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A Road Map to Women’s Discipleship

Paul reminds us in his letter to the Corinthians, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

But, what does that even mean? What does it look like to follow someone else’s godly example on a daily basis?

I believe a simple road map of discipleship exists in Acts 2:41-42.

#1 – Salvation

Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:41-42

That moment God’s word walks into your heart and pulls up a chair. What you decide to do with what you know about Jesus will change the course of your physical and eternal life forever. Baptism and belief work hand in hand. If Jesus thought baptism was important, than we should, too. Once you’re saved, sanctification is next.

#2 – God’s Word

Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:41-42

The gospel was taught by the apostles and thousands were saved. Once these people believed, they continued unwavering in and through the truth of the scriptures. They took sound doctrine seriously and remained faithful to it each and every day. They believed Jesus was the full Word of God (John 1:1-4). 

If Jesus said it, they believed it. End of story.

#3 – Fellowship

Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:41-42

This is where encouragement takes its rightful place. The word used here for fellowship is koinōnia, which is the Greek word for an intimate and soul-deep relationship. Your words will never be loud in a woman’s ears if she doesn’t feel close to you first. That old adage fits quite nicely here: No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

Fellowship is not your everyday women’s Bible study relationship. It’s much more than that. Just short of pledging allegiance to one another, people knew this group of men and women loved one another well and took each other’s needs seriously.

#4 – Hospitality

Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:41-42

In the Middle East, eating together in one’s home is a sign of trust and friendship. But it is often a lost art in America. In today’s American culture, over 70% of families eat everywhere except around the kitchen table. Making a meal and inviting someone to sit around our table for a meal would be a kind and vulnerable gesture of hospitality.

Women’s discipleship is a loving commitment from an older woman of faith to a younger woman of faith.

#5 – Prayer

Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:41-42

Prayer is a key ingredient of a disciple’s life. It’s an area where the woman who is discipling the other needs to encourage growth. Oftentimes, women have never prayed out loud. They need gentle encouragement to begin taking small steps to praying for themselves and others.

Helping women trust and follow Jesus is not a one-time Bible study. It’s not a women’s conference where a weekend together will do the trick. Women’s discipleship is a loving commitment from an older woman of faith to a younger woman of faith.

Daily steps of one part God’s Word, one part fellowship, one part hospitality, and one part prayer can make up a powerhouse of a women’s discipleship relationship.

 

(For more from Joanne Kraft, visit www.discipleshipforwomen.com. Used with permission.)

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