ULTIMATE GUIDE: choosing who to disciple



Aug 21


Eleisha Lewis

Do you ever feel like you need to disciple everyone in your ministry?

Maybe you have an official leadership role in your young adults ministry, maybe you are the generations pastor, the Young Adults Pastor or you oversee the Youth Leaders in your ministry. Maybe you’re the self-designated older sibling figure of the young adult congregation and take on the role as spiritual advisor or mentor to some of them. 

Whatever your role is, official, or unofficial, if you clicked on this blog, then I’m sure that you experienced the weight and pressure of supporting the growth and development of the individuals in your young adults ministry. 

I’m so sure that you care deeply for these young adults. You might even spread yourself thin organising coffee catch ups, running around to everyone after the Sunday service, and feel guilty for not replying to that guy that messaged you a spiritual question two  weeks ago but you just haven’t had the time to give him a thoughtful and considered reply. 

If this sounds a bit like you, I’m here to tell you that I’ve been there before. I know what it’s like to carry the spiritual responsibility of a group of young adults, and I’ll tell you one thing that made things easier for me.

“Do for the few what you wish you could do for the many.”

Practically speaking, you don’t have time to go deep, answer all their burning questions, check in, pray for, meet with and invest in every member of your young adult community. 

What if there was a way that you for you to invest wholeheartedly, with clarity and focussed energy to achieve more fruit and success out of your discipling efforts and endeavours?


Did you know that the average person will spend 90,000 hours of their lifetime at work?  (Buettner, 2011)

 Despite this staggering statistic, a recent study found half of Australians are unsatisfied with their current work conditions, with 38% of workers unsatisfied with their current form of employment (Ceridan, 2019). In addition to this, 44% of workers were also found to be actively searching for new work.

In comparison, the government, aerospace and defence force were all professions with high retention rates (Forbes, 2017). One of the contributing reasons for the improvements in the retention rates in these industries, could possibly be the their detailed, and thorough recruitment process.

You see, rather than selecting just anyone who may have a mild interest in joining the military, their selection processes ensure that only the very best of candidates are selected. Who might these people be? Well, individuals who are physically, mentally, emotionally capable and fit for the position. Not only that, but people who possess core attributes that align with the values of the institutions, and have a vested interest in working in these fields. 

Not only does this make sense in terms of their employees being a ‘good fit’ for the job, but these selective recruitment processes also lead to better retention outcomes (Beyon, 2022).

And while this example applies to job satisfaction for everyday Australians, the same principle applies to the way in which Jesus was intentional in selecting His disciples for the industry of disciple making.

Jesus was Love to everyone he came in contact with. He was kind, gentlemanly, and invested in even the least unlikely of people… but he also chose to do life super closely with 12 significant individuals.

 Jesus chose his disciplers

We read about this in Luke 6:12-13 where Jesus spends time praying before selecting his disciples. Jesus himself didn’t randomly select his disciples by bumping into them on the street. No, instead he spent the night praying, and carefully called his 12. 

From this example, we can learn the importance of following Jesus’ example and praying for the right person or people. Below is a 4 – step process, that might support you in selecting the people that you might disciple. 

selection process:

  1. List the names of people in your circle of influence
  2. Seek God for discernment in who to reach out to
  3. Connect with these individuals prayerfully and look out for some key indicators
  4. Fast and pray for a God-ordained response from those you invite

In addition to going to God in prayer, we can also see the way in which Jesus was intentional in selecting disciples who had potential

 Let’s look at 2 Timothy 2:2.

 “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” 

See how Paul uses the phrases “entrust to reliable people” and “qualified to teach others”? It’s clear that Paul could see the importance of selecting disciplers with potential too! 

So how might we know if someone has ‘potential’ to be an effective disciple maker, and for the multiplication process to extend beyond themselves and their generation?

Well, here are some helpful indicators:



  • Are they hungry for spiritual growth and to learn more? Choose people who want to grow and say things like ‘tell me more…’ ‘how do you…?’ “what would you do in a situation where…”


  • Are they teachable? Be mindful of red flags when people say things like, ‘Yeah I’ve done that’. Oh, I’ve tried that, and it doesn’t work’ ‘Yeah I know all of that’


  • Do you and the person or people you are discipling have a relational connection? (chemistry) Discipling is about life on life, not just formal catch-ups, so it’s important that you enjoy each other’s company, and that the group of people you disciple have a natural synergy and connection. They don’t need to be best of friends, but you wouldn’t want an awkward or uncomfortable space to learn, grow and share together, would you?


  • Are they actually able to go and make disciples who make disciples? Do they have time to invest in discipling others? Discipling is a full-time identity, not a part-time side hustle for the half-committed, so it’s important to pick people who have the time and are committed to raising disciples. 

If you’re finding that those you are selecting to discipler in fall in alignment with this criteria, then I’d say that there’s a pretty high chance of you finding success in your discipling endeavour!

Speaking from personal experience, I would start with 2-3 individuals to intentionally invest in. You can catch up with them as a group and begin to do life more closely with them as you begin a discipling relationship with them. You can check out one of our other blogs to understand discipling in a group context, and the many benefits of this. 


Be Blessed,


Eleisha Lewis – GenJ Team member


If you would like to learn more about how you can effectively disciple others, we’d love you to connect with you. You can connect with us by clicking on the ‘contact us’ page of the website, or by finding us on instagram @genjofficial. 




Beyon, S. (2022). The Army is Having No Issue Retaining Soldiers, Amid a Crisis Recruiting New Ones. Military.com. Retrieved from https://www.military.com/daily-news/2022/09/26/army-having-no-issue-retaining-soldiers-amid-crisis-recruiting-new-ones.html


Buettner, D. (2011) Finding happiness at work. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/thrive/201102/finding-happiness-work


Ceridan. (2019). The Australia Pay Experience Report. Ceridan. Retrieved from https://www.ceridian.com/au/resources/2019-pay-experience-report


Kauflin, J. (2017). The Industries Where People Stay In Their Jobs The Longest. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffkauflin/2017/02/15/the-industries-where-people-stay-in-their-jobs-the-longest/?sh=632a536a5b54