Pathway to Christian Growth

After a person places their faith in Christ, they then begin a lifelong journey of spiritual growth and maturity. As a person learns more about God and His Word, and spends time in prayer and fellowship with other believers, they grow in Christlikeness.

Not only is this process lifelong, but it can often be up and down, forward and backward. It can even side to side! But take heart … over time, the big picture of our lives should be one of spiritual growth and maturity. I like what Paul says in Galatians 4:15, that he feels like he is, “In the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you …” He was desperate for these young, new believers in Galatia to grow and mature in their new walk with God.

The above diagram shows six steps along the Pathway to Christian Growth. Understanding each step can greatly help a person know where they are at today. More importantly, it helps understand how to continue to grow for the future.

1. The Pre-Believer

This is how a person is born, without the Spirit of God in their lives.

1 Corinthians 2:14 — “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God …”

Ephesians 2:11 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.”

How to Help to Move Forward:

This person needs God to grant them repentance, lead them to the truth, and help them come to their senses (2 Timothy 2:25-26). Also helpful would be a solid Christian witness in their life shining the light of Christ and sharing the gospel.

2. Questioning Seeker

This person is questioning. What happens after death? How the world come to be? Is Jesus real? Can I trust the Bible? God is revealing Himself to them through creation.

Romans 1:19-20 — “Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

How to Help to Move Forward:

This person needs to be born again spiritually (John 3:7). A Christ follower in their path is certainly helpful to give a clear explanation of the gospel and an opportunity to respond in faith (John 14:6).

3. New Christian

This person has repented of their sins and placed their faith in Christ (not in good works or being a good person) for salvation and eternity in heaven with God. They are born again and saved. The Bible calls them infants in Christ or a ‘babe’ in Christ.

Romans 10:9 — “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 — “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.”

1 Corinthians 3:1 — “Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly — mere infants in Christ.”

How to Help to Move Forward:

Follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 17). A mature believer is also helpful in guiding and disciplining while helping them plug into a Bible-based local church.

4. Growing Christian

This person is no longer an infant in Christ but a ‘spiritual man’ growing in their ability to resist temptation. They are yielding to the Holy Spirit and also bearing the fruit of the Spirit in their lives on an increasing basis.

1 Corinthians 2:15 — “The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgement.”

Galatians 5:22-23 — “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Help to Move Forward:

This person needs to be discipled and to ask for and accept opportunities for growth. This includes participating in missions, volunteering with a ministry and learning about their specific spiritual gifts.

5. Leading Christian

This person walks with God, studies the Bible consistently and is an example to others. They are a leader in the church and ministries. They are often the ones people go to for advice, prayer and wisdom in different aspects of life. This person is likely a discipler, a Bible study leader, a ministry worker.

1 Timothy 4:12, 13 — ” Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.”

2 Timothy 2:15  — ” Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

Help to Move Forward:

This person needs to guard against pride. More people are seeking their wisdom and they move into more positions of leadership. They need to remain teachable and focus their time on what they are uniquely gifted and created to do. They need to seek accountability and fellowship.

6. Great Commission Christian

This person lives with an eternal mindset and strives to layup treasure in heaven. They purposefully seeks opportunities to share their faith in Christ and disciples others. They seek to multiply their life with their finances, time and talents.

Matthew 28:18-20 — “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”

Hebrews 12:1-3 — “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Help to Move Forward:

This person needs to continue the basics of spending time with God in both prayer and Bible study. They should not let Christian busyness rob them of intimate time with God. They should continue to trust God for new chapters in their walk with Him. Furthermore, they should seek to take fresh steps of faith.

A Few Reminders: The pathway to Christian growth can be bumpy with a twists and turns and the feeling of taking two steps forward and one back! But the overall picture should be one of growth and maturity over time.

As you look at the Pathway picture above … where would you say you are at currently? Where would you like to grow and mature? The good news is that where you are this moment is not as important as where you are going!

