Five Ways to Make Disciples, Part 4

One of the most effective, powerful, and efficient ways to make disciples is “one on one.”

This method of discipleship is also called Mentoring, Life Coaching, or Spiritual Coaching. There is awesome power in “one on one” discipleship relationships because they transform lives. My own life has been impacted by a few godly people who poured their life into me and spent time with me.

In Mark 3:14a it reads, “He appointed twelve — designating them apostles — that they might be with him…” Jesus used this method and his time with a few men changed the world.

Many churches are re-discovering and utilizing this “one on one” or “one on a few” method with one person who is the discipler (the Paul) and the other person or persons who are the disciples or learners (the Timothy’s).

This method involves strong, loving personal relationships, a spiritual growth plan, and a high level of accountability and trust.

Operation Multiplication is a great resource and strategy for this method. Go to for resources. Also, the book, Real Life Discipleship by Jim Putnam and the accompanying training manual is excellent.

Some churches modify this approach with the “accountability partner model” where two people on equal footing meet regularly to talk, pray, study, and challenge each other in the faith. (Promise Keepers Model)

The exciting part about this strategy is anyone who has a heart for the Lord and is willing to be trained can do this.

Realize that most church members are petrified about teaching a class of 15 or 20 people but “one on one” is not threatening. Think of what could happen if you had an “army of disciplers” who knew how to do this.

Every new Christian and church member would spend time, “one on one” until they were ready to repeat the same process in someone else’s life. By using this strategy you would see disciples who make disciples who make disciples!

This strategy closes the back door and people are assimilated into the church with a vision and a purpose.

A church who puts this strategy in their DNA will experience Acts 6:7…“So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.”

Think multiplication! This process really is a multiplying one but we need to think and plan all our discipleship strategies in terms of multiplication, not addition. This can apply to each of the five discipleship components we are discussing. This happens when the leader takes someone through a discipleship process/study/experience and then that person takes someone (life on life) through the same study and the process is repeated. This has great potential and is often overlooked by our churches.

Big Idea: It just takes one person to start this! That person could be you!

A Pastor, staff, deacons, women leaders, or any lay person could mentor a group of people, each of those people, when discipled, then form other mentor relationships composed of one on one or one on a few, and each of those people repeat the process after they are mentored/discipled.

Over the course of several mentoring generations the impact is amazing.

I would love to hear from those of you who are using this or a similar strategy in your church.

Keep the Son in Your Eyes,

Mike James

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