While apprenticing is rewarding, it can be hard work and requires the persistent application of certain skills. The 10 skills listed here all need to be used by the leader who trains an apprentice.
1. Supplicate. Jesus prayed not only before he called the disciples, but also toward the end of his earthly ministry (John 17:6-19)—and, undoubtedly, throughout the three years they spent together. Why?
- Protection (v. 11)—While she is being equipped and later as she begins to lead a group, the apprentice will undoubtedly come under fire from Satan. The devil does not want to lose any parts of his dark kingdom as a disciple-making leader is being born and released. So pray for God to protect her by his power.
- Joy (v. 13)—Disciple-making leadership should be a joyful experience. It may be tough and involve sacrifice, but I believe it should be the most joyful experience in life! We are doing God's work, carrying out his mission. What could be more joyful? But Satan wants to rob us of our joy. He wants us to look at our circumstances so much that we lose our contentment. Pray that God will help them remain joyful in their work.
- Sanctification (vv. 17-19)—Sanctification means we are being separated from profane things and consecrated or dedicated to God. Apprenticeship is spiritual leadership and demands focus on the things of God. While we cannot expect perfection from our apprentice, of course, we do need to pray for God to sanctify him—to be making him holy on a day-to-day basis. It is only through this sanctifying process that the apprentice can hope to effectively model and lead others spiritually. Verses 18 and 19 are essential for the disciple-making leader. Jesus said that as the Father had sent him into the world, so he was sending them into the world. We have the awesome responsibility to prepare and send someone else to lead a group just as we have been sent to do so. This is discipleship at its very heart. Jesus said that he had sanctified himself that they too would be truly sanctified. He had lived a holy, consecrated life as a model for them to follow. As you train the apprentice, you are a model of how a disciple-making leader is to be and act. You can be effective in this only through prayer. After you have an apprentice, continue to lift him up during your personal prayer times. Pray for his needs and his walk with Christ. Also, take time to pray with him regularly. Meet with him to lift up members of the group, people who may be invited, the outreach efforts of the group, and you as leaders.