Exponential 2016: Mentoring In the Small Church

Mentoring Disciples by Leveraging the Relational Power of Small Churches

Taught by Karl Vaters & Gary Garcia of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, Fountain Valley, CA


The goal of Christian mentoring:

Foster intentional relationships to make disciples who become disciplemakers


Cornerstone’s three-step mentoring process:

Step 1: Life groups (monthly, intentional relationships)

Step 2: Life & Faith groups (intensive 6-week discipleship group)

  • Walk through John & Acts together
  • Covers the existence of God, the nature of salvation, discipleship, what is the church, spiritual gifts and more – all within context of intentional relationships

Step 3: Life & Leadership group (intensive 10-month leadership group)

  • Meet once a month
  • Rotate scripture study with recent books and podcasts on Christian leadership


TGM box sale 250cSome of the principles behind mentoring:


The pastor’s calling is to equip the saints for the work of ministry (Eph 4:12)

Mentoring is the best disciple-making method ever devised

Mentoring cannot happen in big groups, so we need curriculum for that

Mentoring is usually better in small groups than one-on-one

It’s OK to start with one

Require a commitment that stretches them but doesn’t break them

Put an end date on it

Lead by example more than by teaching (the law of the First Follower)

Use the Jethro model – train them to be Level 10 leaders first

Find potential leaders by looking for willing servants


To Start Mentoring In Your Church


A 5-Step Small Church Discipleship Process (That Won’t Wear Out the Pastor)

  1. Meet with every new believer and potential leader
  2. Determine how they learn and grow
  3. Connect them with a mature believer and the right resources
  4. Help them plug Into an active ministry that utilizes their gifts
  5. As people mature, call on them to start leading others


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Karl Vaters • CornerstoneFV.com 

NewSmallChurch.com • ChristianityToday.com/Karl-Vaters

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