Oftentimes, we tend to initiate discipleship relationships without making clear what we are really talking about. A student might think you have agreed to get together every once and awhile for dating advice, while you are thinking she has agreed to meet for in depth one-on-one theological tutorship. If my own experience is any guide, often neither disciple, nor discipler, has a clear vision of what discipleship is. That tends to lower the overall quality of our discipleship, and set us up for the discipleship equivalent of the “Let’s just be friends” conversation; You’ve been discipling someone who isn’t all that interested in having a ministry. Then you hear a talk on investing your life in the right people, and realize you aren’t. So you get together with your disciple to “break up” so you can go train the next Billy Graham. You feel like a jerk, they feel like you’re a jerk, and it’s just plain lousy. Ah, the joys of ministry.

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