The question sometimes arises concerning the use of Lifestyle Discipleship without a discipler. Obviously, if the manual is used by someone who is interested in developing a discipling ministry, but doesn't have someone near who has experience using the materials, some accommodation to the rules for use must be made.
It is the desire of the writer that it be used worldwide. There will, of necessity, be some who must begin without working with a formal discipler. What is necessary, what is to be expected, and what are some things such an individual can do? In this short discussion, I wish to help you get started on your own if you do not have someone who has used the materials and who will spend time discipling you.
It is important for you to look at the criteria under the articles "Upon Considering Whom to Disciple, Consider This," and "Minimal Expectations for a Timothy". These are found in the section in the manual called, "Preparation for Discipling", (session 28).
Within these two brief articles, criteria for choosing a person to disciple are discussed. It is important that you meet these criteria. Perhaps I should list a few to reemphasize them.
1. Faithfulness is supreme. Unless you possess the characteristic of faithfulness, it will be difficult to do this on your own. We are urged to "consider the cost" before we set out to build something, and this is certainly important when we begin to build into a life.
2. There needs to be a willingness to make a long commitment. This can only be accomplished if you are willing to get going and become a visionary. Along with everything else, we need people who are willing to make commitments for a lifetime.
3. You may not agree with everything in the manual. That is perfectly all right. But at least, be willing to be taught.
The most obvious way to get going is to find another person who would want to do this with you. Most of what I want to say is related to your being able to find this person.
You will need to review the criteria above and be in agreement. This is very important. You must agree that you will be accountable to each other. You will begin together and continue to work together, discussing the lessons, reviewing the Scripture verses, and praying together just as you would with a discipler. In reality, you will need to consider this person your discipler, and they would consider you the same. Meet together as each other's discipler.
When you reach the place about seven months into the study where we begin discipling another person, each of you will pick up your person and help and supervise each other as you begin meeting with a real live disciple for the first time.
At this point you are on your own as far as discipling is concerned, and you have accomplished this without the ordinary reality of being discipled yourself. It is a bit sad that you have not had the privilege of enjoying someone coming alongside of you in the same way, but at least you are doing your part in the Great Commission.