12 Practical Discipleship Ideas

In discipleship we are calling to others, encouraging them to walk with us down the pathway of life. In your own life, ask God to bring to you women who are eager and teachable, those who will pass on to others what you, by God's grace, invest in them.

Does discipleship include challenges and exhortations along the way? Of course! But we encourage as a fellow traveler, not as one who's already arrived (Phil. 3:14–15). When we disciple women we are helping them recognize, admire, respond to, and enjoy Jesus, whose yoke is easy and burden is light (Matt. 11:30).

Making disciples is not just a nifty idea someone thought up. It is a biblical mandate.

Love women as Jesus loves you (Rom. 15:7). It is not our mission to show others how sinful they are, but how beautiful Jesus is! Link arms as you walk together in your common need for Jesus. Press on together toward Him.

As you walk together, build intimacy and accountability. You can't be a loner anymore! Learn how to open your heart up to other women as you seek Jesus together. Here are a few suggestions from my own discipleship groups:

  1. Commit to how often you will meet and for how long. My groups meet for two hours each week from the end of August to early May. We promise to make this a priority in our schedule.
  2. Take turns sharing a "biography bag" filled with meaningful symbols of your life. This helps develop intimacy.
  3. Spend time worshiping God together.
  4. Discuss different Bible passages, depending on what you are learning.
  5. Talk about why and how to spend daily time with the Lord and hold each other accountable.
  6. Bear each others' burdens. Share prayer requests and pray for each other, keeping requests confidential.
  7. Read and discuss relevant books, especially Christian biographies.
  8. Memorize Scripture.
  9. Serve together.
  10. Get to know each others' families.
  11. Talk about goals and write both lifetime and short-term goals.
  12. Practice accountability with each other.

This takes time and effort, but it is so worth it! Jesus would not command us to do something and then leave us powerless to obey. He is there to lead and help us. What will work for you? Make it your own.

We must cultivate in our sphere of influence—our homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, churches—spiritual daughters who in turn can pass the Truth on. The younger women among us are our sacred trust from our Heavenly Father. Making disciples is not just a nifty idea someone thought up. It is a biblical mandate.

In this beautiful relationship of discipling, everyone wins.

Some of us may be thinking, "I don't have anything to offer. Who would want to meet with me?" If you have known Jesus for one month, there are those around you who need to hear what He is teaching you.

Do you think you are too young? There are teenagers all around who need someone just a little older to walk with them through the confusing terrain of growing up. Jesus never qualifies how much we need to know or how old we need to be. If we know Him, He instructs us to pass Him along to others through discipleship.

In this beautiful relationship of discipling, everyone wins. Think what we gain—a new friend, a prayer warrior, a fresh look at life, a deeper understanding of a different age group. In our giving we will be filled, encouraged, loved. Isn't God kind to reward obedience with such blessings?

Is there someone you would like to learn from? Ask her to meet with you. Are their women you can invest in? Go for it! Let us know how it's going. We'll pray for you.

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Jani Ortlund

Jani Ortlund

Jani Ortlund, Executive Vice President of Renewal Ministries, loves spending her energies connecting women with the Word of God. Serving Jesus Christ through writing, speaking and discipling are her chief passions in life. Jani and Ray, Pastor of Immanuel Church, have four married children and twelve grandchildren, and minister in Nashville, Tennessee.

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