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COACHING QUESTIONS WITH YOUR DISCIPLE

GOSPEL COACHING WITH A DISCIPLE

Gospel Coach

PERSONAL LIFE

(1) What are some evidences of grace in your life recently?

(2) What can you tell me about your spouse and family?

(3) How do you relax or what do you do for fun?

(4) How is your spouse doing?

(5) How are you doing as a couple?

(6) Are there any new strains on your relationship that surprised you?

(7) Has your spouse complained about your time together recently?

SPIRITUAL LIFE

(1) How is the condition of your soul?

(2) How would you describe your call to follow Jesus Christ?

(3) What are some of the Christian communities you participate in and how do they encourage your walk with Jesus?

(4) What is God doing in your heart right now?

(5) How have you seen the Holy Spirit produce new fruit in your life?

MISSIONAL LIFE

(1) What opportunities for ministry do you see before you?

(2) What is God calling you to be or do?

(3) What skills or abilities has God-given you that help clarify your calling?

QUESTIONS FOR FEEDING YOUR DISCIPLE

PERSONAL LIFE

(1) What is God teaching you about your role as a husband and father/wife and mother?

(2) What obstacles are you experiencing in your personal life?

(3) How is your health? Are you taking any medications?

(4) What would enhance your relationship with your spouse?

SPIRITUAL LIFE

(1) What information or resources would be helpful to your spiritual growth?

(2) Where have you experienced the most growth lately?

(3) What is the biggest threat to your oneness with Christ?

(4) Where are you most vulnerable to sin?

(5) What sins are you battling?

(6) What compels you to worship God?

MISSIONAL LIFE

(1) When have you had a significant impact on another person?

(2) In what ways are you making disciples?

(3) What are some challenges you are facing in your primary ministry responsibility?

(4) What resources do you need to accomplish your ministry goals?

QUESTIONS FOR LEADING YOUR DISCIPLE

PERSONAL LIFE

(1) How are you leading your family?

(2) What is the greatest need in your personal life (Look for idols, agendas, identity struggles, and selfishness)?

SPIRITUAL LIFE

(1) How is the Lord leading you to respond to Him?

(2) What is the greatest need in your spiritual life (Look for idols, agendas, identity struggles, and selfishness)?

MISSIONAL LIFE

(1) What is the Lord leading you to {pick one} know (head), feel (heart), or do (hands) with regard to ministry?

(2) What is the mission of your ministry?

(3) What is the greatest need of your ministry life?

QUESTIONS FOR PROTECTING YOUR DISCIPLE

PERSONAL LIFE

(1) What challenges do you face personally?

(2) What temptations occur in your personal life?

(3) How are you prone to wander personally (health, finances, time, marriage, etc.)?

SPIRITUAL LIFE

(1) What challenges do you face spiritually?

(2) What temptations occur in your spiritual life?

(3) What kind of priority do you give to Bible reading and prayer in your life?

(4) Where are you prone to wander spiritually?

MISSIONAL LIFE

(1) What challenges do you face missionally?

(2) What temptations occur in your ministry life?

(3) Where are you prone to wander in ministry?

*SOURCE: Adapted from Appendix 4 in Gospel Coach: Shepherding Leaders to Glorify God by Scott Thomas and Tom Wood. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2013.

 

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The Value of Discipleship in Groups

small group bible study

More books and conferences under the banner of disciple-making are available now than ever before. As a result, believers are contemplating the implications of the Great Commission for their lives. With a better understanding of discipleship come questions of how to replicate the process. One important facet is how many people should be discipled together. The size of your discipleship group should be considered before approaching potential group members.

I have found that the most effective discipleship groups, what we call D-Groups, are gender-exclusive. Men should meet with men, and women should meet with women. Some topics and personal problems should not be discussed in a mixed group. While it is wonderful for couples to study God’s Word and grow spiritually together, the crucial dynamic of a D-Group is compromised when couples are involved, particularly in the areas of transparency and accountability.

