The first time I ever met one on one with someone to spur her on in her relationship with Christ I’d only been a Christian a couple months! I was so excited about what I was learning I simply had to share it with someone. When I met a 12 year old at our church who seemed eager to grow we started meeting together. I had no idea what I was doing, but getting together to read God’s Word and talk about the Lord multiplied the joy!
Then a year later when an older woman started discipling me, I was so excited about what I was learning I asked a friend in my nutrition class if she’d like to get together so I could share this treasure with her. She’d just become a Christian and it was such fun growing together! And I discovered, you really do learn something better when you pass it on to someone else!
You see, you don’t need a seminary degree or years of experience to invest in other women! But Satan so loves to make us believe the lie, “You don’t have what it takes…”
But what does it take to disciple women?
1. You need a personal relationship with Jesus!
I’ll never forget the night I became a Christian. When I looked at my Bible it was like reading it with new eyes! Truly God removed blinders from my eyes and it finally made sense like it never had before!!! At the same time God’s Holy Spirit came to live in me. He is the wonderful counselor who is so faithful to guide and provide us with all we need to do whatever the Lord wants us doing! And as God’s child I am heir to all His promises! Which includes His promise for wisdom when I ask (James 1:5), guidance (Isaiah 40:11 tells us He gently leads those who have young!), strength (Phil 4:13) and provision (Phil. 4:19). Without a personal relationship with Jesus no one can disciple for as Jesus says, “Apart from me you can do nothing!” (John 15:5).
2. You need to be a disciple before you can join in with Jesus discipling someone else!
A disciple is a follower and a learner – hard to learn from someone if you don’t go where they go and do what they do. But it’s not just someone who mentally takes in facts but who makes what’s being learned the rule of conduct for her life – someone committed to living out what the Lord is teaching her! It is a direction, not a designation. Even though I’m on Navigator staff, if I stop following Jesus and actively learning from Him, I’m no longer a disciple because I’m not heading in Jesus’ direction. Discipleship is not pouring facts into someone else but rather inviting them to join you on the journey as you follow Jesus, helping them learn how to follow Him too! Hard to take someone in a set direction if you aren’t heading in that direction yourself!!!
3. You need God’s living Word!
Being a disciple not just about following Jesus so you can go where He goes and do what He does, but it’s about being transformed to be like Him, becoming who you truly are in Him. This process of transformation is called sanctification. In John 17:17 Jesus prays to the Father asking him to “sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” You see, I can’t change anyone, but God’s Word is “living and active, sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing the soul and spirit joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). God even tells us in Isaiah 55: 10-11, “as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth, so is my Word that goes out from my mouth, it will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Want to make certain your one on ones are of value? Always include God’s Word!!!
4. You need time!
Time to be available, both to meet with the woman you’ll be discipling and to meet with Jesus to talk with Him about her and get His input on what He’s doing in her life and how He wants you to join in! You also need time to love her well and to share your life with her. Truly more gets caught than taught!
5. You need to be intentional, being willing to step out of your comfort zone!
You need intentionality even to get the ball rolling and start meeting with someone. It’s not easy to take that first step and ask if she’d like to get together knowing she may very well refuse. Even if she says yes, when you get together it takes intentionality to make that time profitable. It’s so much easier to spend the whole time chatting! But for us to get in the Word or to dive into praying or to do anything of spiritual value at all, well, sometimes it can feel like pulling teeth! Small wonder since a battle is raging and the enemy so wants to rob both of you of making the most of this time…
But here’s the beautiful thing, whether you’ve been a Christian one day or eighty years, because of Jesus these can all be true of you!
As it says in 2 Corinthians 3:5-6, “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God who has made us competent to be ministers of the new covenant not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills but the Spirit gives life.”
Do you have what it takes to disciple women? By yourself, no. No one does. No matter how much training or experience they may have.
But God makes us competent. And in Him, do we ever!!!