Reflection Questions for a Disciple Coach: Building Block #1 – Prayer

Reflection Questions for a Disciple Coach: Building Block #1 – Prayer

Disciplemaking is a spiritual process with very real actionable steps.  I use the term, Disciple Coach for the disciplemaker because it is more descriptive of the role of the disciple who makes disciples in our world today.  Here are three assumptions that we make when we speak about disciplemaking.

3 Assumptions of Disciplemaking

  1. The Scriptures are the source of new life in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, for the disciple coach.
  2. The fruit of a disciple coach are disciples making disciples
  3. The best context for disciplemaking is “as the disciple coach goes about doing life”.

Previously, I alluded to our Leadership Collective 2000 and presented 4 Basic Building Blocks of Disciplemaking – CLICK HERE. Since then I have been working with Glenn Spyksma to brainstorm reflection questions under each of the Disciple-Making Building Blocks (DMbb).  For a quick review, here are the 4 DMBB.

1.  Prayer

2.  Form relationships with non-christians and christians

3.  Have a discipleship cycle (not a process)

4.  Accountability

Reflection Questions

DMbb #1 Prayer

  • Prayer for me
    • To understand Christ’s biblical foundation
      • What are the BIblical foundations for disciplemaking?
      • How are others seeing you live out these foundations in the last 60 days?
    • To have a heart and mind for the lost that translate to compassion and action
      • What moves and motivates you to make disciples?
      • What would others say moves and motivates you?
    • To see who God is leading my way
      • What disciplemaking opportunities is God creating for you?
      • Who is God preparing for you to connect with on their discipleship journey?
  • Prayer for those God is leading my way to be open to the touch of the Holy Spirit
    • Individual Prayer
      • How can you pray for those God is moving and motivating to take the next step on their discipleship journey?
    • Team Prayer
      • Who is praying with you for the people you are discipling? 

The best way to use the 4 DMbb

  1. Meet with a disciple coach or a group of disciple coaches.
  2. Use the 4 DMbb as an assessment – help the disciple coach identify which one they need to focus on today
  3. Depending on which of the four the disciple coach identifies, help them further reflect on the specific aspect they need to focus – see expanded list CLICK HERE

That will set the stage for a spiritual discernment process to determine the disciple coach’s next steps.  Use the reflection questions above, in addition to the questions we present under the remaining DMbb presented in future blogs to facilitate the conversation.  Help the disciple coach is to stay in motion by taking the next step in their journey to make disciples that make disciples.


An Excellent Resource to Equip Your Congregation to Serve Online

An Excellent Resource to Equip Your Congregation to Serve Online

These are challenging times for all in ministry.  We are uncertain about the path forward as the recommendations for keeping people safe change daily.  However, the opportunities for the local church to step-up, have never been greater!  Last week I received an e-mail from a friend highlighting an opportunity to help young people.  As the struggles young people encounter become more and more pronounced during the pandemic, one ministry is offering you and your congregation an opportunity to serve.  Learn how you and your people can serve as mentors to support youth during their time of need. could be an amazing opportunity to allow churches to equip their congregation to do ministry online as they seek to match christian mentors who have made it through various struggles with hurting young people in the middle of that struggle.
Here is a 2 minute long video explaining what they do 


One of my big lessons over the last 30+ years has been learning how to adjust to different personality types.  Helping young people process their struggles requires a high level of EQ (Emotional Intelligence).  I learned that introverts process information differently than extroverts (using the Myers/Briggs).  Understanding how you function is a good first step to self-awareness, understanding how to adjust to the people you coach is a good next step.
Resources to help you understand how to coach extroverts!
Resources to help you understand yourself!
Learn about the various combinations of extroverted personality traits using the Myers/Briggs.


4 Basic Building Blocks of Disciplemaking

4 Basic Building Blocks of Disciplemaking

One of the exercises from our Leadership Collective, that supports the work of church planters and pastors, is for participants to design their disciplemaking process.  One of the participants is a regional leader for his denomination.  Glenn Spyksma (second from the right in the photo above) gives leadership and oversight to roughly 30 churches.