FIVE REASONS TO DISCIPLE IN GROUPS

While the Bible never prescribes a particular model for discipling others, Jesus invested in groups of varying sizes.[1] Larger groups learned from his teachings and miracles, while his closest followers benefited from personal discipleship and specific instruction. While one-on-one discipling is valid and has it purposes, I want you to consider five reasons to meet in a group of three to five instead of privately with one.

1. Avoid the Ping-Pong Match

First, a group of two can be like a ping-pong match: you, the leader, are responsible to keep the ball in play. “Mike, how was your day?” “Good,” responds Mike. The leader probes deeper by asking, “Any insights from your Scripture reading this week?” “I enjoyed it,” Mike briefly replies. The conversation progresses only as the mentor engages the mentee. The pressure to lead is lessened when others in the group join in on the spiritual journey.

2. One-on-One can be Challenging to Reproduce

Second, a one-on-one model can be challenging to reproduce because the person in whom you are investing has a tendency to look at you in the same manner that Timothy looked at the Apostle Paul. Mentees, after a year or two in a discipling relationship, have said to me, “I could never do with another person what you did with me.” Yet a group takes a journey together. It is worth noting that group members usually don’t feel ready to begin their own groups. Neither did the disciples. But Jesus left them with no choice. Remember, the discipling relationship is not complete until the mentee becomes a mentor, the player becomes a coach.

3. Group of Two Tends to Become a Counseling Session

Third, a group of two tends to become a counseling session, where you spend the majority of your time solving personal problems. Biblical wisdom for personal issues is certainly a part of the discipling relationship, but therapeutic advice every week must not define the group.

4. Jesus Discipled in Groups

Fourth, as mentioned earlier, Jesus utilized the group model. While he spent time investing in a group of twelve, he used teachable moments to shape three—Peter, James, and John—in a unique way. With the exception of Judas, all twelve faithfully followed the Lord, even to the point of death. But these three were the key leaders in the early years of the church.

Solomon, a financial genius and the Warren Buffett of his day, advocated the diversification of assets twenty-five hundred years before Wall Street existed (Eccl. 11:1-2). Wise people invest in a variety of stocks, bonds, and commodities. Jesus, too, believed in diversified investing and modeled it in his discipleship example. Joel Rosenberg and T.E. Koshy pose a thought-provoking question:

What if for three years Jesus had discipled only Judas? Despite his best efforts, Jesus would have wound up with no one to carry on his legacy and his message when he returned to the Father. Jesus didn’t invest in just one man. He invested in a group of men from a wide range of backgrounds, including fishermen, a tax collector, and a Zealot (a political revolutionary).[2]

Jesus poured himself into twelve men, and taught us the importance of the group in disciple-making. Yes, there are times when a one-on-one mentoring relationship is beneficial, but in the New Testament, particularly the Gospels, it is not the norm.

Paul, in similar fashion, used his missionary journeys to train others. He rarely if ever traveled alone, always including Barnabas, Silas, John Mark, Timothy, and others as gospel co-workers. When Paul charged Timothy in his final letter, he stated, “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:1-2). Notice that Paul says, “Entrust to faithful men”—plural—“who will teach others.” Throughout his ministry, Paul modeled this practice.

5. Built-in Accountability

Finally, a group of three to five provides a built-in accountability system, as well as encouragement from others. In my first D-Group, two of the three men involved came prepared with a Bible-reading journal I had asked them to complete. But one, a skeptic of the system’s value, failed to make any entry. Prior to joining the D-Group, his excuse for not reading the Bible was, “It’s difficult to understand.” Using the other two men to motivate him, I countered, “Can you just try journaling for the next five days? Right now, you have no evidence to prove that it doesn’t work. By trying it, you will know if it works for you or not.” The next week, he arrived with a smile on his face, saying, “Let me share what I heard from God through his Word this week.” Watching the excitement of the others challenged him to contribute to the group, and to his own spiritual development.

What has been your experience in a discipleship group? Does size matter? If so, how?

