What is Life-to-Life Discipleship?
Life-to-Life® discipleship is inviting someone in your life to grow in Christ by reading the Bible together, praying together and intentionally walking in everyday life together.
If you think of discipleship as a journey, then Life-to-Life discipleship is coming alongside someone on their journey and helping them take those next steps of following Jesus.
These everyday disciplemakers are committed to making disciples one person at a time, just like Jesus intentionally ministered in a Life-to-Life way with a select few.
“‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people’” Matthew 4:19 (ESV).
This type of discipleship sees those everyday relationships – whether at home, work, school or in your community – as intentional opportunities to share your faith.
When you’re sharing life with someone already, they are more apt to want to know your story, which is a powerful tool for sharing the gospel.
Also, they may see something different in how you live life through what you prioritize and how you love others. Your gifts, relationship with God and heart for others are all you need to get started in discipleship.
Why Life-to-Life Discipleship is Important
Maybe you’ve had a relationship with Jesus since childhood and tell people you “grew up in the church.” Or maybe you’re brand new to following Him.
Wherever you’re at, you know there is more to this Christian life than what happens inside the church building. You desire to grow and see your friends grow. Here’s where Life-to-Life discipleship comes in. It is a vessel for the spiritual growth you and your friends desire.
Life-to-Life discipleship is important because it’s built on the foundation of relationships and journeying with others through life. As you get to know someone, you build trust and most likely your friendship deepens. Consider the impact of studying the Bible and praying with someone you also journey with through the joys and trials of life.
But maybe you’re not sure what Bible study and prayer with someone else would even look like.
We want you to know that your story, life season and circle of influence is exactly what you need to be a Life-to-Life disciplemaker.
This is where we want to help.
Since 1933, we’ve developed disciples by sharing the gospel, studying the Bible, and praying together—face-to-face and person-by-person, in an approach we call “Life-to-Life discipleship.”
By meeting people where they are on their personal faith journey, Life-to-Life discipleship builds authentic relationships that help people grow into a deeper relationship with Christ, and open the door for the Holy Spirit in all aspects of their lives.
Resources on Life-to-Life Disciplemaking
Discipleship Tools for New Believers
Often the biggest obstacle to discipleship is the lack of confidence that you have what it takes to disciple someone else. But discipleship doesn’t have to be complicated.
What if we told you that discipleship is something you can fit into your everyday life, it is simple and can provide life meaning and joy.
If you’re looking for the confidence to help others grow in Christ with you, we can help.
We’ve made it easy to incorporate discipleship into your daily life. Below are some FREE resources to get you started.
Discipleship 101 Free eBook
Take advantage of simple discipleship opportunities around you every day.
The Bridge to Life Illustration
Share the gospel with someone.
Bible Reading Plans
Study the Bible together.
The Prayer Hand
Learn how to pray.
Digital Discipleship Course
Our Digital Discipleship JourneysⓇ are a curated 8-12 email series to empower you to confidently grow in Christ and help your friends do the same. We all need at least one or two people in life to come alongside and encourage us to be all that God made us to be.
Life-to-Life Discipleship in Action
One of the best ways to see how everyday disciplemakers use Life-to-Life discipleship is through their stories. Here are a handful of stories to inspire your disciplemaking.
Stories of Everyday Disciplemakers…
In the workplace:
The Work of Prayer
Before Luke even initiated a conversation with his supervisor, Rabi, he started a conversation with God.
It began with prayer for Rabi.
Initially, Rabi saw Jesus modeled through Luke. It was how Luke spent his time outside of the office that gained Rabi’s attention and respect.
Then, what happened next, could only be orchestrated by God…
How Hope Spread Through One California Hospital
In early 2020, Ron and his co-workers in the medical community had stepped into an unknown season. They recognized the toll it took on them as the world around them changed with many losing their jobs due to lockdowns and failing businesses.
What happened next after a guitar jam session in their hospital during a lunch break led to something bigger than Ron had imagined.
Hope spread through this hospital community in the form of a weekly Bible study.
In the neighborhood:
A Calculus Teacher Practices Spiritual Multiplication
Jeni sensed that God was showing her that it was time to retire from her career of teaching high school calculus. She was reluctant.
“I wasn’t ready to leave teaching,” she shares. “I didn’t want to be put on a shelf in my retirement years.”
She started a disciplemakers group, following the model Karen Warin had used with Jeni and some other women. Jeni was teaching again, using her gifts and thought of three people to invite. Word of the group spread, and God brought 21 women to her home to be equipped and encouraged as disciplemakers.
How One Dad Equipped His Son for the Discipleship Long Game
Nate wasn’t sure how his soccer friends would respond to his faith, but knew he couldn’t just say he followed Jesus and not live it out every day.