A great place to start your pathway to Christian growth is with my Bible study-Start Here Six Foundational Lessons for Growth in Christ.These 6 lessons can help you (or women you are discipling) grow and mature and be a tool in God’s hands to help others in the future!

If you would like a copy of this Pathway diagram in a full-page view please email me at Lori@LoriJoinerMinistries.org and I will gladly send.

Questions? Please reach out to me at lorijoinerministries.org.</

Speak Truth Love

Speaking the Truth in Love Part 2

In Part 1 of the “Speaking the Truth in Love” series, we talked about five elements to keep in mind when confronting your disciple about a particular issue that may be hindering her growth in Christ. In this installment, we will look at some sample scripts I have used, along with advice when NOT to confront.

Begin this challenging conversation on a positive note. Share with her something you are proud of her for and affirm her in some specific way. You could tell her you’re proud of a recent step of faith she took, her readiness to learn, or of the single act of bringing a spiritually lost friend to church. Then segue into the truth, always speaking in love.

“Since we’ve begun meeting for discipleship and getting to know each other, there’s something I’ve noticed that I wanted to bring to your attention. It’s hard for me to bring this up because I care about you and don’t want to hurt your feelings. However, because I’m committed to your growth in every area of life, I didn’t want to put off talking about this with you. Over the past _____________ (time period) I’ve noticed that you ____________ (fill in the blank).”

Not only do you want to share the truth in love, but you also need to genuinely help them change for the better.

I remember talking with a disciple, Cheryl, about the critical way she spoke to others. I reminded her of a recent incident in which we brainstormed for an upcoming event. At one point she replied to another woman’s comment with “That’s a stupid idea.”

I gently explained that in the future she could suggest a different idea or say nothing at all. It is not enough to just tell them the truth; help them make the necessary changes. Remember to be specific as you talk. Whatever the issue is, it will be a challenging conversation. But skirting around the real issue won’t help her. It will likely confuse her more.

Knowing when to address an issue and when to keep quiet will take some experience. This list below can help you know when NOT to say anything.

Do not confront a person unless:

  • You’ve prayed about the issue and for the woman
  • Your motivation is love, grace and her continued growth
  • You can clearly identify a specific problem
  • You have at least one specific example to back up your concern
  • You’re ready to help her change
  • You are certain YOU are not the one with an issue

Being confronted with blind spots in my life has helped me grow and mature, as well as minister to others more effectively. This is a necessary part of discipleship relationships — or any friendships, for that matter. Don’t put off talking with someone and speaking the truth in love. They’ll thank you for it later, just as I have thanked those who have pointed out my blind spots over the years!

If you desire more information on this topic as well as other scripts to use please see my book Discipling Women. You can find it at: LoriJoinerMinistries.org.

 

Whether speaking, training, or discipling, Lori brings a passion to see women raised up to be all they can be in the Lord, teaching to women of all ages on a wide variety of topics. She currently makes her home in Katy, TX, with her husband Alan and two young children Josh and Jake.

Speaking Truth Love

Speaking the Truth in Love Part 1

I was on a summer-long mission trip in the Middle East when Linda, one of the project directors and my summer ministry partner, approached me.

“Lori, there are a few things I’d like to talk to you about,” Linda said.

“Sure,” I said.

“Lori, you’ve been so fun to partner with on this trip. Your boldness for Christ and flexible personality are great assets to our team.”

“Thanks!” I said, feeling proud of myself.

“I have noticed a few things, though that I wanted to bring to your attention and talk about this afternoon,” Linda continued. “When we all get together at night and talk about our day, you have a habit of interrupting when someone else is talking. And often you talk about yourself and things you have done without really listening to others and asking about their lives.”

Whoa! I was not expecting that.

Linda talked with me at length over this. I was quite upset, even though everything she said was true! I later wrote in my journal and asked God to help me become more “others centered” and less “me centered.” That conversation with Linda has had a significant impact on my life and ministry. Being able to focus on others, rather than being self-consumed, has helped me be a better discipler and friend.

