Articles & Resources

Friday, 10 February 2017 09:04

How do I mentor someone?

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Have you felt the Lord’s conviction you that you should be investing in the life of a new(er) believer? Great! But, you might have questions about what a personal “spiritual mentoring” relationship looks like.

Let’s take a look at how the DTI Manual and the four components of “spiritual parenting” can help you fulfill the Great Commission.

spiritual mentoring

The DTI materials are designed with the intent of raising questions and stimulating conversation which will lead to spiritual growth both in the mentor (discipler) and mentee (disciple). As you go through the material together there will be questions that will come up from the mentee related to what is being discussed and from the other side, the mentor needs to be constantly available to share personal experiences both positive and negative.

As a mentor shares personal experiences they are going to be modeling and sharing with the mentee, “this is how I handled this particular situation” or “when the Lord did this in my life this is how I reacted.” Maybe the outcome wasn't very good but it will be a learning experience for both the mentee and mentor. It’s helpful to discuss things that have happened spiritually and things that are happening in the life of the mentee.

And the Holy Spirit needs to be depended on to orchestrate all of this. Typically when you meet together, you as the mentor know where you're going to start which is probably where you ended up the last time you met. For example, you're going through Phase 1 and you know which lesson you ended last time and you’re prepared to begin there, but you have to be ready that any given moment the Holy Spirit may change the whole direction of the time together. Maybe a paragraph or concept you think would be easily understood by the mentee triggers a question in the mind of the mentee that leads to the whole session talking about one particular point. But if that's what the mentee needs to discuss then the mentor better be ready to let the Holy Spirit direct the conversation.

In our Balanced Discipleship discussion we list four components of personal discipleship. Let’s now turn our attention to these components since you as the mentor will use these in the mentoring process.

The first component is teaching God's word. As you go through the DTI Tool you’ll find that about 65% of the lessons are Scripture, along with the teaching “point” to discuss. God’s Word is a powerful instrument to use as we seek to grow in spiritual maturity, spiritual fruitfulness and spiritual reproduction.

The second component of personal discipleship is that of commitment. This has to do with the heart attitude of the mentor towards the spiritual welfare and development of the mentee. There is a commitment that goes beyond just presenting God's word.

It's the contrast between the secular model for teaching and the biblical model for teaching. Jesus said that a disciple is a student and every disciple is a student but not every student is a disciple. What's the difference?

The biblical idea of a disciple is more of an apprentice. At a university the student just wants to know what the teacher knows. In the biblical model the student wants to be like the teacher. This is a huge difference. In the secular model the student doesn't have to respect or have intimacy in any way with the teacher. In many situations the teacher could be immoral outside of the class because all that matters to the student is the information that they receive in the class. How the teacher lives their life is pretty much irrelevant.

But in the biblical model of discipling the idea of an apprentice is one where the mentee learns from the mentor but we want the mentee to emulate the mentor. Most of all we want the mentee to end up with the passion of the mentor. Typically the one that is being mentored will not have a greater passion than the one that is mentoring. Hopefully the passion of the mentor comes across.

The third component of personal discipleship is being a model for the disciple. A lot of times outside of using the Tool you will be modeling your everyday life in particular situations. If you’re mentoring someone you would expect to receive phone calls or questions from the mentee that doesn't have to do with the lessons you are going through in the manual. It would be more of “I've got a situation going on in my life.....”

In many ways being a model for the mentee cannot be taught. How do you teach patience? How do you teach faithfulness, or passion? Those things need to be seen more than heard and this is part of being a model.

The fourth component of personal discipleship is individual attention. We’re not interested in having you just go through the material in a mechanical way but you have to be available to the Holy Spirit lead that maybe on one particular point there is a “hang-up” for the mentee. Maybe it is something where the mentee is hurting or has some deep questions. As the mentor you should let the Holy Spirit change the pace and direction of the time spent together so the Holy Spirit can address those needs of the mentee.

As you experience the joy of mentoring a new believer, you will come to experience that all four components are dovetailed together as one unit.

2 disciplers

Thursday, 02 February 2017 15:42

Empower, Encourage, Equip, Enjoy!

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In the aftermath of our just completed 11th conference in Cuba we ask the following question. How do we measure the success of a discipleship conference? 

Over the years we have heard various Cuban leaders lamenting about the all too common problem when other ministries enter Cuba, conduct a conference and then leave without empowering and equipping those who attend to implement the material. Many of you may have even experienced this in your own professional careers. Just look at your bookshelf's...

