We conclude our series on discipleship today. Use these links to catch up with our discussion: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, and part 8. This post will wrap up the series with some final thoughts adapted from Hive Resources about how to make disciples who can teach others to read and study the Bible. Then, those who have been taught can in turn disciple someone else.
Here are a few things to remember as you consider the role of discipleship in your ministry:
- Be sure to offer various types and formats of Bible studies. You must consider the levels of biblical literacy as you choose studies. (See part 8 for more on biblical literacy.) Invite more mature women to lead those who are younger in their knowledge of the Bible. If your ministry will only do “Beth Moore studies,” then there is a problem. You want women to seek to follow truth, not just one teacher! Provide other studies that allow the leaders in your ministry to be the teachers.
- You have a lot of women and a lot of gifts, talents, and interests. That means you need to get to know these women and seek to connect their unique calling with the needs in your church and community so you can help them become a vital part of your group.
- Encourage women who have studied Scripture to continue the discipleship process as they now pour into another person. Intentionally challenge them to work through the same material with someone else they know. If you have provided reproducible types of studies, this will be an easy next step. You model how it’s done, then encourage them to do it.
- If a woman seems unsure if she is capable of teaching, ask her to serve as your co-teacher. This way, she can practice teaching in small segments with you standing ready to step in if she needs your help. I have had the joy of having two co-directors over the years as I’ve led a women’s small group on Sunday mornings. Not only do I get to learn from them, but we share the load of teaching week to week. As these ladies sat in our group for months at first, they saw the pattern of teaching and discipling. Once they had proven faithful to attendance and to Christ, I asked them to substitute a few times, then eventually to co-lead on a weekly basis. One has gone on to another church and has led groups there. The other is leading a short-term Bible study this semester at our church in addition to being a part of our class. It is a joy to see the replication!
I pray this series has been helpful as we have used a lot of resources and encouraged you to analyze whether you are simply hosting women in groups and activities OR if you are truly discipling them to be replicating disciples. Let us know how you are doing this in your groups.
Pursuing More of Jesus, by Anne Graham Lotz
Can We Talk?, by Priscilla Shirer
Living by the Book, by Howard G and William D Hendricks
Women of the Word, by Jen Wilkin
Creating an Atmosphere to HEAR God Speak, by Robby Gallaty