I am certain it was not easy for Linda to talk to me about what she’d observed. I know this from experience. When I’ve needed to confront women about issues in their lives, it’s always been hard for me. It takes a step of faith and involves risk.

Below are a few fundamental items you need to grasp before you confront a disciple or friend about an issue.

  1. Pray. Ask God to help you speak in a loving caring way. Pray also that God will prepare her heart to receive what you have to say.
  2. Face-to-Face. Don’t email or text about an issue. This conversation needs to take place during your regular discipleship time or another time where neither of you are rushed.
  3. Deposits Before Withdrawals. Make sure your disciple has heard and experienced your affirming words about her (deposits) before making a withdrawal through a confrontation about an issue.
  4. Multiple Issues. Avoid addressing multiple issues at once. As a discipler, take time to observe and determine the root issue that may be driving the others.
  5. Committed to Growth. Your motivation in confronting a disciple about an issue that is hindering her should be love, grace and her continued growth. Be quick to say you have her best interest in mind and that even though she may be initially hurt, you love her and are committed to her.

Years later, I saw Linda at a conference and thanked her profusely for having the guts to talk to me about my blind spots. Her talking with me that day many years ago was a gift that has helped me more than she could comprehend.

In part two, I will share some sample scripts I have used when speaking the truth in love, along with advice on when NOT to confront. If you want this information now, see chapter 8 in my book Discipling Women. You can find it at LoriJoinerMinistries.org.

Discipleship mentoring

Is Your Disciple Ready to Pass the Baton? Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we explored how being plugged into a church and being teachable are two characteristics of a maturing disciple ready to disciple another. In this part, I discuss with you being both reliable and outreach oriented.

Unreliable vs. Reliable

Unreliable –“Something came up, I won’t be able to meet for our discipleship appointment today.” When this is happening more often than not with your disciple, she is not ready to disciple another woman. While she has good intentions, she may be in a stage of life where she is not able to commit. She may be undisciplined in time management or simply are not ready to prioritize discipleship in her schedule. If she can’t keep a commitment to you, she may struggle to keep it with one she disciples in the future.

Reliable — A maturing disciple says, “I’ll be there a few minutes early, looking forward to our time!” She looks at her schedule, sees where her discipleship time is and plans around it. She takes responsibility, strives not to show up late and comes prepared. This woman is a person you can rely on. She has made growing in Christ a priority and guards the time the best she can. You can bet that when she disciples another woman, she will be there. She will be prepared to meet with, love on and invest in her!

Not Outreach Oriented vs. Outreach Oriented

Not Outreach Oriented  — “I don’t think I need to talk to people about God. They know I’m a Christian and they can ask me if they have questions.” While we don’t want to be a pushy salesman about Christ, there are people who are too shy to ask. As a leader, we take the initiative to share the Good News about forgiveness of sins in Christ and the love of God. Just as God did not wait on us but sent His son to die for us, we also take the initiative to share about our faith in Him. While certainly some are not as outgoing as others, there there is a difference between a shy personality and a staunch unwillingness to reach out.

Outreach Oriented  — “I invited Carol to grab coffee next week. I was telling her about my faith in Christ and we ended up talking so long that we had to schedule another time to get together!” A maturing disciple looks for opportunities to share her faith. She invites a woman to a Christian gathering such as church or Bible study. She has prepared a short synopsis of her personal testimony about how Christ has changed her life. While it is normal to feel nervous when talking to others about Jesus, a mature disciple prays to be used by God to reach others. She actively looks for opportunities to show care in the name of Christ.

If you are discipling a woman with one of these issues … or even think YOU need to tighten these areas up in your own life … take heart! We are all a work in progress and today is a new day to seek the Lord for change. My book Discipling Women explores these topics and others, as well as how to talk to your disciple about this and move her, and you, forward.