So DTI has been very strategic in our method of "Equipping The Saints" for our Cuba conferences. This means that with the help of our existing Cuban leaders (who have been with us for several years now) we seek other spiritually mature Cuban believers who are passionate about the Lord and already have a proclivity to investing in the lives of others (not necessarily the best "teachers") and equip them how to spiritually mentor new believers. We also encourage them to assume a leadership role by accepting the responsibility of modeling to others what we model to them during the week.

Sometimes in other cultures people will be courteous, not wanting to offend, but then not implement what they received once you leave because they don't think they have the authority to do so. So we have spent a lot of time empowering the Cuban leaders to implement the spiritual mentoring process in their home churches after we leave. To help mitigate any excuses, we give each attendee a second DTI manual to be used with a new believer immediately upon their return home from the conference.

The end result? This empowering, encouraging, and equipping has led to numerous testimonies of how people are growing in the Lord, making good decisions, marriages are being healed, behaviors are changing and we get to enjoy some of the fruit God is producing!

implementation slide

Thursday, 05 January 2017 14:40

Q & A With Art Barkley

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Q. Our church has been reviewing the DTI ‘Tool For Personal Discipleship” for some time now and would like to start implementing Phase 1 with the Spiritual Mentoring process you promote; discipling believers one-on-one. Do you suggest the mentor cover all of the Phase 1 content with the mentee? How long should this take?

A. I’m very pleased to know of your interest in being used by the Lord to disciple others.

The answer is yes, we recommend covering all of the Phase 1 lessons in order, as the lessons are built upon each other, similar to a house being built on a foundation, then the walls, roof, wallshouse walls and roof

The time involved is totally relative to the spiritual understanding and faithfulness of the disciple. Since each believer is “unique” we can’t make precise blanket statements, but we can make some general statements.

In the past few years I’ve spent considerable time with several believers who have listened intently, but have been very slow to allow the Lord to make practical application in their lives.

On the other hand, in a relatively short time some disciples have blossomed in a beautiful and fruitful way.

Our goal is not to simply instill knowledge, nor to try to form the disciple into a certain preconceived image, but rather to deepen their personal relationship with Him, and to help them to cooperate with Him, so that He can mold their life into a faithful and useful vessel that is available to Him for His purposes.

The pace of each disciple’s growth can vary considerably, as some will desire to proceed at a rapid pace, while other will prefer a slower pace.

And each believer has personal issues and past history that will probably need to be addressed, affecting the progress time.

When I am about to disciple a newer believer, I typically anticipate spending about a year with them going through Phase 1. Older believers may need a shorter time.


Watch this video explaining how to use the DTI Tool


Monday, 18 January 2016 12:25

NEW - Updated Free Discipleship Manual

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DTI is please to announce an updated "A Tool For Personal Discipleship" manual is now available in the "Free Lessons" section of our web site.

Saturday, 17 October 2015 12:57

3 Areas of Temptations

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We can divide our lives into three distinct categories.

  1. Time
  2. Energy
  3. Possessions.

These three areas of my life are where I need to yield my independence and acknowledge His Lordship authority. In this video teaching, we use the examples of Adam and Eve in the Garden, Jesus being tempted by Satan, the Prophet Jeremiah and portions of 1 John.

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Art discussed discipleship in this live interview on radio station KNIS (Carson City, NV) on January 30, 2007

We believe there are some foundational principles that all believers, especially newer believers, need to understand. Our desire is to give each newer believer (and any spiritually hungry older believer) a clear overview of the Christian life and a basic understanding of God’s objectives. We believe that the failure to clearly explain essential Biblical concepts and goals to new converts initially so they learn them early in their walk, is one of the main reasons for the lack of spiritual vitality in the Christian community.

Click the "Play" button below in the Media Manager to listen to the interview.


Friday, 18 September 2015 17:53

What Is a Biblical Disciple?

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Point 1. To many Christians the term “disciple” speaks of a believer who exhibits an acceptable level of observable Christian behavior.

Since one’s behavior is a product of one’s convictions (values), we believe being a “disciple” should more accurately be understood to reflect a believer’s disposition and relationship with the Lord. In this lesson we seek to focus on a disciple’s heart attitude, rather than just what a disciple “does.”

... Man does not see what the LORD sees, for man sees what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7)

Godly Behavior is an Outcome of Godly Convictions

Point 2. The pivotal issue that a disciple has dealt with is that of Christ’s lordship over his life. In other words, the believer has considered the claims of Christ, and has concluded that the best workable relationship is for the Lord to be in charge of his entire life. One of Christ’s claims is that of ownership (having authority over that which is owned).

1 Cor. 6:19-20 Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.
1 Cor. 7:23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.

