Friends, we need to have a heart to heart. Our churches across America are experiencing a serious lack in women walking together with other women as the body of Christ. Just in my little corner of the world, I see younger women turning more and more to the internet for answers, opinions, and help because they have no older women involved in their life. They need help, wisdom, kindness, and someone who will take the time to look them in the eye, and sit with them for a while, and ask them how they’re REALLY doing. But no one in the church is there. So instead they go to the other (easier and readily available option), the internet. Those beautiful Instagram photos with a perfectly placed Bible drenched in the morning sun beside a steaming latte? That’s not real and that’s not truth (and most of them know that, but also kinda wonder if it is real and they’re doing something wrong). Who will walk along with them and show them life in Christ?
I’ve been thinking for a while now about why women aren’t involved more deeply with each other and came up with a few ideas. But I want to hear yours too because I know I’m missing some, but here’s what I think:
- When someone needs help, the first thing we think is “They need to see a counselor” and write ourselves out of the equation. (I’m not saying that people don’t need counselors, but sometimes they just need a caring friend who will have them over for tea and point them back to Jesus.)
- We feel unequipped. What if they have a question we don’t know? What if they tell you something that is really hard and you don’t know what to do? That’s scary, so we go back to option 1, they need a counselor.
- We have filled our lives up with so much busyness there is no margin to squeeze someone in. (My fellow introverts, I understand that this is quite often a subconscious way to get out of social things. I’ve been guilty too. Stop it. Be available. Use your energy up on your sisters in Christ! And learn to rest–truly rest– in between times.)
- We’ve taken additional jobs and spend our time and energy there. I understand some women do have to work. Especially now with inflation so stupid high. But, if you find you are working to upgrade STUFF or get more STUFF or do more STUFF. I urge you to reevaluate. I’ve seen a lot of empty-nest, or nearly empty-nest women do this, and they are the ones that we really need speaking into lives!
- We’re bitter because we’ve been hurt and/or don’t like some of the women in church. Maybe no one helped you. Maybe someone made a comment that hurt and offended you and you’re still holding onto that (that’s sin –on your part —that you need to confess and repent of). We are called to love and serve our brethren. That’s the women you see on Sunday. Even the ones who annoy or offend you.
- We’ve stopped going to church. We might attend service, but we’re not involved in church. So we don’t know other women. COVID ruined a lot of things for a while but that’s actually a lame excuse. If you can go to church, but are mostly streaming church services, you are failing to obey Scripture.
- We haven’t found The Perfect Church. All the churches near us are full of guilty, hypocritical sinners. (Refer back to point 6.)
- We don’t want to be vulnerable. Dealing with the messy stuff of life is so exhausting. I get it. And if you want to get to the real REAL stuff, it’s gonna require vulnerability, time, and energy. And we figure that it’s just not worth it… but is that true?
So here’s the deal. I’ve been meeting with and discipling young ladies for many years now. And I am by NO MEANS an expert. I’m muddling along, most of the time completely unsure of myself, but God keeps bringing them to me. So I want to share what I’ve learned over that time. I was going to do a blog series on NITTY GRITTY DISCIPLESHIP a few years ago, but never got around to it, and I’m glad I didn’t, because I’ve learned even more since then. But, even though I’ll never be an expert on this, and I’ll never feel fully ready, the church is in desperate need, so I better start talking about it. This series is not going to be “5 Easy Steps to Discipleship” or “The One Thing you Need for Amazing Discipleship.” It will be honest and real. It will have resources. Real encouragement.
Will you help me make this a valuable series? Send me your thoughts through the “contact me” link at the top of this page, or post in the comments below. What do you think of discipleship? Do you do it? Do you need it? What’s hard? What do you need?
Discipleship is scary, but when we obey, step out in faith, and do the obedient thing the Lord is glorified. Does anything else matter? When we get to see our Savior face to face, will He be able to say ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it for Me.’ Matthew 25:40