A Discipleship Blueprint for Next Generation Ministry
Having a discipleship blueprint is key when ministering to the next generation.
Make the blueprint simple. Jesus encouraged children to come to him. What is so amazing about our faith is that it can be easily understood. That does not mean it is not complex and it does not mean that we can know everything about God. But it does mean that if our discipleship blueprints are extremely complicated that they are not really patterning themselves close to Jesus’s model.
No one is ever doing as well as they would like, but they are also not doing as bad as they think. Many times, though, students aren’t being given feedback in their spiritual life to know it. The only feedback they received was high praise when they were doing amazing or concern when there was sin potentially hindering spiritual growth.
As ministers of the next generation, it is key to let students know when they are doing an amazing job, where sin might be around the corner, and when they are doing a good job living for God. Even students that have been in church their whole life need a good bit of coaching, but it is incredible to watch them grow into it. The stories are countless. What God does in their lives as they mature in Christ is spectacular.
The discipleship blueprint should include a plan for coaching. The design that Carolina Baptist Collegiate Ministry uses includes an interview at the beginning of the leadership year to talk through goals and aspirations, and an exit interview at the end of the leadership year to discuss progress made. Students met regularly for 30-45 minutes throughout the week.
Below is the blueprint the Carolina Baptist Collegiate Ministry uses for discipleship coaching with five key areas:
Christ Centered Core:
These are things that cannot be gauged or calculated but are invaluable. They are a person’s heart that is after God and what God does in their prayer life.
- Individual: Quiet time with the Lord. Ask, “On a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being one day, how many quiet times were you able to do this week?”
- Corporate: Sunday morning gatherings and being plugged into a local body of believers. In discipleship coaching, ask, “Where did you go to church this Sunday and what did the pastor talk about?”
- Being Discipled: People investing in us is key to our growth as believers. This sometimes can take a little time as college students are in a place of transition. Ask, “As you have been praying for someone to disciple you, who has come to mind for you to ask?”
- Discipling Others: Three key ways of investing in someone come from John Sowers, known for his work in youth mentoring. Sowers says that “We want to show up, live out, speak in.” If we show up enough in someone’s life and live out what we say we believe, then eventually that will give us the opportunity to speak truth into that person’s life.
- Individual: Who are their close friends and what groups are they in outside of our ministry? Who would they have good biblical accountability with? How is the accountability happening?
- Social Groups: How much time did they spend this week with friends or groups of friends? What is one thing that those friends or groups affirmed about you that is godly?
- Individual: Students should be personally sharing Jesus with others. Ask, “Who is someone where you live, work, or play, that you would like to tell the story of Jesus to?”
- Corporate: Students should be involved in God’s global mission. Especially in college, the time for missions is now. Students have a season of time where missions are very accessible to them. Ask, “What is one mission trip that you are saving money for and praying to go on this calendar year?”
Students that are ready to grow in God and try to cultivate a heart for Him have significant spiritual growth using these discipleship metrics.