It’s the number one hindrance facing women when it comes to discipling other women. I don’t have time. They don’t have time. Who has the time?
I surveyed 100 women formally—and countless others in casual conversations—over my 20 years in women’s ministry to discover their biggest roadblock to pouring their life into another woman spiritually. Time was the #1 answer. I get it. As a mom of two elementary boys with a full schedule of speaking engagements, writing deadlines, and running a ministry, the sheer thought of trying to line my schedule up with somebody else’s is almost impossible…Almost.
I want to help you! I love discipling women, and I know first-hand the challenges to make it work in numerous phases of life. Here are some of the ways I have found time over the years:
College years: Late afternoons I discipled women in my residence hall, typically in my dorm room. I kept a small fridge of cold soft drinks. When we added a sweet treat and our Bibles, we were good to go!
Single years: After college and before I married at the age of 34, I was able to use evenings to disciple women. One dear friend and I met for two years at a local restaurant on Tuesday nights for discipleship. We had a corner booth and were on a first-name basis with the wait staff!
Baby years: Newborn baby haze, when you don’t even know what day it is—let alone where your Bible is—can be challenging for discipleship. However, once your baby is on some sort of schedule it becomes much easier to find windows of opportunity. I used one nap time per week to disciple a gal from a local high school. It turned out that when my son was going down for his afternoon nap, she was getting out of school.
School years: This is the phase I am currently in. I start a small discipleship group this Friday afternoon with some women I know from the gym. I am so excited to disciple them and challenge them to share what they learn with other women this year! I’ll be done with this discipleship group in time to get the boys off the bus! Perfection!!!
Empty nesters: I know a dear woman who is the grandmother of 14. She is busy with church obligations and is a phenomenal help to her large family. However, she still leads a small group of women spiritually—encouraging them with God’s Word as they face life’s twists and turns.
I hope these ideas help spark hope that you can find time in your day to get in the boat with another woman and help her spiritually. I would LOVE to hear where YOU find time to disciple women. Where do you meet? When? What stage of life are you in? I’ll compile a list of answers and share!
P.S. I took all the guess work out of what to do in your first eight weeks discipling another woman. Download my free e-book, The Discipleship Starter Kit, from my website (www.LoriJoinerMinistries.org) and see my eight-week daily calendar of what to do to get started!
Walking to the bus stop to greet my first grader, my four year old and I chatted about his day. I recalled to him how friendly he was at the gym that day and what a good memory he had when recalling names of people he knew there. He has a real knack for making friends and has an extremely outgoing personality. As we walked hand in hand I helped him make the connection to how God made him. “You have a special gift. God has given you a gift in remembering names and being an outgoing friendly person. I believe God will use that gift of yours as you grow-perhaps you will be able to make another person feel welcome when they are new, you will be able to invite them to play or to church and one day I believe God will use your special gifts to lead people to a relationship with Him.”
Ok, so to keep it real I am not sure how much of that he could grasp-he was after all wearing a super hero cape, hand-me-down Buzz Lightyear boots and wanting me to let go so he could go soaring down the sidewalk. But I am starting now, to help make the simple connection from the gifts and talents my children have to how God can and will use those for His glory and His kingdom.
How about you? Do you have a really creative one-a child that just blows you away with their ideas, inventions, creations? Do you have a child that is a kind-hearted soul that nurtures animals, friends, with hugs and care? Do you have a child that can work wonders with tricky math problems and has an incredible numbers sense? Or how about a dreamer-a wild imagination is what the world needs-God has placed that imagination there-perhaps your child with her imagination will picture the world without poverty and that plan, that dream will become a reality. Make the connection. We are born with gifts and abilities and a destiny. Who we are from our hair color to our eyes to our personality is not by chance-it is by design. I want to help my children see that their personal make-up is not a chance but an opportunity to live and shine for Him.
Parents-how do you do this with your children? Do you have teenagers, grown kids? Please teach me what this looks like and how to make the connection as my children (4ys and 6ys) get older.
Whether speaking, training, or discipling, Lori brings a passion to see women raised up to be all they can be in the Lord, teaching to women of all ages on a wide variety of topics. She currently makes her home in Katy, TX, with her husband Alan and two young children Josh and Jake.