Introduction to Cru Discipleship
The Two Pillars of Discipleship
At the core, discipleship is about two things: Relationship and Multiplication. Relationship was central to the way Jesus taught His disciples. He ate with them, walked with them, slept alongside them. For three years he shared his life with his disciples. In the same way, discipleship is a commitment to invest deeply in another person’s life, and to journey alongside them as you both pursue Christ. It’s crucial that the person you disciple not only hears you talk about living the Christian life, but is able to see you actually doing it. As we go deep with those we disciple, we must also keep in mind that to truly change the world, to actually see Jesus’ vision realized, we need to prepare our disciple to invest in the lives of others. This is multiplication. Ultimately, we want to teach others to live wholeheartedly for Jesus so that they can teach others to do the same (2 Tim 2:2).
The Discipleship Plan
The Core Concepts are the foundation of the discipleship plan. For those who grew up in church, some of these may feel like review. That’s okay; it’s important to go through them anyway. They ensure that every student involved in Cru has a firm foundation for growth and can teach them well to others.
After going through the Core Concepts with anyone who is generally faithful to attend a community group, there is a pause point starting with a formal Challenge to go further in discipleship to become a multiplying disciple. For those who have been faithful and available and teachable to go with you through all the Core Concepts, this is the point to make sure both of you want to continue toward the goal of learning how to be multiplying disciples.
**Remember that the goal is to produce disciples with Christ-like character who can multiply themselves and leave a legacy of students behind to continue what you started. You should help your disciples be ready to disciple another student in about a year or two.
Discipleship is More Than Content
Sure, we have a ton of resources available for you to use with your discipleship. But life change doesn’t happen just from reading an article or watching a video. This is where the importance of relationship comes in: being a Christian is ultimately about doing, not just knowing.
It’s crucial to get a pulse on what’s going on in the life of your disciple. To get to the matters of the heart, we suggest you ask a set of going deeper questions like these at every discipleship appointment (after you’ve covered that topic):
The Week in Review
High for the Week and Low for the Week
Time with God/Prayer/Meditation/Memory Verses/Journaling/Worship music/Church.
Are you keeping up with the Bible overview: The Bible Project overview videos? Time to reflect on life?
Exercise, Sleep, Study Time, Recharge Time/Margin, Time with friends
Am I consciously asking the Holy Spirit to be in control of my language [Eph 4:29], use of time [1 Corinthians 10:31, Ephesians 5:15], what I eat [1 Cor 6:19], my sexual purity [1 Cor 6:5-20. Gal 5:1,16-25], Use of Alcohol [Eph. 5:18]?
Am I consciously confessing sin and repenting and continuing to walk in the Spirit? [Rom 7-8] Is there anything in my life that people could point to in my life and say “Hypocrite” that you need to work on?
Am I available to be God’s spokesperson?
Who are you praying for and initiating with?
Spending time with non-Christians?
How do you plan to take a step of faith next week and take a risk with something you know God wants you to do?
What have you been thinking a lot about this week? Where will your mental and emotional energy be focused next week?
Items for Prayer?
Anything I should know that I haven’t asked about? Questions for me? Any pushback? Topic for next time? Something different?
So What Do I Do?
The structure of most discipleship appointments is pretty similar. They should look like this:
Be human and talk: catch up / build the relationship
Get real: ask “going deeper” questions
Generally stick to the order of the topics in the plan, but be sensitive to their needs if there is an issue that your disciple wants to talk about sooner rather than later. Ask them if there are some specific questions they know they want to discuss or areas they want to grow in. Remember to intersperse at least two times of evangelism into your semester plan, with students you know (or don’t know) and your professors (interview).
Keys to Being a Discipler
*Weekly preparation: plan on taking 30 minutes to prepare / think through what your plan is and familiarize yourself with the material you will use in the discipleship appointment. Make a copy of the lesson for both you and your disciple.
*Depend on God’s Spirit: ask Him for wisdom as you plan and meet together.
*Be vulnerable: you don’t have to be perfect and can acknowledge your own failures; share from your own experience (it helps create a safe environment for sharing honestly).
*Ask good questions: asking open-ended questions that require an answer other than yes or no will open up conversation and discussion.
*Plan evangelism into your discipleship times (at least two times a semester and at least one interview with a professor).