Discipleship can happen anywhere. You can disciple men anytime and anywhere; in the lobby at church, via text messaging, while on the golf course or before/after a bike ride. It’s the simple act of helping men look a little deeper into the spiritual side of life and reflect on their own followership of Christ. This act is not relegated to a location, but it should be intentional.
Asking open-ended questions and facilitating discussion is a great way to engage men in discipleship. You can get really good at asking questions and this will help you disciple the men in your church. It may seem a little awkward at first but, if you’re consistent, the men you disciple will know what to expect and will engage more freely. Here are three questions you can ask to disciple men.
Question One: “How Is It With Your Soul?”
This question cuts to the core of who we are; we are more than just physical and emotional beings. We are spiritual beings. This is a deeper question than, “how are you?” or “how was your week?” This will stop men and get them to consider (even for 5 seconds) on the state of their soul.
Now, you may get the typical answer like, “fine”, but this gives you the opportunity to keep exploring the deeper state of their lives. You can follow up with, “how do you know your soul is fine?” Soon you’ll find yourself getting into a conversation about what it means to connect with Jesus in relationship. This question will re-center men who are trying to honor Jesus with their lives and allow them to reflect on the state of their soul in the midst of all their activity.
It may seem a little over-spiritual and you may get some initial push back on it, however, keep pressing to help them dig deeper than their emotions or their activities and begin to ponder their spiritual state.
Question Two: “What has the Lord been Saying To You This Week?”
This question does two things: (1) it reminds men that they need to be in a continuous relationship with Jesus and listening to Him speak. And (2) it allows men the opportunity to communicate what is on their heart and what God has been speaking to them about.
We know that God speaks to His children in different ways. It could be through that “still small voice” or through scripture or even through a conversation. We need to assume that God is speaking to the men in our church and have this as a regular part of our conversation. In fact, if you have a men’s bible study or breakfast, this should be a key part of your time together.
Some men might react by saying “nothing”. Don’t let that deter you, ask them “why do you think that is?” This will bring you into a deeper conversation on what it means to hear from God. You could talk about last nights’ game or what you put on the smoker for dinner, but isn’t this more compelling?
You could talk about last nights’ game or what you put on the smoker for dinner, but isn’t this more compelling?
Having men talk about what God is speaking to them will also help you set the tone for further leadership in your men’s ministry and help equip men to do the work they have been called to do. Our journey with Christ is dependant upon us doing two things: (1) listening to Him and, (2) doing what He says.
Question Three: “How Can I Pray for You?”
This is a pretty common question and one we probably ask already. However, the power of this question is in the follow-up. When a man doesn’t have a prayer request, you can dig deeper and ask some probing questions about their relationships or work scenarios. The need is probably just under the surface.
If you’re genuinely interested and they know you can be trusted, they will eventually open up and share something you can pray for. When a man does share a prayer request, you can do two things:
(1) You can pray for them right there and then. It could be in the golf course parking lot or in at their car after church. If it’s an appropriate place and they are comfortable with it, pray with them right there. It’s a reminder that God is always with us.
(2) Follow up with that request. Write it down and pray for it every day. Text them 5-7 days later (don’t wait till you see them at church) and ask them how things are going and remind them that you are praying for them. This may encourage them and give them an opportunity to update you or share another request. Prayer is a key part of our spiritual growth and encouraging men to bring everything to God in prayer while reminding them that they are not alone is powerful.
Do you see how this plays out? You can move from being a buddy to being a mentor. You can disciple your men and model discipleship for them. Asking these questions and then listening and following up in engaging conversation will be used by the Holy Spirit to draw them into a deeper relationship with Jesus. This is what it’s all about. Not, how many men came to your event, but how are these men growing to become more like Jesus in their daily walk.