His dad often reminded him that when it came to making a valuable investment in life these two things were most important—God’s Word and people. And these two investments would give him encouragement and perspective when it seemed all the prayers and conversations weren’t making a difference in his friends’ lives.
Investing in the Next Generation of Disciplemakers Worldwide
When you hear the words “intentional” and “authentic” who do you think of?
For Natalie and Madi those two words describe their conversations with Josh and relationships built because of The Navigators at Indiana University Collegiate ministry.
These ladies never imagined how these two characteristics would open opportunities for relationships with fellow students on campus and around the world.
Cultivating Spiritual Generations Among Sorority Sisters in Big and Little Ways
If she could go back to her college freshman year, Rachel Gibson would approach her sorority sisters who didn’t know Jesus in a completely different way.
While she can’t relive those moments, God has gifted her opportunities to pour into both Liz Becker and Heidi Cooper, passing along all she has learned about discipleship.
And what God has done in their sororities is beyond anything Rachel envisioned.
In the military:
Going to the Nations From Alabama
Ted, a United States Army Field Artillery Captain, never thought that his assignment to Fort Rucker, Alabama would result in discipling a foreign military officer and generations of disciples halfway around the world. He is an instructor for the Aviation Captain’s Career Course and met David, a Rwandan International Military Student Officer, who attended the course.
During their first week together, Ted had a few work-related conversations with David. Ted asked David questions about Rwanda during those conversations, and David told Ted about his home and life in Rwanda. It was not long until Ted asked David if he was interested in a Bible study that Ted led.
Reaching the Next Generation of Disciplemakers in the Marine Corps
Every night Doug, Dean, and Ken meet to pray. They are serving in the Marine Corps in Okinawa. Doug shared, “Our nightly times of prayer have acted as fuel in our lives in order to have the desire, joy, and stamina for ministry.”
The weekly Bible study they started among the Marines in Okinawa has been growing as people invite their friends to the study. Along with studying the Bible together, they are catching the vision of sharing life together as well.
Around the world:
An Answer to Years of Prayer: Discipleship in an Oral Culture
After years of persevering prayer by many, a dream in the middle of the night gave Pastor Stefan the next steps of strategy for reaching the Roma people of Bulgaria.
It was through this easy-to-implement strategy that reminded him God knows exactly how to draw souls to Himself, even when it seems like there are obstacles around each corner.
Virtual Discipleship Training Creates Global Impact
For more than a decade, The Navigators Global Student Program has brought together students, recent graduates, and Navigators staff from across the world for training around discipleship at Glen Eyrie Conference Center in Colorado Springs, CO.
In 2020 and 2021 the 8-week program was virtual, connecting Navigators from around the world in training, small groups, and mentoring. Hlengiwe and other women from Zimbabwe were limited in their ability to attend the in-person program because of the challenges of funding and getting visas. With the virtual format she was able to encourage several women to participate. Now the Global Student Program eXperience (GSPX) participants are discipling others through their local Navigators ministries around the globe.
Who Are The Navigators?
The Navigators is a ministry that shares the gospel of Jesus Christ and helps others to grow in Christ, and help others do the same. We do this through Life-to-Life discipleship on college campuses, military bases, workplaces, inner cities, local communities and in 115 countries around the world—wherever there are people who need Christ.
This has the potential of creating a multiplication of disciplemakers—what we like to call spiritual generations.
Our Ministry (Spiritual Generations)
When God uses someone to help transform your life, you want to share all about how He used this person and the difference they have made.
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” 2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV).
As you come alongside someone with the transformational love of Christ and then they take what you have offered and share that love of Christ with another, the line of spiritual generations continues, branching out like a spiritual family tree.
History of The Navigators
Our legacy is coming alongside those who want to grow in their relationship with Jesus and then take those next steps to help others through Life-to-Life discipleship
This is evident from our beginning in 1933. Dawson Trotman, our founder, saw the benefits of discipleship principles in his own life and wanted to share these with others. This young lumberyard worker reached out to students, Sunday school classes and even sailors in the U.S. Navy helping them grow through the Word of God. He often shared the Bible through the Scriptures he had memorized.
Invest in the Next Generation of Disciplemakers
Today, millions of people around the world do not yet know Christ or desire to deepen their relationship with Him. Our mission is to inspire and equip more people “To Know Christ, make Him known, and help others do the sameⓇ”; we do this through Life-to-Life discipleship.
Invest in the next generation of disciplemakers by joining us through prayer and financial support of what God is doing through The Navigators ministry.
Through your generosity, you are fulfilling Christ’s call to go and make disciples.
“‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV).