As a youth leader, you have the unique opportunity to not only teach your students the basics of the Christian faith but also to equip them with the tools to become disciple-makers. Discipleship training is the process of developing your students into followers of Jesus who are empowered to live out their faith by sharing the Gospel with their friends.
Are your disciples making disciples? This disciple multiplication is one of the most effective ways to grow a thriving youth group. It’s through discipleship that the saved mature in their relationship with God and as a result, preach the Gospel to others. With the right resources and training, youth leaders can equip their students to become passionate disciple-makers and empower them to transform the world for Jesus.
What is Disciple Multiplication?
Disciple multiplication is the fourth value of the seven Gospel Advancing values. It’s the process of equipping and training students in the ways of Jesus so that they can, in turn, become disciple-makers. One of our goals at Dare 2 Share is to help youth leaders build a generation of students who are discipling teens.
Through discipleship training, teens learn how to share the Gospel with their friends and help those friends become faithful followers of Jesus. This is a powerful way to spread the Gospel and create a movement of disciple-making among teens.
We believe there are three steps in discipleship.
- Understanding the process of discipleship.
- Creating an environment for disciple-making.
- Empowering your students to reach others.
Step 1: Understanding the Process of Discipleship
Discipleship involves teaching students how to be disciple-makers by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to share the Gospel with their friends. An example of this is how the Apostle Paul discipled Timothy who taught others how to make disciples, and so on.
The process of discipleship often looks like this:
- Connecting with and building trust with someone. That means getting to know them and building relationships.
- Teaching the Word of God. Studying Scripture together and helping them understand it is one of the most important parts of discipleship!
- Teaching them how to live as Christians. Helping students understand the importance of worship, church participation, serving others, and prayer is another critical piece of discipleship. Reminding them to build their relationship with Jesus is essential.
- Equipping them to do the same. Discipleship always centers around Jesus and teaching them how to replicate what they’ve learned with others.
Many times in youth ministry, discipleship is mistakenly reduced to teaching students how to pray, read the Bible, and develop a relationship with God. While that’s an essential part of discipleship, it isn’t the full picture. True disciple-making is when youth leaders train their students to make disciples of other teenagers who then make more disciples. It should be an endless domino effect.
If you want to dive deeper, check out Greg Stier explaining how a disciple multiplication strategy guides a Gospel Advancing Ministry!
Step 2: Creating an Environment for Disciple-Making
Creating an environment for disciple-making happens in two ways: 1) elevating discipleship in your students’ minds and 2) impactful discipleship training and resources.
Elevating Discipleship in Your Student’s Minds
We suggest that discipleship be a regular topic in your youth group. You can frequently tie it into your sermons, preach a series about it, lead Bible studies on it, etc. We also recommend that you encourage your students to be actively discipled and set expectations for your youth leaders to be in discipleship relationships.
Youth Discipleship Training and Resources
When teens are equipped to make disciples, they’re empowered to go and share the Gospel with their friends. Through youth discipleship resources, youth leaders can equip their students to become disciple-makers in ways that feel most comfortable and natural to them. With the guidance and support of their youth leaders, students can be confident in their ability to share the Gospel, lead others to Jesus, and disciple their peers.
Dare 2 Share’s free disciple-making resources include discipleship training materials, videos, and Bible study curriculum that help youth leaders teach their students how to disciple others. We also produce articles, podcasts, and webinars made just for youth pastors and leaders. These resources help youth leaders create an atmosphere where their students can learn how to make disciples, and then go and become disciple-makers themselves.
Step 3: Empowering Your Students to Reach Others
As a youth leader, you have the incredible opportunity to use your ministry to make a Gospel impact on the teens in your community. Doing everything you can to help them understand what God is capable of is the key to unlocking that opportunity.
If your students were asked what the point of going to youth group was, what would they say? Would their answers be mostly about themselves or others? When youth leaders emphasize that being a disciple of Jesus includes bringing their lost friends to Christ, it starts a fire in young people’s hearts.
Beyond the resources we discussed, some ways you can empower your students to reach and disciple others are by casting your vision of an evangelistic ministry to them, praying for them and with them, and training them to use evangelism methods created for teens, like the Life in 6 Words app. Students will go out and make disciples if they have youth leaders who believe they can and train them to do so.
How Dare 2 Share’s Events Help Discipleship Training
Dare 2 Share’s events are the perfect way to equip your students to become disciple-makers. Through intensive youth evangelism and discipleship training, we provide the tools for teens to make an impact in their schools and communities. The events also provide an opportunity for students to connect with other believers to learn and grow together. By learning the principles of disciple-making and using this training to reach their peers, students can become true disciples making disciples. Our two most impactful events are Lead THE Cause and Dare 2 Share LIVE!
Becoming a Disciple-Making Leader
As a youth leader, you’re building a ministry that can equip students to become disciple-makers and help spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While the path to becoming a disciple-making leader is a rewarding and fulfilling journey, it’s not an easy one. It shouldn’t be walked alone.
When you become a Gospel Advancing leader, you get connected to like-minded youth leaders locally and all over the world who share the same vision: to see every teen, everywhere, hear the Gospel from a friend. Transform your youth ministry and join the teen evangelism revolution.
Student Disciple-Making FAQs
Disciple multiplication is the process of making disciples who then make disciples themselves. It is the goal of disciple-making, and it is achieved when one person grows in their understanding of the Bible and in their relationship with Jesus and then goes on to disciple others. This process can be repeated over and over, resulting in exponential growth and multiplication of disciples.
The best environment for disciple-making is one that keeps Jesus and the message of the Gospel at the forefront of students’ minds.
You can empower your students to reach others by emphasizing that one of the purposes of your youth ministry is for students to bring lost teenagers in their community to Christ. One way to empower your students to reach others is by frequently praying with your youth group for their lost friends to know Jesus. This would be a great first step to transform your youth group into a Gospel Advancing Ministry.
Some tips for discipling teens include being patient and understanding, listening more than talking, asking questions that help them think through their beliefs, and providing them with resources to help them grow in their faith. It is also important to remember that teens are still developing and growing, so it is important to meet them where they are and to help them take ownership of their spiritual growth.