Ideally, I like to meet with the women I’m discipling for two hours each time. I find this provides sufficient time to pray, relate and catch up, hear how her assignment from the previous time went, enjoy good time in the Word together and pass along new tools, process, give her the next assignment and end our time praying together.
But there are many factors that go into this. For example, your personalities. I am highly relational and my love language is quality time so two hours really works well for me. But it’s also important to determine, how much time does she have? If you’re meeting during her lunch hour, she most likely won’t have two hours. And if you’re working full time with other responsibilities or a mom with young children, or already discipling a number of people, you may not have two hours!
Currently I have three women I meet one on one with on a regular basis. One I meet with every week for two hours each time, another I meet with every other week for two hours, and the third I meet with for an hour each week as this is when she’s available. In the past there’ve been times I’ve met with people weekly for just a half hour – it’s tight and we’re certainly limited in what we do during that time, but bit by bit it has proven it can be helpful. When that’s all you have to work with, it’s amazing how the Lord can multiply time like He did the loaves and fishes!
Remember the most important issue when determining how much time you spend meeting with someone is doing what Lord leads you to do!
Recently I’d set aside two hours to meet with a woman and our time together was one of those precious times where the Lord was so at work! But then we finished what He’d laid on my heart to do in an hour and a half. When I looked at the clock and saw we still had a half hour to go I decided to dive into something else – and you know, it ended up detracting from the time, not really benefitting either of us. It would’ve been so much better if I’d ended our time early!
So again, don’t get caught up following a set time frame, follow Jesus! Ask Him for the wisdom and sensitivity to follow Him well in this. What a difference it can make!