Originally published Tuesday, 30 October 2012.
FAT is an acronym for faithful, available, teachable. The woman who discipled me taught me to look for and be a F.A.T. gal! And when you are looking for women to include in a discipleship or ministry environment, you want FAT women too!
Here’s a few things Paul had to say about being faithful in regards to ministry:
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service... 1 Timothy 1:12 NAS
Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 1 Timothy 3:11 NAS
The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2 NAS
Available simply refers to the practical reality that sometimes we enter seasons for certain activities and not others. When you are providing home care for your elderly parent and corralling teenagers might not be a season when you are terribly available. Women with lots of small children also find their time is used up with other, noble callings. Don’t pressure a woman who isn’t available. But also don’t expect what can’t be given. Invest discipleship and ministry opportunities wisely for your sake and the sake of the other gal.
Lastly, having a teachable spirit is HUGE! People can be gifted up one side and down the other, but lack a teachable heart and completely spoil a group dynamic of authenticity and growth. It has been said that the Psalms reflects the heart of God, while Proverbs reflects the mind of God. Clearly the whole of Scripture is needed to reach for any understanding of God's character and heart. But interestingly, the phrase “teach me” is found more in Psalms, written mostly by the “man after God’s own heart” than any other book of the Bible. I think it’s safe to say God wants His children to have teachable hearts. The best way to foster an environment of teachable hearts is to have one yourself.