In 2 Timothy 3:10-11, Paul makes an incidental reference to the manner in which he disciples Timothy:
10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,
11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra-which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me.
Paul communicated an entire way of life:
First, he taught Timothy. Discipleship must entail some propositional content. It does not require novel content. The Christian is seeking conformity to Christ. Thus, biblical propositions – often as applied- will be the content. For example, “I didn’t respond immediately in anger because James tells us to be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. By listening first, I was able to avoid a worse confrontation.”
Second, discipleship entails living life before another person. To disciple, you must convey a manner of life. This can only be done in close contact in a variety of circumstances. Letting another person see you around your spouse or around your children is discipleship training.
Third, discipleship requires communication of a purpose for life. The words and actions reveal what one loves. The purpose of life is what one most strongly loves. If I aim to glory God and enjoy God forever, then it will show in words and deed: it will be active faith.
Fourth, discipleship takes time. Paul spent years conveying his life and Knowledge to Timothy. Not every relationship will be so intensive or have such duration. But when entering into such a relationship we must be willing to devote the time necessary to complete the work.
Discipleship requires the discipler to submit his life to God’s glory, to give up his time, and ease, and privacy for the goo of another and for the glory of God.