Discipleship and the Power of the Gospel
How should you disciple young women? That’s a great question. There is a fantastic chapter written by Carrie Sandom in the book Word-Filled Women’s Ministry. I highly commend the entire book, but in particular this chapter on discipleship. In it she helps us look at 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12, explaining Paul’s methodology for discipling. In verses 2 and 8-9 Paul tells us about his focus on the gospel. He says his aim in discipleship is to declare the gospel of God, even in the midst of great conflict. In verse 8 he says, “So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.”
Therefore, we disciple others with the gospel in mind. Our practical aim in our conversations is to communicate the gospel.
Our practical aim in our conversations is to communicate the gospel.
Let’s consider some practical helps in that regard. It might help for you to have your Bible in hand wherever you go. Whether you bring your Bible in your handbag or on your phone, you make God’s Word the capstone for your conversations with younger women as you aim is to disciple them.
There is a dear older women in my church who is known for sharing what she is reading with all the young ladies with whom she meets. She will sit down with a woman in person, or over the phone, and say, “Here’s what I read in God’s Word today.” Then she will read from the Bible right then and there. It’s her conversation-starter. I just love that. We can do the same thing with others very easily.
Discipleship and the Power of a Shared Life
Paul knew that so much of what we learn is caught more than it is didactically taught. This is why he was eager to share his very life with his disciples in addition to teaching them. So in 1 Thessalonians 2, he talks about his work ethic, why he spoke as he did, his motive to please God who tests the heart, and even his own demeanor in caring for others.
In order to share your life with a disciple, you will need to bring them along with you in some capacity. I know this can be extremely challenging, and we need wisdom. I’m thinking of my own practical life-circumstances, and some challenging circumstances for my friends. Further, many of our sisters in Christ need to be discipled over the internet because of the threats against them for publicly associating with Christian leaders in their country.
So we have to be creative, and we need God’s wisdom. Many of us are busy. It feels like every minute is already accounted for. You might think, how am I supposed to fit in another meeting, another phone call? We need God’s wisdom to discern how we can make discipleship a huge part of our lives, both in our being poured into and our work in passing on the gospel to others, which is our role and task here.
Whatever means you use to disciple young women you’ll want to make these two things your focus: the message of the gospel and the sharing of your life.