Monday, November 8, 2010

Women's Ministry in the Local Church: Ch. 8 Discipleship

"Biblical discipleship is not simply imparting facts or inculcating personal habits of Bible study, prayer and evangelism, as helpful as those disciplines are.  It is transmitting a way of thinking and living that unites all the parts into the glorious whole of glorifying God.  It is passing on a legacy of biblical faith and life to the next generation." (p. 123)
I love how Hunt and Duncan define biblical discipleship in this chapter!  I am reminded of a quote from chapter 4, "How can I think biblically about womanhood when I am constantly told to pursue my own dreams, to be true to myself, and to seek my own fulfillment?" (page 59)

The answer to that young woman's question is biblical discipleship.  It's older women taking the time and energy to invest in the lives of younger women.  Yes, it requires a healthy pulpit ministry and Bible studies but it goes much further than that.  It's women sharing Bible-based life together in formal and casual ways.

Titus 2:3-5 (the text used for this chapter) gives us an outline for what this type of discipleship includes, "Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to 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."

I think the area of discipleship is where we most see the application of this book to hospitality. For example, if I am hosting a young woman in my home for lunch and one of my children chooses to hit his brother, my responses to the situation will "transmit a way of thinking and living" both to my children and to my guest.  It's discipleship in action.

I'm sure we can all agree that "Titus 2" discipleship is needed, but do we practice it?  What are some ways we can intentionally disciple the younger women in our lives?  Have you experienced "Titus 2" discipleship? 

7 comments:

  1. I haven't yet read this chapter but am looking forward to doing so after having now read your thoughts on it! I know that this is a subject matter that you care deeply about.

    I have experienced Titus 2 discipleship - a great deal more on the receiving end than the giving. (But at this point in life, I think that's appropriate!) I have had some wonderful mentors who have helped me learn what it means to be a wife, a mother, and a keeper of the home. They've helped me in practical ways and explicit instructions (when asked for!) and just by encouraging me to turn my heart towards home. (And when I learn how to appropriately love those within my own home and how to care for things here, I find myself more capable of offering appropriate, heartfelt and meaningful hospitality to others!)

    Hmmm, lots to think about here!

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  2. Haven't read the book...but yes, Titus 2 discipleship is needed! Your example is right on. Realistically and honestly this is difficult! I like your use of the word intentional! Since having children I have found it more difficult to practice hospitality with younger women as I once was able. Our relationships are different as I cannot always focus my attention on them in our time together (or really, ever completely focus my attention on them when we're visiting in my home! That said, I know God would have me continue on even in this area of life! I have a unique opportunity to model loving my husband and children first hand!! God wants me to be faithful even in this season of my life. So much to think about--but so important to not stop at the thinking!

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  3. Last comment for me on here today...just keep thinking about this (and have been!). I'll be checking back to read other comments!

    How do we intentionally disciple? Sometimes it's a weekly lunch together...with the kids. I say weekly or somewhat regular to enable a deeper relationship to form. Another idea is meeting regularly to do regular things: take someone younger (newly married or not yet married) to the grocery store--talk about how you manage your budget (biblical money management), your food choices (nutrition, taking care of our families as home managers, loving our husbands through our choices), as well as let them be in on how you care for your children in these situations. Some women would benefit from seeing how you keep a budget, or helping prepare a meal, or planning a party/dinner/shower together (teaching them how to be hospitable). Take on a position at church with them and work together so that you can intentionally train them. Plan time to spend together sometimes in the evening or at nap time to discuss issues inappropriate for children. There are so many opportunities! There are many women who have not had their mom take an active role in teaching them in these areas!

    Finally, I have learned and continue to remind myself, I am modeling all the time! Know that younger women are watching and learning even when I'm not being intentional! They are learning from what I do as well as what I don't do. I know I am always watching older women that I respect and learning from them!

    Can you tell this is something I'm passionate about? Thanks for letting me comment...

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  4. Amy - I'm so glad that you ARE commenting and are adding to a discussion. =) It's awesome hearing your passionate thoughts on this subject matter.

    I would love to hear more!

    Of course, I think that all of your ideas are great and there is certainly a place for each one to occur and take place. I would say that I have particularly received a great benefit and value from "older women" taking some time to answer my questions. (Note how I worded that. I love the freedom of knowing that I can ask particular questions of particular people at specific points in time and on particular topics.) I see the benefit and blessing of mentorship and disciplineship, but for my own part I'm a first-born, go-getter type and definitely don't have much of a problem making up my own mind about certain issues. I love being able to watch older women and get a feel for how they live and what their belief systems are. I am always PARTICULARLY blessed when I can approach any given older woman at any time and ask them about something specific.

    I do have consistent friends that are older and have more access to my life and have a greater impact. But I also appreciate it when the older women take the time to understand my personality and see that when I'm asking a question about one thing, I'm only asking a question about one thing. (I know that some might take that as pride, but that first born thing really drives me to find answers in sources that I trust and respect. So while I may not have asked a person for their entire opinion on any given subject matter, they can probably rest completely assured that I've checked several sources/people for info and would particularly value their input on something very specific.)

    When it comes to hospitality, hello, I blog here. I do feel like I have a gift for hospitality and that's something that can be shared most by example to others. I think living examples are the best sort. It's kinda stiff and stifled on this site, but it keeps the mental wheels turning and I care about that as well. I LOVE having people in our home and seeing how we a.) invite guests b.) plan for them c.) implement the plans and carry them out. I think that hospitality is a lost art and showing people how it's done encourages them that it can be done.

    Oh so many thoughts going in so many directions. We may have to extend this conversation to a separate post series!

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  5. P.S. To Amy....I have a specific question to ask YOU. =D I looked on your blogger profile and can't find an e-mail but if you wouldn't mind dropping me an e-mail at:

    offeringhospitality (at) gmail (dot) com I'd love to connect on something!

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  6. The best discipleship experiences I've ever had have been those during college, when I was involved with the Campus Crusade ministry. The staff of CRU make a major point of discipling younger students. I really miss that from my college days and wish it was just as important to the staff of our churches!

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  7. Amy, you are so right that younger women are watching! I know I'm watching the older women in my life. When I hear the word "disciple" I tend to think of something formal with teaching Bible lessons and Greek lexicons. There's certainly a place for that but that's not all we need. I've had very little discipleship in my life (outside of structured Bible studies) and it's a real lack for me. I've also struggled with discipling younger women in my home as my family has increased. Between 4 kids and home schooling there isn't a lot of time left over. I think that's why it has to be intentional. It's something I have to plan for otherwise it will never happen. I think hospitality-discipling is going to be on my list of goals for next year.

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