Whether speaking, training, or discipling, Lori brings a passion to see women raised up to be all they can be in the Lord, teaching to women of all ages on a wide variety of topics. She currently makes her home in Katy, TX, with her husband Alan and two young children Josh and Jake.

discipleship mentoring

Is Your Disciple Ready to Pass the Baton? Part 1

When a woman you are discipling begins to disciple another woman herself, it is such a thrill! So knowing when to challenge your disciple to begin investing in another woman is key. Two necessary milestones your disciple needs to have in place are a concrete placement of faith in Christ and a season of growth in Christ. Once you are sure of those two items, you can begin to assess other areas as well. I address two of them below.

Not Plugged in vs. Plugged into a Church

Not plugged in — “We don’t attend church regularly.” While there can be many reasons for this — business, tiredness, traveling — when a woman is not plugged into a local church, she is not ready to disciple another. Baptism, tithing, worship, Biblical teaching, Christian fellowship, serving and the Lord’s Supper are all done best with other Christ followers. Therefore, your disciple needs this piece in place before she begins investing in others.

Plugged in — The maturing disciple is a faithful part of a local church. She has gone past merely attending and is actively involved, serving and worshiping with others. She is tithing, giving, fellowshipping and using her gifts in the Body of Christ. When this woman disciples another down the road, she can invite that woman to church. This models an important part of a believer’s life.

Not Teachable vs. Teachable

Not teachable That’s just the way I am.” When you bring up situations you have observed over time in the life of your disciple which need attention and she exclaims “That’s just the way I am,” and refuses to make any (even small) adjustments, she is not ready to disciple another. When a woman takes offense to correction instead of being thankful for your help, honesty and love, she is just not ready.

Teachable — A maturing disciple says, “Help me be ready to disciple another. Show me my blind spots.” She is at least willing to hear you out on a situation and, even if at first they are hurt, will come back around and say, “Thank you! I needed to hear that.” A woman who is humble and teachable is in the perfect place to disciple. She will seek you and the Lord for help in making a lasting impact in the life of another!

If after reading this you are saying to yourself, “HELP! I am discipling this person,” or “Help, I am this person,” take heart. We are all in process and there is always room for growth.

In a future post, I will share how to have a conversation with your disciple about needed changes that can help her be ready to disciple others in the future. I call this Speaking the Truth in Love. If you want the info now, please order my book “Discipling Women.” I have an entire chapter on this subject along with scripts you can use to get the conversation rolling.

Here for You, Lori

Whether speaking, training, or discipling, Lori brings a passion to see women raised up to be all they can be in the Lord, teaching to women of all ages on a wide variety of topics. She currently makes her home in Katy, TX, with her husband Alan and two young children Josh and Jake.

discipleship growth

Material for Growth in Christ: Bringing Clarity to Choosing Material to Teach Your Disciple

Many women are confused when it comes to the initial content they should use with the woman they want to disciple — and for good reason. With so many great resources available, clicks online or a trip to a Christian book store can be option overload! You may wonder, “Should I teach about prayer, the Holy Spirit, or heaven/hell first? Should I start with temptation, spiritual warfare, creation, fruit of the Spirit, grace, parables?” All are great topics — but where should we start with our disciple?

I have discipled women of all ages and stages in their walk with God for over 20 years, and I ALWAYS start with the same 6 foundational lessons no matter what! If my disciple is a new believer in Christ — the same 6 lessons; if my disciple is a woman I met at church — the same 6 lessons; if my disciple is unsure where she is on her spiritual journey — the same 6 lessons. I use the SAME foundational lessons.

Listed below are those 6 foundational topics for each believer. I use these with EACH person I disciple (even if they have been a Christian for a long time). I hope each woman I disciple will eventually pass on these same foundational lessons to their future disciples who may be brand new believers (and thus need these foundational lessons).

