A mentoring/discipling/evangelizing program

From Hebrews 5:11-6:3 it is clear that as new Christians receive instruction in the basic doctrines of Christianity and as they reach maturity, they should become qualified to teach what they know and to practice it regularly. Therefore a discipling program ought to incorporate instruction equipping one to be a teacher of God's word. This material is designed to enable a person to disciple, first themselves, then family, then others.

Why is a discipling program necessary?

The characteristics of this program are:

This program cannot correctly be called a course in the traditional style where a teacher/lecturer delivers all the material to passive students taking notes. Indeed such an adaptation would ruin most of the effectiveness of this. The typical requirement of having students attend all the lessons in a specific sequence or period of time is unnecessary.

To maximize effectiveness, the instruction style focuses on evangelism through role-playing. Other spiritual pursuits are best handled in a different environment To be practical there should be at least 8 active participants and everyone will have homework each week. Typically all registered ('active') students will participate in evangelistic role-play once a month. Attendance at every session is not mandatory as long as all students share equally in the role-play assignments. Each class session is independent of previous or following sessions. Over time, the intent would be to have this class delivered on a rotational basis, that is, once completed it would normally start over again. Once someone completes the class they will be able to evangelize and disciple others.

Being an evangelism class, time is spent studying and practicing effective speaking techniques. The class is also a class in Christian basics. Some attendees may be present only for personal growth rather than preparation for evangelizing (James 3:1). No one should feel pressured to join in a ministry upon completing the instructional part of the course. They may repeat the instructional course as many times as they like.

The materials are partly drawn from R.C. Sproul's "Essential Truths of the Christian Faith" and "Across the Spectrum" compiled by Gregory Boyd and Paul Eddy.

The program has 2 parts:

  1. The discipler-making instruction given in a Sunday school class (this has 3 parts)
  2. The disciple-making ministry exercised in a community.

1) The discipler-making instruction given in a Sunday school class

This first section of the class has 3 parts:
  1. One or two student evangelistic role-plays (begins with the fourth session).
  2. Discussion of effective evangelistic techniques
  3. Discussion of evangelistic content


A) One or two student evangelistic role-plays

One or two class-members (depending on the size of the class) present sermon-ettes in a role-play manner to another (same gender or family) volunteer. The sermon-ettes were assigned three weeks prior. Typically the material that forms the basis of the sermon-ette(s) is taken from the material presented in the same class when the assignment was made. This material combines the evangelistic content with the evangelistic technique (see sections 2 and 3 - below) and is to be delivered to one of several supposed audiences (see below).

Some beginning students may not be ready for this so for a time they may be assigned a short role-play sermon-ette using one Bible verse from the evangelistic content (see below) and to be presented in a simple fashion like this:

Hello, my name is . . . . and you are? . . . .
<second volunteer says their name>
Have you wondered about the meaning of  . . .   . . . <name the verse>  ? 
<answers: no/maybe>
<Read the verse>
Did you notice where it said . . . <read the key phrase> 
<answers: oh, I see>
This verse tells me . . .
Do you see why I believe the way I do?
<answers: Yes>
 The second person role only requires someone to say their name and short things like "maybe . . . I see . . . yes".

The sermon-ettes are to be tailored for these kinds of persons

  • atheist/doubter
  • apathist
  • agnostic w/ religious/spiritual inclinations
  • hedonist
  • once-a-year church attendee
  • non-Christian
  • non-evangelical 'Christian'
  • During the three weeks prior to the scheduled presentation each student should prepare their material and rehearse it repeatedly endeavoring to form it into a polished discussion lasting 5-10 minutes. After each student presentation, the class teacher gives approximately 2 minutes of gracious advice on the student's presentation of the evangelistic content using the assigned evangelistic technique. At the end of the presentation, the class-member who had the role of 'audience' is now assigned the task of delivering this same material in 3 weeks, presenting the material to a third (same gender or family) student.

    B) Discussion of Effective Evangelism techniques

    Each week a volunteer will deliver instruction to the class one "Effective Evangelism" technique. This lasts between 5-6 minutes. The possible subjects are:
  • Motivation: Why disciple others? 1 Peter 3:15,  Hebrews 5:11-6:3; Matthew 28:19,20; Luke 10:2; 2 Timothy 4:2
  • How to 'memorize' hundreds of Scriptures.

  • What do you say to someone you will never see again?

