Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. – James 5:16

One of the tenets of our CBMC Mission Statement is to foster the spiritual growth and maturity of Christians (i.e. sanctification) through the process of personal one-on-one discipleship.

As we take a step back and look carefully at our lives in a modern world today, most of us have many responsibilities that keep us busy and focused on the priorities we believe God has given us to do. And whether it is in the workplace or the home, most of us have persons we are accountable to as we take care of those responsibilities of life.

But what about accountability for our spiritual growth? For many of us, our spiritual life (which is arguably the single most important area of our time here on earth) is left to chance without much, if any, personal accountability. We may attend church regularly, but if we're honest, most of our time spent there is in worship and consuming information on a surface level. It is easy to hide what is really happening in our lives, and so we become isolated and miss the opportunity to really share our struggles and hear others’ struggles in order that we can pray for one another and be healed.

Yet God’s Word has much to say about this principle of life-on-life discipleship with accountability.

The last command Jesus left us with while on the earth was to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:20). The apostle Paul modeled one-on-one discipleship for us in his relationship with Timothy.

“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.” (2 Timothy 2:2)

Proverbs also offers us wisdom for our relationships.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” (Proverbs 27:9)

As we spend one-on-one time with another believer in Christ, we develop transparency, trust, and accountability in our spiritual lives, and both the mentor and mentee begin to grow spiritually.

I have experienced firsthand what God does in a man’s life who is invested in being discipled one-on-one. I learned how to seek God in a better and deeper way. I experienced spiritual fruit growing and multiplying in my life. My prayer life and quiet time with God stabilized. I found God’s freedom from former hidden sin. I began to share Christ more boldly and effectively in my community and my workplace. And I began to see God’s specific purpose clearly for my life.

I now have three men I am investing time in each week, using Operation Timothy, CBMC’s curriculum developed specifically for one-on-one discipleship study. Every week now I get to see spiritual fruit growing in these men as we walk through the Scriptures together and share each other’s lives with one another.

I am so thankful God did not let me “sit on the bench” for the rest of my life on earth. He definitely had to nudge me to “get in the game”, but now I can joyfully say I am truly participating in the advancement of the kingdom of God here on the earth.

Think and pray

Do you have a man who is discipling (i.e. mentoring) you? Or do you have someone you are being intentional to help grow spiritually? If the answer is no to either question, what's keeping you from starting that journey? This is where CBMC can help. ”Today if you hear His voice …” (Psalm 95:17, Hebrews 3:15)

Jesus, it was Your idea that we invest ourselves to help others know and follow You. Show me who You would have me spend regular time with, and help me grow more like you as I do. Amen.

Chris Small is a former IT Software Development Technical Manager who co-leads a weekly CBMC Connect3 group, leads men’s ministry and missions at North Pointe Baptist Church and the Metro OKC Alliance, a Firstep program. He also plans and administrates Behind the Walls and Kairos prison ministries across the state of Oklahoma. His passion is helping young men find Christ’s victory over drug and alcohol addiction.