Therefore, he has the ability to view the disciplemaking process from two vantage points:

  1. As the member of a local congregation
  2. As the overseer of multiple congregations

He landed on a curious question a few month ago:

“What are the minimum tools a disciple needs to become a disciplemaker?”

Before I go further I should mention that he comes into the Leadership Collective with a business background as the former Vice President of a large, international corporation.  This is what Glenn came up with from his interactions with pastors and church planters who have robust disciplemaking ministries, in his r  ion.

Below are four developmental skill attributes which are common in some people that excel in discipleship.  In this case discipleship begins with you discipling a non-believer and culminates in that individual leading/mentoring/coach discipling a non-believer at the beginning of their journey.  One of the fundamental and scary shifts is the realization and facilitation of the priesthood of all believers.  Everyone “Go and make disciples”.

4 Basic Building Blocks of Disciplemaking:
1.  Prayer
  • Prayer for me
    • To understand Christ’s biblical foundation
    • To have a heart and mind for the lost that translate to compassion and action
    • To see who God is leading my way
  • Prayer for those God is leading my way to be open to the touch of the Holy Spirit
2.  Form relationships with non-christian and christians
  • Without both it is difficult to have a discipleship cycle.
  • Without one of the two it may be a ramp not a cycle.
3.  Have a discipleship cycle (not a process)
  • Develop a process that you believe in and will use
  • “I do you watch” to “You do and I watch” to “You do and some else watches”
4.   Accountability
  • With God
  • With yourself with grace
  • With those God has entrusted to you



We used the resources above as a framework – then each participant was asked to create their own disciplemaking process, draw it on a napkin and explain it in a 3-minute video.  It was exciting to hear common themes, distinctives and overall clarity as the leaders presented.  Can you explain your disciplemaking cycle in a clear, concise and simple way; so someone unfamiliar with your cycle can understand it,  in a matter of minutes?

What gets rewarded gets done – 5 questions to reflect on the “win” for your ministry

What gets rewarded gets done – 5 questions to reflect on the “win” for your ministry

Current Champion League Champs, Liverpool FC with their manager Jurgen Klopp, celebrated a historic fifth championship last year (the tournament started in 1956).  This year they won the English Premiership (arguable the most competitive league in the world) with the following accomplishments, if they continue their dominance in the weeks ahead:

  • the most points ever earned by a team
  • the most wins
  • the greatest margin between themselves and their nearest rivals, during the modern era.

Their celebration affirmed their supremacy in the footballing (aka soccer) world.  What is the genius behind Klopp’s approach?  His trademark hugs to players when coming off the field, following a match and winning trophies go a long way in affirming what he values.  But there is something more going on here.

In a recent Men in Blazers interview with Klopp, he was asked what really matters.  His response was noteworthy – I summarize here.  At the end of our lives I don’t believe we will be asked how many trophies we’ve won; however, I do think it matters what we have done with what we were given.  Absolutely, every day I strive to make the most of every opportunity.  What matters for me is that my players have given their best every time they step on the field.

This is what Klopp is affirming.  The wins, trophies make a difference; but it is the mentality of “leaving everything on the field”, is what matters most.  And is one reason Liverpool FC is the dominate club in the world today!

Back in my seminary days (1985-1988) I distinctly remember a chapel service when a guest speaker, George Patterson, come in to share his methodology of disciplemaking.  The speaker was energetic and engaging – disarming in his presentation style.  Most of all – CHALLENGING “the win” for missionaries, church planters and pastors. 

George Patterson was a missionary in Honduras where he discovered a radical (meaning “root” or “returning to the foundation of something) approach to disciplemaking and church multiplication.

