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A Practical Guide to Men’s Discipleship

Written by Brian Ninde on

Why pursue men’s discipleship? The quick biblical answer is because Jesus did. In the classic book, The Master Plan of Evangelism, Dr. Robert E. Coleman states early, “Distinctively, the church proclaims the changed world as the consequence of changed men.” We are commanded to go make disciples who make disciples of Jesus Christ. Disciples should reproduce and should look like biblical men of integrity, intimacy, and influence.

Men’s Discipleship in My Group

I lead a Small Group of men that gathers regularly to grow together. What we pray for and strive to achieve with the group is the discipleship strategy of College Park Church: to belong, grow, and multiply. Our group is a launching pad, not just a landing pad—helping men not just look inward but forward. Here are four ways that we help our community of men follow Jesus:

1. An Identity

We want to be men that God raises up like the mighty “men of valor” as is referenced numerous times in the Old Testament when talking about fighting men in armies (Josh. 8:1-3, etc.). Warriors for Christ are:

  • Wholly committed to following Jesus
  • Wholly committed to being used in expanding his kingdom by proclaiming the gospel in our families, across the street, and around the world (through our local church)

2. A Goal

“Men of valor” seek the end goal of transformed men who are:

  • Coming to and growing in Christ
  • Mobilized to serve and connect with other men in the church
  • Trained and empowered to be leaders in their family, community, employment, and in the local church

Our desire is the same as John Wesley’s:

“Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergy or lay; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of God upon the earth in one generation.”

3. Four Stages of Relationship

In leading the group, I outline the four stages of discipleship relationship we should experience together:

  1. Becoming acquaintances (Rom. 15:7)
  2. Building friendship (1 Thess. 5:11)
  3. Bonding as brothers (Col. 3:16Eph. 4:15)
  4. Christlikeness (John 17:23)

Each one of these stages signals a deepening of the relational bond as well as a deepening of spiritual growth between brothers that occurs in men’s discipleship.

4. Getting Your Fab Five

Every man should structure his life upon Christ, specifically in the area of the relationships he has in his life. A question I like to ask men is, “Do you have the ‘Fab Five’ in your life?” What is a “Fab Five”? It is men’s discipleship in action—five relationships that help men grow and mature from different angles. In pursuit of men’s discipleship, I encourage you to ask yourself if you have a:

  • “Paul” in your life to lead, teach, and pour into you biblically?
  • “Timothy” in your life for you to lead and teach?
  • “Barnabas” that will encourage and motivate you on the tough days?
  • “Jonathan” who will be a close friend who knows you better than anyone?
  • “Nathan,” a prophet in your life to keep it real with you and challenge you in ways others can’t or don’t?

These “Fab Five” positions can help men be spiritually challenged like never before. Men need discipleship, and we need many more “men of valor” to rise to this important calling.

This article was originally published at

Brian Ninde

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