Discipleship Group

How do I lead a discipleship group?


Matthew 28:18-20
Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
What do these verses tell us about discipleship?

Discipleship is...
  • A command that is at the heart of the Great Commission—the central and primary mission Jesus has given all Christians todo until He returns again. 
  • Our privilege as sinners saved by grace and quite possibly the pinnacle of faithfulness in serving the Lord because a good discipler must be a good disciple themselves.
  • Teaching and helping another follower of Christ grow to become more like Jesus—to become a committed, lifelong disciple (“learner”) of Jesus


Leading a discipleship group does not require that you be an expert on the Bible. It simply requires that you be committed to loving the Lord and loving people. Simply put, leading a discipleship group is: spending time regularly with your disciples—caring for them, praying with them, and studying the Bible together.

The following are the major steps in starting and leading a discipleship group:
  • Forming: Start a discipleship group by picking a co-leader, doing follow-ups with freshmen contacts, choosing who to invite to discipleship, and setting a time and location to meet weekly.
  • Preparing: Get ready for your discipleship meeting by spending time with Lord, evaluating your disciple's maturity, planning according to their maturity, and having content ready to discuss. 
  • Meeting: Establish a weekly meeting to connect relationally, ask about their walk with the Lord, discuss scripture around content, and prayer together.


Pick a co-leader 
Find a co-leader from our leaders who you think will help you best disciple others. We want you to be able to lean on each other and help each other grow in different ways. You don’t have to have a co-leader, but when you are starting off in discipleship, it can be a big help!

Follow-up with Freshmen Contacts
Every fall we get lots of contacts of incoming freshmen from Impact who are joining the Corps and contacts from upperclassmen who fill out our Valor QR code survey. The great news is that we always have lots of contacts here, but not all of these contacts will actually join your groups.
  • Text them for a time to meet up
  • Connect with them to get to know them better (Relationally, Emotionally, Physically, Spiritually —How are you doing?)
  • Share about what Valor is, your experience with it, and the Gospel to see if they know Jesus.
    • If yes, great! Teach them how they can share what you just shared with them!
    • If no, ask them if they would like to place their faith in Jesus! 
Choose Disciples
We are wanting people who are serious about growing in their relationship with Jesus to join our groups. We want to invite people who are Faithful, Available, and Teachable. You control who is in your group by who you invite. Shoot for small faithful groups! Large groups are fun but easily distractible and harder to connect with. Look for three faithful disciples in a group if possible.  

Set a Time and Location to Meet
As a discipleship group in the Corps you will have to set a time each week for your group to meet regularly. Ideally you will then be able to find times to see these people outside this time as well.  As soon as you have your schedules for next year, try and set a time before the start of the fall so we can also share with each other when your groups will be meeting. 


Ask God how He might use you to help your disciples come to know Jesus more.

To disciple someone, you need to recognize where they need to grow. We are all in different places in our spiritual maturity from an infant to mature adult. 
  • Infant: Brand new believer/little understanding of spiritual disciplines.
  • Child: Understanding the basics of faith but still needs guidance & encouragement in the “next steps.”
  • Adolescent: Growing in independence in walk with God and taking on responsibilities for their faith. 
  • Adult: Exhibits maturity in their pursuit of Christ; able to handle the word of God rightly and is engaged in God’s Kingdom work as He leads. 
As you prepare for meeting with your discipleship groups, try and evaluate where most of your group is at and develop conversations for that level of maturity. Level of maturity is not a ranking but what will help people grow. Example people who have placed their faith in Jesus for over a decade should be growing, not stuck as spiritual infants. 

We don’t give you content for every week, but we want you to at least go through these eight discussions as you disciple others. These eight lessons are a synthesis of Jesus’ commands that He makes to his disciples. If you are looking for a place to start this can be super helpful. Many weeks though you will possibly prepare to discuss one thing, but situations in your relationships will bring up better things to discuss.


Connect Relationally
This happens throughout your time together. Discipleship is mostly a relationship. The guy who discipled me in college said "Discipleship is 90% relationship, 10% content, 5% ice cream. Not a formula because it doesn’t add up to 100%" 

Discuss Their Walk with God. 
Ask questions that get to the heart of who people are and how their relationship with God is? Go deeper than are you having regular quiet time questions. Not just what you are doing but how is the time you are spending with God changing you? Or is it?  

Discuss Scripture Around the Content. 
Literally open up the Bible together and discuss passages that God brings to mind in conversation. This may be the topic you prepared to talk about, or it may be the hard thing someone brought up and going to a different part of the Bible to address the topic. Involving God’s word & truth should be a component of your time together because it is the foundation of where we can know God. You don’t have to know everything, if you don’t know an answer write down the question and look it up/ask someone who does. Then get them the answer later.

Pray Together
Prayer together, especially for guys is easy to overlook but please model this to your disciples! Show that you care about them and ask what you can be praying for and then pray!
Take Notes. Following your time together, take some notes on your conversation, the things you learned about your friend, and questions they may have raised to discuss next time. 

Take Notes
Following your time together, take some notes on your conversation, the things you learned about your friend, and questions they may have raised to discuss next time. 

The above components of discipleship can happen in many scenarios—not just over coffee, but also while working out together, running errands together, going out to share our faith with others…to name a few! Like a three-legged stool, balanced discipleship rests on prayerrelationship, and content


Remember, your first priority is to walk closely with God. 
Whomever you disciple will learn as much (if not more) from how you live your life than just by what you say. Share your life (and time) with whomever you disciple! Let them see God’s grace and truth in action in your life. People are not products, and discipleship happens through relationship (not curriculum). 

Our goal for who we disciple is not just intellectual learning or copying moral behavior. Instead, it is a life changed by learning from Jesus and yielding to the Holy Spirit’s direction in their life!