There are numerous options available to use as resources for a discipling relationship. As mentioned in one of my postings, I believe that it is important to use some type of curriculum to keep you focused and moving forward, otherwise you may get caught up in dealing with “felt needs” and not grow. The type of curriculum is also important from the standpoint that you want to help someone develop disciplines and well as foundational insight for a life of following Christ.
I have been using the resources below for a number of years and have found them to be very useful.
Discipleship Essentials – Greg Ogden
Greg Ogden has develop a format in this material that has worked well for me as well as many others. I typically use this as the initial material for any discipling relationship.
I appreciate this resource for a few reasons:
1) Length – The 25 sessions in this resource help to develop the discipline of commitment. Most curriculum that is available is typically 6-8 sessions long. I believe that this is the point when novelty wears off and discipline needs to kick in, thus it stops at 6-8 weeks. Working through 25 sessions of Discipleship Essentials develops in an individual an appreciation for the importance of life-giving habits.
2) Memory Verse – I am a big proponent of scripture memory and almost everyone I’ve met with who have committed to scripture memory state that it was one of the best aspects of the process we went through. This curriculum has memory verses to learn for each session. If you meet with me, these verses are reviewed continually, not just on the week we look at them.
3) Homework – To develop a habit, one needs to start doing some work on their own. The four components of Discipleship Essentials (Core Truth, Memory Verse, Inductive Bible Study, Article) all work together to enhance the learning. I let the guys I work with know that 15 minutes a day for 4 days and you can easily work through the material. For many, this is a completely new habit that needs to be developed.
Leadership Essentials – Greg Ogden
Using the same format, this is a follow up to his first book above. In this 12-session book, you work through four aspects of a leader who is also a disciple. Although 12-sessions long compared with 25 for Discipleship Essentials, the memory verses are longer, the inductive study is more in-depth and the articles are more extensive. Additionally, there is a reflective section at the end of each session that helps “land” the material in the life of the individual. I have often used this as a follow up to Discipleship Essentials.
This book guides you through three months of prayers. It is a unique combination of scripture (giving it a liturgical feel) and recommended prayer topics, (allowing for more free flowing prayers). Every prayer time guides you through eight areas of prayer – Adoration, Confession, Renewal, Petition, Intercession, Affirmation, Thanksgiving, Closing Prayer. I personally have been using this book 2-4 times each week to guide me. Those that I have given it to have really appreciated its focus, especially during those times when prayer is not coming naturally. There are two volumes, each taking you through three months.
More recommendations to come.