Connect with God Before Discipling Others


Connecting with God is vital for every Christian. And for those overseeing the spiritual development of others—in ministry or in family—to connect with God is crucial. The state of our own relationship with God bleeds into those we are discipling. It’s not enough to simply know the answers or to practice the spiritual disciplines by rote.

To be truly effective disciplers, we must connect with God before teaching others to do the same.


Every action has ripples.

My personal relationship with Jesus has ripple effects on everything in my life, especially the children in my class. I teach at a Christian school, and the quality of my relationship with Jesus impacts each of my students. There are serious side effects.

Where to Begin

It all starts with your personal relationship with Jesus. What you believe, what you prioritize, and how you live out your worship will all rub off on those you disciple. After all, many of these things are better learned by watching and adopting than by hearing formal instruction.

So learning truth and investing in our own personal relationship with Jesus are the natural first steps to discipling others.

We achieve the most growth when we seek God in a community of believers, in Bible study, and in prayer.


Our relationship with Jesus improves as we continue to live in community. Accountability, encouragement, and iron sharpening iron are all ways Jesus uses other people to draw us close to himself.

To connect with God more through community, try

  • joining a small group
  • finding an accountability partner
  • building God-centered relationships with friends from church

Roadblocks to building community try to keep us isolated, but by taking a few steps toward community, you will begin to enjoy freedom and connection to both others and God.

Bible Study

As we study the Bible, we come to know God better, and our relationship with God grows closer. As we study, we learn who God is, learn to rely on God’s character, and see the quality of life Jesus provides and expects for us.

To grow closer to God through Bible Study, try

  • joining a small group
  • prayerfully reading your Bible daily
  • asking yourself what you’ve just learned (or remembered) about God after reading the Bible

Roadblocks to Bible Study try convincing us that we don’t have the time to study or that we won’t understand what we read. Don’t give up!

If you’re interested, check out this post I wrote on why Christians should study the Bible or this one on how to study the Bible. Note that by clicking these links you will be redirected to my blog,


Through prayer, we talk with God. We grow closer to him through prayer by acknowledging who he is to us, asking for what we need, confessing our sins, and talking through things that concern us.

To grow your relationship with God through prayer, try

  • setting aside time every day to pray, developing a habit
  • finding a prayer partner
  • incorporating fasting, asking God for a deeper relationship with him

Roadblocks to prayer lie to us that we don’t have enough time to pray or that we are too sinful to pray. Combat these lies with God’s truth!

Nicole is an elementary teacher in Wisconsin and a watercolor enthusiast. Through her blog, Nicole helps Christians develop a thriving relationship with God. (

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