We’re hearing it all over the Christian world right now. I believe we’re in a season of history where God is calling His Church back into the basics; simple things from the Word. One of those areas I am seeing be explored and emphasized right now is that of discipleship. As we’ve been digging into what healthy relationships look like for women in ministry, I don’t think we can side-step the uber-important relationship of discipling others.
To begin this look, I want to share a snippet by Jo Saxton, author, podcaster, and board chair of 3D Movements.
I want to take the next two sections of our talk and focus in on discipleship as women in ministry. Let’s face it. We’re all busy. We have about 1,345,987 different hats we need to put on, nearly every single day! Where do we fit discipleship relationships into the mix?!
These discipleship relationships are really going back to the second or third-tier of our relationship categories and we can see how they need their boundaries, but at the same time REQUIRE dying to ourselves and giving out more than we think we can.
My question for you as we begin is this:
What is your current “discipleship season” in life?
If you’re a woman in ministry, I’m going to go ahead and make the assumption that you’re an active disciple of Jesus and are being fed daily through the Word and prayer. If not, FULL STOP here and I want you to shoot me a message or text a friend who you know IS doing that to get accountability RIGHT NOW. My favorite definition of discipleship is “follow me as I follow Jesus” and sisters, we can only follow Jesus if we’re studying the words, commands, encouragements, and challenges in the Word and praying DAILY for strength to live them out!
Now that we have THAT established, let’s go back to the question. I want to be so clear that the command to make disciples is always relevant, no matter where you are in life, but, the WHO and HOW changes. Your discipleship relationships will look very different if you’re a young mom with a newborn at home versus a seasoned grandmother supporting her husband in a pastoral position.
Did you get a chance to make that list of life-on-life friends? These are the first places to look for discipleship relationships. Prayerfully evaluate that list, if you don’t currently have an active discipleship happening with anyone. This relationship is going to be someone who can be invited INTO your life to receive a living example as well as “information” about walking this journey with Jesus. It doesn’t need to be complicated, formal, or exist solely within the context of a discipleship "course".
Ladies, if we aren’t intentionally discipling others throughout our lifetime, this generation will die and the next will be raised up WITHOUT a clear idea of what it means to walk with Jesus through the good and the bad, WITHOUT a purposed introduction into living life in a broken world while holding onto a HOPE that never changes. We see a vivid example of what this looks like in the book of Judges.
“And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10
I don’t know about you, but that is nearly the scariest verse in the entirety of Scripture for me! I look at my daughters, their friends, and the teenagers we’re around often and I think to myself, “What will happen if I spend my life investing in my own growth, my own passions, my own ‘calling’ and forget the highest calling to love the Lord and teach others to do the same?!”
Discipleship is messy, it’s not often (ever?!) convenient, and it certainly doesn’t speak to my strengths. It requires me to be vulnerable, humble, honest about failings, and CERTAIN about the truth that I believe. Yet, it’s not only a command, it’s the place where Jesus spent most of His time and the example He shows me of a life poured out in service to the Father.
What do you think about discipleship? Where is one area that you need to surrender to Christ in order to engage in intentional discipleship? Are you actively involved in discipling someone right now?
For me personally, I’m in a season where there are a few adult relationships that I’m entering as a discipler, but for the most part, I’m intentionally discipling my children at home through homeschooling and doing daily life together. It’s HARD! These girls watch me fail, become frustrated, and act completely opposite of Jesus every. single. day. Yet I have the opportunity to model going back to prayer and the Holy Spirit’s power as we wade through life’s messiness together!
Let’s not only be women in ministry, but women who are active disciples OF Christ and who are actively leading others TO Christ in an intentional way!