5 Ways to be a Disciple Making Woman
This past week, I saw a tank top that made me laugh out loud. It said, “I hate running, but I LOVE pizza.” Can anyone else relate? Even though I don’t like running, I am fascinated by watching the relay races in the Olympics. I read recently that when training, these relay racers spend hours practicing the passing of the baton from one racer to another. This “hand-off” has been called the most important part of the race. If it is done poorly, the team loses valuable seconds that could cost them the race. However, if the baton is passed efficiently from one runner to the next, the team is more likely to win.
The Bible often uses racing analogies to describe our Christian walk. For example, in Hebrews 12:1-2, the author writes: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” The Christians of the first century were very familiar with the training and competition of Roman races. They knew the crowds that would gather to witness the races. They knew the importance of laying aside the clothing and burdens that could entangle them, and how they had to keep their eyes on the finish line.
Make no doubt about it, discipleship is much like these relay races. Once we have become followers of Christ, we too are surrounded by “so great a cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1). And, as we are running toward Christ, we must not forget those who are running behind us. We are called to pass the baton of faith to them. This is a responsibility for ALL believers: male and female, young and old, married and single. God has called YOU to be an influencer and a disciple-maker wherever He has placed you, be that your workplace, your home, your community, or your neighborhood. [quote]God has called YOU to be an influencer and a disciple-maker wherever He has placed you, be that your workplace, your home, your community, or your neighborhood.[/quote]
So, here are five ways to be a Disciple-Making Woman, as we run this race of life:
- Love God wholeheartedly. Before you are called to be a mother, a sister, a wife, or an employee, you are called to be a follower of Christ. Your words, actions, and lifestyle should display this devotion to the One who redeemed you and restored you. Loving God should be what drives how you spend your time, as well as where you spend your energy and finances. May your passion for Him drive your every thought, word, and deed. Remember the great command found in Matthew 22:36-39: “Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” You cannot be a disciple-maker if you are not in love with your Savior.
- Love others selflessly. Not only are we called to love God wholeheartedly, but we are also called to love those around us. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.” Our love for others doesn’t happen because they deserve it, or because they can give us something in return. We love others simply because we have been loved. And God’s Word promises that we will be noticeably different from the world around us, just because of the genuine love we show. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). You cannot be a disciple-making woman without loving those around you.
- Display Christ genuinely. We must never forget whose we are. We are Christ’s. He loved us. He saved us. He redeemed us. And because of what He did for us, we are to display His character for all to see. This goal must be ever present in our minds and hearts. God’s Word declares over and over that we must be diligent to tell others about what God has done for us. “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and to your children’s children…” (Deut. 4:9). You cannot be a disciple-making woman if you don’t display Christ in your words and lifestyle. [quote]You cannot be a disciple-making woman if you don’t display Christ in your words and lifestyle.[/quote]
- Live worthy of imitation. To be a disciple-making woman, you must live a life that others will want to imitate. Are you a woman who shows others the value and importance of prayer? Are you a woman who loves and respects her husband? Are you a woman who is raising her children in godliness? Are you a woman who is recognized for her work ethic and loyalty in business? Are you a woman who meets new people and begins relationships at the park? Ask yourself if you are modeling the spiritual disciplines of being a follower of Christ in your daily life. And, are you living a life that others would want to imitate? As Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 3:7-9: “For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you…with toil and labor we worked night and day…It was so give you in ourselves an example to imitate.” As a disciple-making woman, you must ask yourself this simple question posed by Fern Nichols: “What do you want your children and friends to remember about you when you’ve gone to be with Jesus?” You cannot be a disciple-maker if your life is not worth imitating.
- Be intentional with other women. We are to be intentional with the way we pour into other women. Titus 2:3-5 says, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to too much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be reviled.” God’s Word shows us that women not only need to live lives worthy of imitation, but they also have a specific task of helping younger women learn how to be godly. We must be intentional in teaching sound doctrine. We must be intentional in modeling the spiritual disciplines of prayer, benevolence, and submission. We must be intentional to encourage other women in their marriages and in their parenting. God’s Word calls us to be intentional disciple-making women in every aspect of life.
Jesus was a disciple-maker. He had a small group that lived day in and day out with Him. They saw His daily activities. They asked questions of Him. They imitated what He did. So many times we want formulas, or bible studies, or books to teach us exactly how to disciple others. But I think it really comes down to these five principles: (1) Love God wholeheartedly, (2) Love others selflessly, (3) Display Christ genuinely, (4) Live worthy of imitation, and (5) Be intentional with other women.
Maybe I should come up with a shirt that says, “I hate running, but I LOVE making disciples.” After all, girls, you and I are called to be Disciple-Making Women. Come on; let’s pass the baton!