1. Understanding God’s Love

2. Jesus is the Way to a Relationship with God

3. The Holy Spirit

4. How to Pray

5. The Trustworthiness of the Bible

6. Our Role in the Great Commission

I taught these 6 lessons so many times that I authored a 6-week Bible study book based on them. I titled the book … drum roll please … Start Here Six Foundational Lessons for Growth in Christ. ☺

Each chapter explores a topic and includes relevant scriptures. It discusses questions, pitfalls to that topic, and offers additional reading and space to journal and reflect on how the new knowledge should apply to a woman’s life. Each chapter also contains a glossary of commonly used Christian words and answers for common questions as well. These chapters are fabulous for one-on-one discipleship and small discipleship groups.

You can order your copy of Start Here Six Foundational Lessons for Growth in Christ here.

Why not order two — one for you and one for your disciple? Even if you haven’t started yet, get ready, as now you now know what to do!

Whether speaking, training, or discipling, Lori brings a passion to see women raised up to be all they can be in the Lord, teaching to women of all ages on a wide variety of topics. She currently makes her home in Katy, TX, with her husband Alan and two young children Josh and Jake.

Discipleship as a Way of Life

For me, discipling others is a way of life-and it can be that for you too! Whether you work in an office, are a stay-at-home mom, or a student who wants to invest your college years in others, discipling people along the way is a fantastic and meaningful way to live.

I look for opportunities to share my faith in Christ and disciple others in the areas I am already plugged into. I see each area as a mission field with discipleship opportunities just waiting to happen. One place I am plugged into is the gym where I participate in group fitness classes. I figure if I’m going to spend time working on my health, I want to have it count for eternity as well. So each time I go to the gym I try to remember the names of people I’ve met so I can greet them later. I start up conversations by reading people’s T-shirts and inquiring about them. I smile, say “Good morning,” hold the door open, and take note when they have not been there in a while.

A woman in my fitness class mentioned her mom was very ill. I prayed for her mom on my own and then asked about how her mom was doing the next time I saw her. Another woman told me she wouldn’t be at the gym for a while because she was going to have a surgery. I asked to pray with her to have a successful surgery and a speedy recovery. An employee of the gym approached me one day and asked if I could recommend a good church because, as she put it, “It’s time for me to get on track.” I later follow up with these women for another conversation over coffee. These are fun meetings where I see how things are going and at some point I ask about their spiritual life, invite them to church, or invite them to be a part of my Start Here discipleship group.

This same mindset can be applied any group you are plugged into-the moms in your children’s play group, the other students on your volleyball team, your neighbors, your tennis league, your office coworkers, etc, etc. If there is a coffee shop you frequent, get to know the employees and learn their names. A few years ago I got to know Sherlyn, the young girl who always fixed my hot chocolate at a nearby coffee shop. I made a habit of greeting her and making small talk with her. Over time we became friends. One morning I asked if she’d like to come to church with me. She not only came, but also rededicated her life to Christ. Later, she ended up meeting her husband at my church, and now they’re both full-time missionaries!

To see the Lord working at my gym, coffee shop, and neighborhood, and using me as His vessel in the process is a thrill. Telling others about Christ and walking alongside them as they grow in their relationship with God can be simply who we are. A lifestyle that overflows from our heart.

How about you? Take stock of the areas where you are already plugged in. Ask the Lord to help you see opportunities to share Christ and disciple women in those areas. Then step out in faith and be His instrument in someone’s life. When you meet together, consider asking them to do Start Here Bible study. It is just six lessons and can really help them build a solid foundation in Christ. I took out all the guesswork and put all the answers in the back of the book! So go for it! Order yours here.

Whether speaking, training, or discipling, Lori brings a passion to see women raised up to be all they can be in the Lord, teaching to women of all ages on a wide variety of topics. She currently makes her home in Katy, TX, with her husband Alan and two young children Josh and Jake.

race love shades of skin color

A Recipe for Love: Teaching Children about Shades of Skin

I have made cookies with my two boys since they were really little. Our favorite recipe to make together is oatmeal chocolate chip with extra chocolate chips thrown in … basically a big chocolate chip with a few bits of oatmeal! Recently, we were making these cookies, and a great opportunity to lay groundwork in their hearts about people was unexpectedly presented. I needed two eggs, and I happened to have one white egg and one brown.

