How to Be a Woman Who Disciples Other Women
How to Be a Woman Who Disciples Other Women
Michelle Rabon iBelieve Contributor
We don’t have to make discipleship relationships complicated, they can be simple and life-changing. As women, we get to enjoy it and be a part of God’s plan as believers.
I was never successful in friendships until I was an adult, and even now those relationships come with their own struggles. As much as I wanted friendships I was fearful of sharing who I really was and was often still haunted by the terrible memories of what having friends in school was like.
I believed loyalty was rare and selfishness among friends was normal, needless to say my idea of relationships was a bit tainted into my adult years. Friendships shape our idea of what discipleship looks like.
Discipleship is a relationship directive from God for believers.
When the idea of discipleship came into the picture, I found myself frightened. In this type of relationship, you lay it all on the line with no expectation of anything in return. Discipleship is seeking to benefit the other person above ourselves and helping them grow in the Lord.
Discipleship invites someone else into your life and says, “follow me as I follow Christ.”
Paul says it best, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
When it comes to discipleship we must throw everything we thought we knew about relationships to the side and learn how to create those relationships God’s way. This relationship is open and honest and without expectations.
Discipleship is less take and more give. The purpose is to have relationships with other women in your life who need the truth of the gospel in front of them. Sometimes it means loving someone else right where they are, even if it is hard and messy. It can look like seeing a need and meeting the need of others when you can. Being a listening ear and an offerer of biblical advice. It can even be as simple as sharing coffee together and talking about our days.
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Discipling others is about putting their needs over our own.
Being women who make disciples, we must work to cultivate relationships, and there are only a few ways we can authentically do that. We have to be willing to be vulnerable with others, we have to be honest about where we, ourselves, are spiritually, and we have to be willing to invite people into the process of what it looks like to become more like Christ.
As we disciple other women, there are many different ways that we can go about it and there are a few different types of discipleship relationships. We should always be looking for someone we can invest in.
Knowing the different types of discipleship relationships can help alleviate some of the fears and stress that we can put on discipleship relationships. Each one is unique, but all with the purpose of bringing us closer to Christ.
Discipleship doesn’t have to be daunting. It can become a natural part of our day-to-day.
Discipleship has three distinctive yet close-knit types of relationships we should be looking for as we seek to be women who disciple others.
1. Discipling unto salvation.
This type of relationship is helping someone come to know Christ through building a relationship and sharing your testimony. There is no cut-and-dry way to do this. The point is not to beat them over the head with your Bible or use words they may not understand. Speak from the heart and from a place where they can see what Christ did in you. This type of relationship is foundational. We cannot be afraid to share with other women how God changed our lives. Discipling unto salvation may not happen quickly, it may take time and patience. It is important to keep showing up.
2. Discipling a young believer.
This may be a young woman in your church who just came to know the Lord or may just be young in their spiritual walk. This is a great place to invest in their lives, inviting them to coffee, inviting a mom to bring her kids for a play date, taking a meal to a new mom, etc. You are establishing relationship connections with them. You can do Bible study together, or maybe they seek you out for biblical advice. Either way, look for places that you can make a lasting investment.
3. Disciple to disciple.
This type of relationship may be one where two believers come alongside one another to grow at the same pace. Maybe you engage in regular Bible study together, discuss Scripture and seek to hold one another accountable. This too is discipleship and a beautiful form of accountability. We need other believers to help hold us accountable.
Whether disciple-making is new to you or you have done this well for a long time, there are simple places to start to be a great disciple-maker. Remember to be yourself, be honest, and always go back to the Word.
When I teach small group, I encourage women as a first step to pray and ask God to show you one person you can start with. Ask Him for a name, pray about the person He puts on your heart. Ask God for a door of opportunity to meet with the person He put on your heart. He will do it.
We don’t have to make discipleship relationships complicated, they can be simple and life-changing.
Discipleship is a command from Christ himself: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). We get to enjoy it and be a part of God’s plan as believers.
We get to invite other women into our lives and our walk with Christ with the purpose of loving them and showing them how to walk with Christ. We may not get it all right, but the first step is the best step in the journey of being women who make disciples.
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Michelle Rabon is a wife and homeschooling mom of three who feels called to help women thrive in their walk with Jesus every day. In 2012, she started Displaying Grace, a ministry that is focused on helping women engage with God’s Word. Michelle has also served in women’s ministry for the past five years seeking to equip women in the local church through Bible study. When she is not writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, being close to the ocean, and drinking a lot of coffee.
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