  • Shakespeare is in the Bible!
  • A funny honeymoon surprise.
  • The first whatcha-ma-call-it candy.
  • Who gave you the weekend off?
  • Does the Bible have cuss words?
  • If Jesus were real would you want him for King?
  • Can you believe the posted sign?
  • Why bet on God?
  • Why monkeys donít wear clothes but atheists do.
  • Can an atheist believe in a creator?
  • Why Jesus ignored Marthaís request.
  • What would make Lazarus laugh?
  • Did Abraham try to kill Jesus?

  • Persuading through argumentation:

  • Reason on Scripture, prove points (Acts 17:2,3,17; 18:4,5,24-26; 19:8,9)
  • Logical flow throughout . . . focused toward one conclusion
  • Logical, accurate bites of information (Luke 24:11; 1 Corinthians 15)
  • Simplify difficult concepts
  • Appeal to foundation beliefs
  • Acts 17:16-28, in verse 28 Paul quotes from pagan religious sources as a foundation to begin teaching.
  • Acts 2:25, Peter quotes from the Scriptures that the Jews accepted as authoritative
  • Choose a Scripture (2 Peter 3:2)
  • Does it prove, or only support?
  • Does it support or only illustrate?
  • Does it illustrate or is it irrelevant?
  • Find a Scripture:
  • Say the book
  • then the chapter
  • locate it
  • introduce it, explain why
  • say the verse
  • Read a Scripture:
  • Pause before key words
  • Insert attention getters
  • Pause after reading
  • Reason on key words and summarize (John 5:46,47; Ephesians 4:8-10; John 10:33-36; Galatians 3:11; 3:16; Luke 10:25-28; Romans 4:3,4; )
  • Illustrations:
  • Biblical illustrations
  • Common knowledge illustrations
  • Repeat conceded conclusions otherwise it is an argument
  • Introduction - catch attention in first 2 sentences. Move quickly into presentation. (John 3:3; 4:7)
  • Come to closure:
  • How to state your conclusion
  • know when your presentation is concluded
  • know when the relationship is concluded (Matthew 10:13-15)

  • Persuading through body language:

  • Facial gestures
  • Hand gestures
  • Posture

  • Persuading through your voice

  • Modulation
  • Audio punctuation (pausing, exclamation)

  • Persuading through your words

  • Vocabulary - use words they know.
  • Pronunciation - confer with audio dictionaries or experts

  • Persuading through appeal to human psychology

  • Remove psychological hurdles, distractions, irrelevant issues (1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 2:14,15)
  • Empathy, treat them as you would wish to be treated
  • Match your audience in appearance
  • Match the expectations of your audience
  • Personable, comfortable, respectful (Colossians 4:5,6)
  • Interactive, conversational, allow audience to invest
  • Listen and look like you are listening
  • Gracious approach, they choose to listen because of the message, not because you press
  • Initial contact: make them curious by starting with non controversial, non-judgmental material
  • What to say when you don't have the answer
  • C) Discussion of Evangelistic Content

    An experienced speaker delivers one of these evangelistic subjects listed below. This will last between 5-10 minutes.

    Optimally, the audience will focus on this material and how it is presented and personally rehearse it throughout the week, pretending to explain it to an imaginary audience. This will ensure that the material is remembered.

    The evangelistic subjects include:

  • Who is Jesus and what do various groups believe?
  • Jesus as Savior
  • Jesus, a Person in the Trinity
  • Jesus, as only Master
  • What constitutes 'sin' and what did Jesus do about it. What do humans need to do about it? (Repentance from dead works)
  • The need for Faith.
  • What is faith? Is it a choice?
  • Faith in God's existence, compassion, promises, justice, creation
  • Faith in the Bible as the inspired, inerrant, authoritative word of God
  • The role of baptism
  • The resurrection
  • Everlasting judgment
  • Who can be saved?
  • Upon completing 75% of this class a person should set a personal goal to participate in a discipling ministry of at least 3 hours a month for the rest of his/her life. This ministry can be in any community: a cultural community, an economic community, a cyber-community, a geographic community, etc. They commit to eventually study any missed class sessions.

    2) The disciple-making ministry exercised in a community.

    Mentors go into their chosen community and use presentations suited for "initial encounters". For scheduling pragmatics, the visitations are held on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons. When someone in the community responds with a desire to be discipled, a simplified form of the basics learned in the "discipler-making" class is presented in a sequential presentation of prepared "lessons". Thus a disciple will hear the messages in a logical sequence without missing anything. Any printed materials will be brief, very inexpensive, possibly only a list of scriptures. We will offer Bibles such as the paperbacks offered through the American Bible Society.

    Disciplers go in pairs, usually two men or two women or married couples. The congregation is encouraged to voluntarily team with mentors. For volunteers, no commitment is involved, they go along to observe.