“Look, boys. These eggs are different colors. But when I crack them in the bowl, they are the same inside. The yolk is yellow, and the clear runny part is the same for both eggs, but the shell is a different color for both. People are like that. God made people with different shades of skin — some are darker and some lighter. But on the inside we are all the same — a brain, a heart, and the ability to think and make choices.”

I am teaching my boys what Martin Luther King, Jr. said when he hoped his children would, “Not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

It’s what Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Moreover, Paul states in the Book of Acts, “From one man, He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth.”

Here Paul was speaking to the Athenians, a Greek people who prided themselves on being racially superior to all other people. Paul told them here that they, like all other people, had descended from one source: Adam. Therefore, this fact excluded the possibility of the essential superiority of any race.*

My boys will one day face the temptation to have an “us versus them” mentality. I don’t know in what form it will come. Perhaps a person at school will repeat a hate-filled comment about an entire people group based on skin color (or eye shape, or accent, etc.). My boys consequently have the choice to go along and agree or disagree and speak the truth.

The truth is that, similar to an egg, our outsides may look different, but on the inside we are the same. Made from the same Creator with the ability to choose right from wrong, to love and care, to speak or be silent.

As I strive to raise my sons in a Christian home, I teach them not treat someone any different simply based on the color of their skin. Skin color is obviously different and is acknowledged as such. But I teach them to treat people the way Christ would no matter the differences — to love and care for people as brothers and sisters in Him.

While this, of course, is not the whole of my teaching to them on this subject, as young children, this is one of my first layers. My hope, my prayer, is that the groundwork of eggs helps them to know the truth and further speak the truth when needed.

What ideas do you have? I would love to hear how you teach your children about love and acceptance of all people. I await your answers! Until then, I will have some of those oatmeal (extra) chocolate chip cookies!

*Dr. Constable’s Notes, authored by Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Acts 17:26

Whether speaking, training, or discipling, Lori brings a passion to see women raised up to be all they can be in the Lord, teaching to women of all ages on a wide variety of topics. She currently makes her home in Katy, TX, with her husband Alan and two young children Josh and Jake.

discipleship mentoring

Finding a Disciple

Wanting to disciple a woman but not knowing who to disciple can be a quandary for many women. They have the knowledge, the heart and the time. But where is the woman for them to pour into?

This does not have to be elusive. Below are some real examples from my ministry this past year of how I started a discipleship relationship with a few ladies.

1) Gym friend: I got to know a gal at my gym as we had worked out in the same classes for years, and we had several side conversations. After she told me about a particularly hard time in her life I said, “I was wondering if you would like to meet more regularly this spring to study the Bible together. I use the book Start Here; it has 6 foundational lessons, and I think you would be encouraged and learn more about a personal relationship with God.” We met that spring, studied each lesson together and prayed. She not only learned about God, but placed her faith in Jesus Christ as well.

2) Mom on swim team: My boys were on a year-round swim team, and I got to know another mom as we would chat during practice times. As we began to talk about where we went to church and a bit about our spiritual journeys, she confided that she had placed her faith in Christ years before but had not been discipled. I knew in my heart she would greatly benefit from having a woman in her life helping to grow her faith in Christ. I said, “This fall I will be discipling two other ladies in my home each week for about an hour, and I would love for you to be a part.” She agreed to come a few weeks later. Since starting she has said, “This group is exactly what I needed.”

3) Mom from school: On the playground one day, my son invited his friend from school to church. So I contacted his mom and asked if he could come. That Sunday not only did the boy attend our church, but his mom came as well. She decided to join our church and be baptized shortly thereafter. I said, “I would love to meet with you weekly to help you grow and deepen in your relationship with God. This summer I am gathering a few ladies in my home each week. The kids can play upstairs while me meet and study the Bible. Would you like to come?” Not only did she plug in, but she is now able to teach her children about the Lord from what she is learning.

