One-on-One Disciplemaking

The purpose of men’s ministry is to move men from the bleachers onto the playing field through building relationships, encouragement, and discipling. The most effective means of discipling men is in a male only environment. This can be in a large group, a small group or a one-on-one relationship. This article focuses on the one-on-one relationship.


  • Disciple – one called to walk with Jesus, equipped to live like Jesus, and sent to work for Jesus.


  • Disciplemaking – the process of leading a person from non-belief to Christian maturity, service and leadership.


  • Mentoring – often defined as a one-to-one relationship for building Christian character. Some view mentoring as a means for developing leadership skills. For our purposes, we will define mentoring as character building.


  • Challenges – One-on-one discipling is a good starting point while waiting for broader relationships to develop among the men or when there are schedule issues.


Planning a Mentoring Ministry

  • Consider developing guidelines for a one-on-one discipling ministry. The guidelines should be simple and straightforward. They will enable the mentors to understand the objectives and give them a framework for this ministry.
  • Select mentoring materials.


  • Identify men who need to be discipled.


  • Identify men in the church who are mature in their walk. Mentors need to be men who earnestly seek to:


  • •    Go to God daily
  • •    Read God’s Word daily
  • •    Obey God’s Word
  • •    Witness for Christ







Preparing for a Mentoring Ministry

  •  Enlist mentors. Ask the mentors to select someone to disciple.
  • Consider having the mentors pair off for encouragement, accountability and prayer. Remember, most men are not relationally oriented; the men who are to be discipled may not be committed to spiritual growth. The soil may be hard. The mentors will need encouragement. Praying for each other and the men being discipled is critical.


  • Train the men to disciple using the selected materials. Model one-on-one discipling.



Guidelines for Mentoring

  • The discipling leader should launch the ministry by meeting with the mentors to make sure everyone is on the same page, allay fears and clarify expectations.


  • Mentors should start building relationships with weekly phone calls, an occasional meal out and doing things together.


  • As the relationship develops, the mentor can ask “How can I pray for you?”  He can then gently move the relationship toward a firmer spiritual footing. As this happens, he can suggest studying a book together and discussing its content and impact.


  • Contact at church on Sunday is important but does not allow sufficient time to nurture a relationship. The mentor should block out time during the week for a phone call or informal get together.


  • Once there is an agreement, the mentor and disciple should try to meet face-to-face weekly. It can be over breakfast or lunch at some agreed upon time. The format should be informal but include discussing a chapter or section of the agreed upon book, sharing prayer needs, and praying together. Consider sharing by relating what is going on in your life, what the Lord is doing, what the Lord is saying during personal Bible study, quiet time, in relationships, challenges, crises, etc.


  • Encourage the disciple to participate in other men’s activities to build relationships and experience Christian camaraderie.


Encouragement and Support

  • Consider pairing mentors off for support in an iron sharpening iron relationship. This will result in cross fertilization, encouragement, and mutual prayer support.
  • Consider gathering the mentors quarterly for encouragement, sharing, and prayer.


  • The discipleship ministry leaders should consider contacting the mentors periodically to see how they are doing, check progress in relationship building, and share thoughts about when and how to move to the next level in discipling.


  • The key to an effective discipling ministry is the Holy Spirit. We can encourage and even exhort our men to a deeper relationship with the Lord. However, it is the Holy Spirit that motivates. Remember, this is spiritual warfare. Let the Spirit direct.


  • Be persistent. Do not give up. It will not happen overnight.


  • Be patient. The other fellow will not leap to where you are in one jump.


  • Be intentional: interact out of love, not duty; prepare with prayer and be led by the Spirit.


  • Bathe the ministry and relationships in prayer.


Resources to Prime the Pump
•    Discipleship Journal ( )
•    Navpress ( )
•    Campus Crusade ( )
•    Navigators (
•    Omega Discipleship Ministries ( )
•    Men in Ministry ( )


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