It is essential to assess your disciple from the beginning of the relationship and throughout discipling efforts. Ideally they should recognize the good, the bad, and needs. Help by providing an understanding of the current state of reality. Keep in mind that it is best to move forward only after checking both progress and direction. Otherwise, you may already have arrived or may never get there.
Tools to Assess
Many tools are available today to help assess your disciple. But start with the obvious and simple. Use your eyes, ears, mind, and heart. What have you seen and heard or not seen and heard? How can you uncover what you don’t know? Pray. Use conversation and questions. Allow Bible study and discipling materials to shine light into dark or unseen places.
Assessment can be easy and hard. Sometimes we have blindspots and don’t know things about ourselves. Sometimes we don’t trust anyone enough to be honest about failures, fears, and struggles. Trust often comes through crisis or great need or through honest time spent together. When we trust enough to share and are rewarded with someone who listens and accepts, burdens can be lifted in ways nothing else can.
One of the best ways to assess your disciple is to lead your disciple to conduct a self-assessment. This can be done in your first meeting, last meeting, or any time between. Early questions may need to be broad. Later questions may naturally be more specific.
Give your disciple a series of questions, verbally or in print. Don’t rush. Expect honesty and struggle. Provide encouragement and support, but don’t bail him/her out. Prove your trustworthiness in how you listen and help.
One step toward helping your disciple assess himself/herself may be for you to conduct your own self-assessment. Be prepared to be honest and open. Sharing out of your own discoveries, pains, and growth can help your disciple trust and be willing to follow your example.
What questions and assessments have you found beneficial in your discipling relationships? Leave a reply and encourage others from your experiences. Make disciples!