4) Parking lot friend: A friend saw me dressed up the other day in the parking lot. I had come from a ministry luncheon, and she commented on my looking so fancy! I mentioned where I had been and that I regularly meet with women to help them spiritually. She said, “I need to meet with you; I need help.” I said, “I would love that! I have a small discipleship group starting in January I would love to invite you to be a part of. In the meantime we can get together to talk more—just you and me.”

Finding a woman to disciple is a matter of prayer and keeping your antenna up. I pray each day, “Lord, please use my life to help others. Please cross my path with those who need Your love and guidance today. I want to be a tool in Your hand to love on others.” Then I keep my eyes and ears open to His leading and step out in faith to invite women to learn and grow.

P.S. Once you do connect with a woman to disciple-download my free e-book The Discipleship Starter Kit on my home page! Let me know how it goes-I would LOVE to help!

Whether speaking, training, or discipling, Lori brings a passion to see women raised up to be all they can be in the Lord, teaching to women of all ages on a wide variety of topics. She currently makes her home in Katy, TX, with her husband Alan and two young children Josh and Jake.

Time to Disciple

Time For Discipleship

Time.

It’s the number one hindrance facing women when it comes to discipling other women. I don’t have time. They don’t have time. Who has the time?

I surveyed 100 women formally—and countless others in casual conversations—over my 20 years in women’s ministry to discover their biggest roadblock to pouring their life into another woman spiritually. Time was the #1 answer. I get it. As a mom of two elementary boys with a full schedule of speaking engagements, writing deadlines, and running a ministry, the sheer thought of trying to line my schedule up with somebody else’s is almost impossible…Almost.

I want to help you! I love discipling women, and I know first-hand the challenges to make it work in numerous phases of life. Here are some of the ways I have found time over the years:

College years: Late afternoons I discipled women in my residence hall, typically in my dorm room. I kept a small fridge of cold soft drinks. When we added a sweet treat and our Bibles, we were good to go!

Single years: After college and before I married at the age of 34, I was able to use evenings to disciple women. One dear friend and I met for two years at a local restaurant on Tuesday nights for discipleship. We had a corner booth and were on a first-name basis with the wait staff!

Baby years: Newborn baby haze, when you don’t even know what day it is—let alone where your Bible is—can be challenging for discipleship. However, once your baby is on some sort of schedule it becomes much easier to find windows of opportunity. I used one nap time per week to disciple a gal from a local high school. It turned out that when my son was going down for his afternoon nap, she was getting out of school.

School years: This is the phase I am currently in. I start a small discipleship group this Friday afternoon with some women I know from the gym. I am so excited to disciple them and challenge them to share what they learn with other women this year! I’ll be done with this discipleship group in time to get the boys off the bus! Perfection!!!

Empty nesters: I know a dear woman who is the grandmother of 14. She is busy with church obligations and is a phenomenal help to her large family. However, she still leads a small group of women spiritually—encouraging them with God’s Word as they face life’s twists and turns.

I hope these ideas help spark hope that you can find time in your day to get in the boat with another woman and help her spiritually. I would LOVE to hear where YOU find time to disciple women. Where do you meet? When? What stage of life are you in? I’ll compile a list of answers and share!

Blessings, Lori

P.S. I took all the guess work out of what to do in your first eight weeks discipling another woman. Download my free e-book, The Discipleship Starter Kit, from my website (www.LoriJoinerMinistries.org) and see my eight-week daily calendar of what to do to get started!

Whether speaking, training, or discipling, Lori brings a passion to see women raised up to be all they can be in the Lord, teaching to women of all ages on a wide variety of topics. She currently makes her home in Katy, TX, with her husband Alan and two young children Josh and Jake.