Several years ago, when I took up a 1-year course at Bob Jones Memorial Bible College, I learned about discipleship and its importance. It was included in the Evangelism subject that I took. I must admit, I have almost zero knowledge about the discipleship ministry. I always thought that our involvement in the great commission is to share the Gospel to as many people as we can, invite them to church and let the pastor and/or older people take care of the follow-up.
But after that year in Bible School and several books, articles and podcasts later, discipleship has become my burden. It is my joy and pleasure to invite you to read on and see the beauty of this ministry and I am so thrilled to find a passage in the Bible that talks about discipleship specifically for women.
As in any passage in the Bible, it helps us get a better view if we first learned about the context: who wrote it? Why is it written? Under what circumstances was it written? To whom is it addressed?
The short book of Titus was written by Paul, it was addressed to Titus, one of his spiritual children. Titus was a young pastor in the island of Crete. During that time, Crete was under the Roman empire, under Nero. And, if you are familiar with Nero, you know that Titus and his church is definitely in danger. The believers there were under severe persecution because Nero hates Christians, and we’re not just talking about imprisonment, we’re talking about torture. Christians being burned alive; men, women and children fed to the lions. And to make matters worse, not only do they experience persecution outside of the church, Titus also has to deal with false teachers, causing division inside the church.
If you think being a Christian now is hard, think again! Being a Christian during the time of Titus means death.
So the believers then needed a solid grip on the truth to be able to continue on and grow in their faith. They needed encouragement. They need hope that what they have come to believe about Christ is true and is worth risking their lives.
So, here’s Paul advice to Titus:
First, he told Titus, you can’t do this alone! You need help from other godly people. So he asked Titus to ordain elders to help him teach, rebuke, exhort the believers. (Titus 1)
Then Paul went on to tell the older people in the church to set an example and to teach the younger believers. (Titus 2)
The spiritual wellbeing of the believers in a church should not just be the pastor’s or church leaders’ concern, it should be everyone’s concern.
Older men to younger men, older women to younger women. Teaching sound doctrine, living life together, passing the baton of faith to the younger generation. And may I just add, everyone is an older person to someone, so you are not exempted.
This is why discipleship is important, it helps a church thrive. It helps believers to stay accountable to each other. It displays God’s love for others. It’s building each other up, lifting each other so that no one is left alone and behind.
Imagine if you are alone in this journey of life, no one to help you or guide you, no one to encourage you and point you to the hope found in God, no one to teach you right and wrong. Imagine how difficult life would be if you don’t have someone to look up to and learn from. It’s just sad to know and hear stories of believers experiencing this. No one should experience being left out and alone especially in a community of believers.
This was Paul’s advice to Titus as he leads his church through that difficult time and this applies to us as well, though we may not have experienced what they experience.
See the beauty of discipleship? God using you to uplift others, teach others about Him, living out the Gospel–together.
Personal testimony: I am forever grateful to the Lord for two women who have been my mentors, my mom and my Tita Cyn. If it not for the time they spent to teach, encourage, rebuke and challenge me, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. It is the same faith that they passed on to me that I am now passing on to my daughters and to several young ladies, the Lord has entrusted to me.
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 2:2
*For the next several weeks/months, I will be uploading resources and blogs that will (Lord-willing) help you start your discipleship ministry, wherever you are, whatever season of life you may be in. It is my heart’s desire that every woman will develop a discipleship ministry of her own.
If you have questions and/or suggestions on what you want me to write about, let me know in the comments below.