Recently I have had many conversations and been thinking about the idea of pre-discipleship, which basically means discipling someone before they ever become a follower of Christ. Most of my conversations have focused on how this practically looks like within a relationship in day to day life. Perhaps the best way would be through an already formed friendship or within the setting of a small group or missional community.
Some I have discussed this with prefer a model of pre-discipleship without ever focusing on sharing the gospel until a month or more into the relationship. I personally prefer a model of sharing the gospel as soon as possible, while pre-discipling at the same time.
This is one reason that I see the importance of small groups and missional communities within the life of a church as more of your friends and neighbors are much more likely to enter into a relationship with people in a home than they ever are on a Sunday morning at your church service. Naturally in a small group setting friendships are formed around commonalities that turn into gospel-centered conversations that lead to people following Christ.
This time of year is a perfect opportunity to pre-disciple a friend or family member that you hope to see soon come to Christ as Easter is approaching. I encourage you to take the time to invite just one individual into a deeper relationship with you, which is a pre-discipleship relationship that will more than likely lead to them being a follower of Christ.
During this time of the year you can invite them to study through the four gospels with you as you take a deeper look at the life of Jesus and his redeeming sacrifice. This may be different for you, but you may just be surprised at the results come Easter.