If you were to make a list of the 5 most influential women in your life, who would they be? Did those relationships just happen or was someone intentional? Did any of those women go the extra mile to land a spot on your list?
You may have heard the phrase “more in life is caught than taught.” That is what occurs when we invest in each others’ lives- it’s the definition of discipleship. Learning from other women about how to be a wife, be a mom, and most importantly- be a child of God happens most often by investing in time together. True discipleship rarely happens sitting in a church pew or even in the classroom.
Connecting with other women is a desire we experience in the depth of our souls. We want to share life experiences and spiritual experiences TOGETHER.
It sounds so simple, but these desires stemming from the depths of our souls require time- and our lives are SO busy already! How in the world can we fit one more thing on our plates when they are already spilling over in every direction?
Take heart sister! You weren’t created to do it all. Discipleship does not mean you have to change the whole world. It means you change the world by investing in one life at a time.
Here are 4 practical tips to discipleship I have learned by being discipled and being blessed to disciple younger women over the last several years:
1. I cannot share what I do not have. There had to be some true soul searching before I could disciple anyone! I had to ask myself “What do I have to share?”; “What are my strengths?”; “What are my weaknesses?” After truthfully answering those questions I am better equipped to know what things God has used to teach me about Him.
2. Don’t judge a book by its cover! Many years ago a couple of young ladies asked me to disciple them. On the surface, they seemed so different from me and I wondered how in the world we could be a blessing to each other. I prayed about whether to enter this relationship with them and I heard a resounding “YES- you need to be in a relationship with them.” Let me say, these two young ladies are two of my best friends to this day and it makes me so sad to think about what I would have missed had I allowed surface impressions to lead my decision.
3. Where do I start when I have been led to disciple? Pray that the Spirit will lead you to know what you are being called to do. Are you needed to simply spend time with them? Do they need to be guided toward healing by the Spirit about poor choices they have made? Are you being called to lead them to a deeper relationship with God? There could be any number of other reasons, but knowing what they need is key to leading a productive discipling relationship.
4. What do I talk about when I am beginning to disciple? Find out about how they grew up and milestones of their childhood. Learn about their family in detail by learning the names of their children, what makes their family unique, and meaningful family traditions. As your relationship grows talk about the experiences that have shaped the faith of both of you. Many personal and relationship building conversations will come from these as the Spirit leads the conversations.
The beauty of discipleship is that we use our differences to share our uniqueness through Christ while realizing that we have more in common than we ever could have imagined. We learn that we all come with strengths, weaknesses, successes, and failures. Living in different contexts and experiences, we stand together under the banner of Christ. We consider the joy set before us while braving the attacks of the enemy.
In your journey of being discipled or being a disciple, remember that NO MATTER where we come from, NO MATTER what path God has placed us on, NO MATTER the experiences that have caused us to grow— we stand together in our need for Christ!
We would love to hear your practical tips! Let us know what you have learned from someone through their discipleship or from your discipleship of others. Choose today to invest in someone else. You are never too young or too old, and you never know the ways the Lord will bless your journey together! I am so grateful for the women in my life who have been purposeful in their discipleship of me.
Melody is a child of God on mission for His kingdom. She is wife to Mark, mom/mother-in-love to 3 wonderful kids and their spouses, and proud DeeDee to three beautiful grandkids. Her heart to serve stretches from her living room to Africa. Melody has lived out the Great Commision so beautifully. Her intentionality in life is a true gift to so many around her.