This week I spent several hours with my mentor Barry, who started discipling me in 1973 when I was a teenager. That was 44 years ago and we are still very close. During all those years Barry has been available for counsel, and he still prays for me and encourages me.
How long should you disciple someone? I never view discipleship as a short-term assignment. I want to stay connected to those I mentor for a lifetime! I’ve learned that relationships stay vibrant as long as I nourish them with regular communication. As your disciple matures you will relate to each other differently. But never assume that your job is done; don’t “drop” people out of your life. Even after Paul had fully trained Timothy, and Paul knew he would die soon, he urged Timothy: “Make every effort to come to me soon” (2 Tim. 4:9). Keep the bonds strong and develop lifelong relationships!