About Robby Gallaty:

Robby Gallaty

Robby Gallaty (@Rgallaty) is the Senior Pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN and founder of Replicate Ministries. For more information on discipleship, you can visit replicateministries.org.

[1]The gospels record Jesus ministering in 5 group sizes: the crowd (multitudes), the committed (the 72 in Luke 10), the cell (the twelve disciples), the core (Peter, James, and John), and the close-up encounters (one-on-one). Making disciples cannot be restricted to a particular group meeting; however, a regular gathering time is practically necessary for accountability.

[2] Joel C. Rosenberg and T. E. Koshy, The Invested Life (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2012), 87-88.

*Article adapted from http://www.9marks.org/blog/why-disciple-groups – August 16, 2013

 

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7 Principles of Accountability by David C. Bentall

(The Company You Keep, by David C. Bentall, published by Augsburg Press, 2004):

 “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17

(1) To affirm one another

(2) To be available to one another

(3) To pray with and for one another

(4) To be open with one another

(5) To be honest with one another

(6) To treat one another sensitively

(7) To keep our discussions confidential

*In the Book The Company You Keep David C. Bentall explores the experience of three men who have supported each other in friendship for more that twelve years. He chronicles how friendships can inspire, challenge and have the potential to transform lives. He provides suggestions for initiating long-term nurturing friendships. Most importantly, Bentall describes the tremendous benefits such friendships have on all the person’s life, including family relationships, physical fitness, self-esteem, and spirituality.

 

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26 Excellent Self Evaluation Questions By Gordon MacDonald

Accountability Questions For You and Your Mentoree/Disciple

 (Adapted from *Gordon MacDonald, Restoring Joy to Your Inner World, Inspiration Press, p. 573)

“Chances are that you have a physical once a year or every two years. I recommend that you also have a “spiritual” once a year as well. Your soul care is just as important as your body care! This is an excellent list of questions to help care for your soul.” – Dr. David P. Craig

(1) Where are you right now in your relationship with God?

(2) What have you read in the Bible in the last week?

(3) What has God been saying to you in this?

(4) Where do you find yourself resisting God these days?

(5) What specific things do you find yourself praying for regarding others?

(6) What specific things do you find yourself praying for yourself?

(7) What specific tasks are facing you that you consider incomplete?

(8) What habits are intimidating you at present?

(9) What have you read in the secular press this week?

(10) What general reading have you been doing?

(11) What have you done to play this week?

(12) How are you doing with your spouse/kids?

(13) If I were to ask your spouse about your state of mind, spirit, etc., what would he/she say?

(14) Are you sensing any spiritual attacks from the enemy this week? Today?

(15) If Satan were to try to invalidate you as a servant of God, where or how would he attack you?

(16) What is the state of your sexual life (temptation, fantasy, etc)?

(17) Where are you at financially (Do you have control, debts, etc)?

(18) Are there any unresolved conflicts (ailing relatives, stress, disputes) in your circle of relationships right now (family, friends those among whom we’re supposed to feel safe)?

(19) When was the last time you spent time with a friend of the same gender?

(20) What kind of time have you spent with a non-Christian this past week?

(21) What challenges do you expect to face in the coming month?

(22) What are your fears at the present time (letting family down, bodies letting us down, etc)?

(23) Are you sleeping well?

(24) What three things are you most thankful for?

(25) Do you like yourself at this point of your pilgrimage?

(26) What are you greatest confusions about your relationship with God?

 

*Gordon MacDonald has been a pastor and author for over forty years. For many years he pastored Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts and continues to serve as Pastor Emeritus. He has also provided leadership to influential ministries such as Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, which he served as President for three years, and World Relief, which he currently serves as Chairman. Gordon’s best-selling books include Ordering Your Private World, Mid-Course Correction and, most recently, A Resilient Life. He also writes and serves as Editor-at-Large for Christianity Today’s Leadership Journal. When not writing, leading or speaking at conferences, Gordon and his wife Gail can be found hiking the trails of New England.

 

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