Read more about George Patterson

George Patterson spent 21 years in Central America training pastors to make disciples in a New Testament fashion that rapidly multiplies churches. In Honduras he began by training pastors in a traditional, resident Bible Institute with poor results. With the advice of more experienced missionaries and much trial and error, he later saw churches multiply through the instrumentality of “Theological Education and Evangelism by Extension” (TEEE). This non-formal pastoral training resulted in about 100 new churches over twenty years in northern Honduras. This is as a result of the Biblical discipleship and church reproduction principles Dr. Patterson implemented. This model is now used with similar results in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well in the United States, and is distributed as Train & Multiply TM. George’s teaching style relies heavily on student involvement in role-plays and exercises that bring learning to life. He is hilarious and hyper-energetic in the classroom.

George was “rewarding” or affirming disciples who were making disciples AND planting churches through their disciplemaking efforts.  It was inspiring and captivating.  Near the end he role modeled an exercise that involved students as he went through the 5-step disciplemaking/leadership development process:

  1. I do – you watch
  2. You do – with me
  3. You do – I watch
  4. You do – without me
  5. You do – with someone else

Church Multiplication Guide by George Patterson & Richard Scoggins

George clearly communicated the “win”: disciples making disciples + churches planting churches.  His explanation communicated that these outcomes were celebrated, affirmed and rewarded in culturally appropriate ways.

I will never forget this principle.

Closer to home, we might “reward” behaviors or achievements in ministry: baptisms, budget and buildings.  Whatever those things are – we intentionally or unintentionally exalt or lift-up. Certain things recieve more air-time and attention, than others.

I remember the story a pastor shared, illustrating the importance he and the congregation at his previous church placed on Sunday morning worship attendance.  The pastor set a numerical goal for the year for new visitors to attend a worship service.  The morning of the final count the pastor realized he was 1 person short of their goal.  He explained how he went to the local gas station the morning of, and convinced an employee to join him and attend service that morning.  The employee did so and the congregation celebrated that accomplishment of the milestone together.

You might not reward Sunday morning worship attendance.  But you might take a look at how your people are demonstrating behaviors of a disciple.  Here is a short list of disciplemaking characteristics you might track:

  • Compassion
  • Sharing faith
  • Acts of Service
  • Sacrificial Giving
  • Humility

Whatever that thing is, it is important for people to see what you and your church affirm, prioritize and reward.

5 questions to reflect on the “win” for your ministry

  1. How would you describe a “win” in your ministry?
  2. What are you rewarding in ministry?
  3. How are you rewarding people when they “win”?
  4. If your current “win” is not in alignment with your vision, what needs to change?
  5. What step can you take to affirm the “win” in your ministry, this week?
5 Questions for your reflection as you lead your congregation into, and through, racial reconciliation

5 Questions for your reflection as you lead your congregation into, and through, racial reconciliation

Followers of Jesus are called to be reconcilers.  The beginning point is to create conversations with the goal of listening, reflecting and acting!  Too often, conversation does not create understanding.

At this time in our history, listening to one another – really listening, is not just important; it is essential.

How can you facilitate conversation around the gospel to bring light to the darkness?

A current member of our Leadership Collective – Brian Wilson, Lead Pastor of Access Church in Menifee, CA recently interviewed a panel of guests to allow his congregation to listen, truly listen to the issues that divide people based upon the color of their skin.  I want to thank Brian for his excellent modeling as he facilitates the panel discussion.  My prayer is that these exchanges help educate people on both sides of the racial divide.

Watch Honest Conversations at Access Church (Part 2) – CLICK HERE.

Questions for your reflection as you lead your congregation into and through, racial reconciliation:

  1. What can we as followers of Christ, agree to regarding a biblical understanding of racial reconciliation?
  2. What do we as followers of Christ, do well in the way we live out our faith to reconcile races in our community?
  3. What are our blind-spots as followers of Christ, as we strive to reconcile races in our community?
  4. What actions can we take as followers of Christ, to reconcile races in our community?
  5. What can we as followers of Christ, do to sustain racial reconciliation on an ongoing basis in our community?

These questions are for your reflection, for you to process with your leaders and your congregation.