Week 1: Finding Girls For Your Discipleship Group

As my girls transition from discipleship with me to discipling other girls, I’m frequently asked “How do you find or pick a girl to disciple?”
Truthfully this step can be intimidating. Girls can say no and that possible rejection can make anyone uneasy – myself included. When I begin to feel that dread of rejection, I remind myself a couple things…

Two Truths to Remember When Fearing Rejection

1. Don’t assume she won’t want you as her mentor.

I’ve been amazed at how many women are surprised when I tell them a younger girl would love to have them as a mentor! Often they reply “Who? Me?!” Many girls though want to be discipled. Unfortunately there is often a breakdown because girls are wanting someone to approach them while the older women are waiting for the girls to ask! Both sides end up assuming the other is too busy instead of finding out they would be delighted!

2. Remember that a “no” is usually not personal.

I have had multiple girls turn me down. Why? Most of the time they are simply too busy to make a serious commitment to something else. Occasionally they just aren’t interested. Regardless of the reason – there are plenty of girls who are searching for an opportunity to go deeper!

Qualities of a Girl Ready to Be Discipled

So what do you look for when choosing a girl to disciple?
1. Hungry

I want a girl who is hungry to go deeper. I start asking myself – Who is showing up to Sunday School? Who seems to be asking the hard questions? Who is wanting to go deeper, but hasn’t been able to in the large group setting? The bottom line is that for discipleship to work – both you and the girl have to genuinely want it.

2. Available

I only disciple three girls a year so I am unwilling to take a girl who is unable or too busy to come to meetings. Discipleship is a major commitment – for them and for me. Right now my girls meet with me once a week for two hours. So while discipleship may not cost money, it will cost a lot of time.

To reinforce this, I have my girls sign a contract (you can see my current contract on the Resources page). I communicate with them in advance of my goals, expectations and materials they will need. I also meet with their moms. I think this can be so important because ultimately our role is to help not replace a mom who is discipling her daughter. It also helps to have communicated to parents the consequences of breaking the contract in case it comes up later. It is a very rare scenario, but it prevents surprises down the road.

3. Chemistry
This won’t sound spiritual at all, but I take girls with whom I naturally connect. In life we all find that some personalities mesh well and others don’t. That’s okay and part of the beauty of the body of Christ. It’s one of the reasons your story is so valuable. There will be girls who gravitate to you precisely because of what you have gone through. Never underestimate how powerfully God can use your story.

If a few girls came to mind while you were reading this post, text them individually and invite one of them to grab coffee with you. Personally I spend most of the time chatting with them to check the chemistry one last time. Then at the end, I often mention I am thinking about starting a discipleship group. I keep the conversation light and just tell them to think about it and let me know if they are interested. Once I find my three girls (which will likely be easier than you think!), it’s time to plan the first few meetings!