The Women’s Ministry at Coats Baptist Church exists to equip women for lives of intentional discipleship. We long to see women who are fruitful and multiplying–bearing spiritual fruit through the work of the Spirit and multiplying themselves as they make disciples.
Equipping women for lives of intentional discipleship happens in the context of relationships. Of primary importance is your relationship with God. The Lord has also called us to form relationships with others so that we can live out the mission to both be and make disciples. Whether it’s through fellowship events, overnight retreats, Sunday morning classes or weekly Bible studies our aim is to prioritize relationships. The Christian life is best lived in community.
What does it mean to disciple?
A disciple is a follower, someone who learns from the teaching and example of the one they follow. To disciple, as a verb, is to help someone be a disciple. For Christians, that means helping someone follow Jesus. We all need someone in our life who is further along than we are (a Paul), who can help us to grow in our walk with Christ. We also need a Timothy, someone coming along behind us that we can help. We are also encouraged by friends who are in a similar season of life, with whom we can stand shoulder to shoulder (a Barnabus). We should also be pursuing relationships with lost friends, prayerfully persisting that they might become followers of Christ as well.
Why do we disciple? What is the goal?
The goal of discipleship is to see our fellow believers transformed into the image of Christ. We want to become more and more like the One we follow, and we want to help others in that same pursuit.
When should I disciple?
All Christians are called to both be discipled and to make disciples. Even a very new Christian can look behind them and see someone they can help along the way. Part of growing in wisdom and discernment is recognizing when you need help and when you can give help, but don’t feel that there will come a day when you have reached full spiritual maturity and then you can begin to make disciples.
How am I equipped to disciple?
We are equipped to disciple through the power of the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God as we sit in personal study and under faithful preaching, and by the example and guidance of the saints as we fully participate in the body of Christ in the local church. Discipleship is supported by spiritual disciplines: prayer, Bible intake, worship, and so on. We are training our hearts, hands, and minds for the work of discipleship.
How do I initiate a discipleship relationship?
The simplest (and possibly scariest) answer to this question is: just ask. Whether you are asking a more mature believer to disciple you or you are offering to disciple someone who is coming along behind you, it is easy to feel intimidated or awkward. But, we are made for relationships, and forming intentional relationships built on discipleship is essential for the Christian life.
What do we talk about? Discipling can cover the full range of aspects of the Christian life, but at its core, it’s going to be Word-based, encouraging each believer to know God and to grow in Christ-likeness. Intentionally pursuing sanctification is the difference between a discipling relationship and mere friendship. A good place to begin is reading the Bible and praying together, discussing what it means to faithfully live out the truth of God’s word in your specific life circumstances.