Perhaps you’ve heard these phrases used to describe Christian discipleship. But what exactly should one do when we meet another?
It’s not that difficult, and a lot of it is quite intuitive. Here, we’ve split it into 3 categories: before, during and after the meeting.
Before the meeting
1. Have a chat with the brother where you lay out the goals and proceedings of the meet up so they know what to expect. Ask them for a willingness to commit for a time frame (say 3 months to start), the frequency of the meetings, how many sessions, and the desire to help one another walk with Christ.
2. Set a date for the time and place, and also the necessary materials for the meet up (e.g., Bible, or other materials where relevant)
During the meeting
1. Start with prayer — reminding one another that God has promised to dwell with His people (2 Cor 6:16) and that we need Him (Phi 4:19).
2. Check-in with one another. Some key things to ask are (a) what has been happening in each other’s lives (b) how their walk with God has been in terms of (i) revelation — how has God been speaking through His word (ii) thanksgiving — what has God been doing in our lives that is worthy of gratitude and appreciation (iii) obedience— how have we responded to Him, including what we’ve found difficult to obey (iv) confession — have there been areas of our lives where we’ve gone astray, or where we’re wrestling with God (v) relationships with others — how are our main relationships with family and close friends, or others in the church, what do we appreciate or find difficult or have been in conflict. Be mindful of the time so this doesn’t go on forever.
3. Anchor our thoughts and experiences in God’s word. A topical book is an alternative to reading Scripture directly, but the best books will help us summarize the teachings of Scripture so that we get a good handle of what God says about a particular topic. The key thing here is to strain out (a) what God is saying to us about Himself and (b) what we find challenging or difficult to believe/accept/obey about the teaching.
Sometimes having those questions in mind before reading the passage will help to accelerate the conversations as well. Another way to begin is by asking: what stood out or was surprising about the reading, or if there was anything that they didn’t understand about the reading and wanted to clarify. Often, these truths will flow from or address some of the situations above. This part of the conversation can also help correct.
4. Talk about what faith and obedience would look like. Based on what the respondent shares about God’s word, ask them what it would look like if they followed through in faith with this word right after this, or tomorrow in another context (work, family, etc). Invite the person to think in detailed ways about what it would look like to really obey, and what would need to change in our hearts, what we need to believe about God and His Son. Help the person see that the power of obedience comes from a response of loving gratitude for Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:14-15). Don’t forget to take a deep breath and make time to lift up Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross as a wonderful, glorious gift from God from your heart. Until we taste His grace, there is no power for obedience.
5. Ask the person how to pray for them. Based on the entire conversation, certain points of prayer and faith should emerge. Note them down for your intercession and future follow up and encouragement.
6. Transition to prayer where we express to our God (a) our thanksgiving for His speaking to us through Scripture, (b) our honest difficulties and challenges in believing His word, © what it would look like if we did believe His word — imagine how this would change situations in your life, and (d) a desire to follow through in real, practical ways.
7. Make an appointment to meet again — date, time and venue. Note down brief points about what the conversation was about and the specific obedience area or area of challenge.
After the meeting
1. Keep the person in prayer throughout the week as we remember them before the Lord. If you’re comfortable, drop them a text a week after to ask how the area of struggle was.
2. Prepare to meet up with the person by looking up your prayer points and recalling what their specific struggle was again.