospel to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how devoutly, righteously, and blamelessly we conducted ourselves with you believers.

THEY GAVE INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION AND INSTRUCTION AS A FATHER

:11-12  As you know, like a FATHER with his own children, we encouraged, comforted, and implored EACH ONE of you to walk worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

THE WORD OF GOD WAS AN ESSENTIAL COMPONENT OF DISCIPLESHIP

:13  This is why we constantly thank God, because when you received the message about God that you heard from us, you welcomed it not as a human message, but as it truly is, the message of God, which also works effectively in you believers.

In many cases Personal Discipleship / Spiritual Mentoring is the missing ingredient in the church for producing healthy spiritual growth.

The disciple won’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.


4. WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED RESULTS OF MAKING DISCIPLES?



The goal is that each disciple should show evidence of:

  • SPIRITUAL MATURITY
    Colossians 1:28-29 (Paul wrote) We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me.

  • SPIRITUAL FRUITFULNESS
    John 15:8 (Jesus said) My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples.

  • SPIRITUAL REPRODUCTION
    2 Timothy 2:2 (Paul wrote) You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.

Jesus commanded us to make disciples, not just converts.

In the Christian community there are many immature “converts,” but very few disciples.

Every believer should be seen as a potential witness, as well as a potential discipler / spiritual mentor (“spiritual parent”).