God’s ownership of the Christian is a factual truth, which is not dependent on the believer’s acknowledgment of it. I do not bestow ownership, I can only acknowledge and act upon what He states to be already true.

New believers will typically not be resistant to this truth, because they don’t have preconceived ideas of God’s expectations. In contrast, older believers tend to accept this truth intellectually, but be resistant to the implications.

What are the implications of ownership? What rights or authority are generally understood to be conveyed by ownership?

Does an owner not have the right to do whatever he wants with his property?

He Owns Me (Whether I Believe It or Not). His Ownership s Not Dependent on My Acceptance

It (being a disciple) involved personal allegiance to Him, expressed in following Him and giving Him an exclusive loyalty. In at least some cases it meant literal abandonment of home, business ties and possessions, but in every case readiness to put the claims of Jesus first, whatever the cost, was demanded. Such an attitude went well beyond the normal pupil-teacher relationship and gave the word ‘disciple’ a new sense. (The New Bible Dictionary)

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If a new believer is not instructed otherwise, he will typically appropriate the values and convictions of the Christians that he associates with during the formative first period of his new spiritual life, just as a child will tend to adopt the values and convictions of his family and peers.

Let's say that a new Christian is brought into association with a group of Navigators (, who we would rightly expect to immediately begin to challenge the believer's former values and convictions. That believer is either going to adopt the Navigator's values and convictions, or he will become so uncomfortable that he will seek a more "friendly" and less intrusive environment.

But what happens if there is not such a group of relatively mature mentors who will take the new believer under wing? Typically the newer believer will be introduced into a congregation, where it is often assumed that "sitting under the preaching of the Word" will be sufficient to lead that new believer into a spiritually mature walk. It is hoped that the negative traits observed in the congregation do not distort the new believer's understanding. Is that realistic?

We believe it is safe to say that most new believers will be impacted more by what they "see" other believers do, than what they "hear" them say. If it can be said that a particular congregation is more spiritually mature, then it would be realistic to reason that the combination of "hearing" Biblical truth from a pastor/teacher, together with "seeing" Biblical spirituality modeled from the congregation, would be a tremendous help in the healthy spiritual growth of a new believer. Leaders need to realistically evaluate the spiritual health of the congregation, asking themselves, "Do we want a new believer to become like the 'typical' member of this congregation?" If the answer is no, then arrangements need to be put in place to impart Biblical values to new believers.


For more discussion on this topic click here.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015 14:01

Inward Transformation NOT Behavior Modification

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We believe that it's a true statement to say that "a believer's level of maturity is the degree to which the Holy Spirit has been able to change their inward value system in His direction."

If the believer allows the Holy Spirit to transform their convictions and values what happens to the behavior? It is going to follow. It cannot not follow. Behavior is a result of inward values. All of us act according to our value system.

Our outward behavior is a reflection of what's important to us. God wants to change our inward thinking - our inward value system - our inward convictions because the behavior is naturally going to follow.

The video below, reveals that many parents think discipline (of their children) is all about shaping proper behavior by manipulating reward and punishment. That's not discipline that's behavior modification.

The same can be said of many believers in the Church today. Many believers are very good at manipulating their behavior to "appear" to behave correctly, but NOT allowing God to transform their thinking which will produce the behavior that is pleasing to Him.

Friday, 10 October 2014 00:00

(Lordship) Illustration Of Two Doors

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What does the typical new Christian have to face as he looks at the future?

Shortly after becoming a Christian I come to a fork in the road where I see a door, through which I can visualize the future. I see goals and material belongings that would seem to satisfy my needs and desires in this life, at least based on my previous experience. Those goals and material belongings don't appear to be unacceptably evil. In fact I've seen many Christians seeking after the same things.

Using my God-given skills and intellect, those things appear to be obtainable, especially now that I can count on God to assist when needed. It seems reasonable that if God delivered me from unhappiness when He saved me, my happiness would now be one of His priorities.

But wait, I see through another door. It is as though there is a sign beyond the entrance with a message from Jesus saying, "Come follow Me, I have a better plan prepared for you."

He seems to want me to trust Him alone to give me fulfillment and satisfaction in this life and beyond. He seems to be telling me that the things I've seen through the other door only give temporary satisfaction for this life, but what He has prepared for me has eternal value. Since I can't visualize anything He seems to be promising, how does He expect me to make a sensible evaluation?

Does He really expect me to just trust Him on blind faith? That doesn't seem very reasonable since I'm just a new Christian and don't have much faith yet. Maybe further along I'll understand better, when I have more faith.

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