Barriers and Blessings of Biblical Discipleship: A Big Sister’s Perspective

Last week, my friend Annie McGuire hosted me on her blog, Daily His Disciple, where I shared the barriers and blessings of biblical discipleship from a younger woman’s perspective (read article here). What a joy to have Annie here on my blog this week sharing the big sister’s perspective!

The guiding verse for this two-week series is Titus 2:3-5:

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Here’s what Annie shares:

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Like the church in Crete where Titus was ministering, we live in a land of lies, laziness, and lust.  It’s a sinful, selfish, chaotic, and confused culture, where biblical womanhood is perceived as oppressive, offensive, and outdated.  

The need to get back to the Bible is great.

Younger women in the church are looking to the older women to show them the way.  Yet many of the older women either don’t know their role in the church, don’t see it as a priority, or they simply don’t know how to disciple.

Maybe they never had someone intentionally invest in them.  Or they didn’t have a model to follow who was following Christ. It’s possible that older women have a misunderstanding of ministry, and see the woman’s role in the church as cooking meals, running bake sales, and knitting blankets. (A post for another day!)

Biblical discipleship is investing the transforming truth of God’s word into another person, living life with them and helping them to grow in their faith, character, and ministry.

It’s all about taking them under your wing, teaching them the word, training them in ministry, and giving them tactics for becoming disciple-makers themselves.  

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Discipleship is part of the Great Commission given by Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20. Paul instructs us to disciple in 2 Timothy 2:2. And he gives the standard for women in the church to meet and what they should teach the younger women in Titus 2:3-5.  As we do that there are blessings and barriers to be aware of.

Barriers to fruit bearing in discipleship from a “big sister’s” perspective:

  • Distance.  All of the disciples I’m currently ministering to live about an hour away from me. This makes it difficult for us to have fellowship outside of our weekly or biweekly meetings.  The closer you live, the more time you can invest in relationship building activities and cultivate a deeper bond. 
  • Disobedience.  By definition a disciple is a learner, a student who follows the authority of the discipler as their Bible teacher and spiritual mentor (Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 5:5). Some disciples aren’t ready for such a role. They have yet to develop a teachable spirit or desire to commit to growing in faith. Sometimes, they refuse to turn away from rebellious choices. All of these can hinder discipleship. 
  • Darts. Ephesians 6:10-20 describes the armor we need to wear to protect our mind and heart against spiritual warfare.  Anytime you desire to obey the word and get intentional about investing in a younger woman’s spiritual growth the devil gets riled up.  He knows that a woman armed with the word poses a serious threat to his agenda. Some of these darts will be a sudden interest from a guy who draws the disciple away, extra hours at work or school, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, envy, and pride. 

    The older woman must be aware of how the enemy deceives, divides, and destroys. She has to deflect those darts with faith, scripture, and praying diligently. Even so, disciples get drawn away and never return. It’s important for the older woman to guard her heart from growing bitter. (Proverbs 4:23)

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Blessings of biblical discipleship from the “big sister’s” perspective:

Despite the barriers, discipleship is a worthy endeavor.  There are so many blessing that come from intentionally investing in the next generation of Jesus girls.  A few of those are:

  • Growth.  Even if you don’t feel equipped to take a younger woman under your wing and teach her how to walk with Jesus, do it anyway!  God is faithful to provide every word of wisdom, encouragement, and instruction the disciple needs to hear. You don’t have to know it all, just take what you do know and invest it.  Share your victories and your defeats. Be real, available, relatable, and encouraging. The more you teach, the more you learn, and grow in your faith. As you invest in her she grows in sanctification and faith as well. 
  • Gain. Discipleship is a sacrifice.  Carving time out of a hectic schedule and pouring into a needy soul is draining. But worth every single minute! I could write a list a mile long of all that you gain from biblical discipleship.  Here’s my top 2:
    • Joy: There’s really no other word I could use to describe the feeling of knowing that a younger woman is walking in truth because of your willingness to minister to her. (3 John verse 4)
    • Friendship: When women spend time together as prayer partners, learning the word, sharing experiences and growing in faith, the friendship that develops is so sweet. 
  • Glory. Always and in everything God’s glory is at stake.  When we ignore the command to teach the younger women, the word of God is blasphemed. But when we take our role seriously, the greatest blessing is that God is glorified.  Every time we meet with them and pray to the God of all grace and comfort, or encourage them to look to Jesus to meet their deepest needs, or teach them how to study their Bible and find beautiful treasures for themselves, God’s word is reverenced and He is exalted. Glory, glory, glory!

I’ve witnessed firsthand the blessings of applying scriptural truths.  Generational cycles of sin can be broken, relationships can be restored, and lives can be transformed by the intentional investment of the word of God in discipleship.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic.  Are you investing in younger women, if not, what keeps you from it? If you are, do you have some barriers and blessings to add to the list?

If you’re a younger woman, do you have a spiritual mentor who is pouring into you?  What are some of the blessings and barriers of that for you? You’re welcome to comment below, or email me with comments or questions. I’m excited to connect with you!

If you’re interested in reading more articles on the mandate and method of discipleship for women, I have written several articles on the topic on my blog, Daily His Disciple.

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About the Guest Author

As a disciple of Jesus Christ, Annie McGuire spends her time passionately pursuing his presence, studying his scriptures, and teaching his truths. She serves alongside her husband as he pastors a new church plant, and has the privilege of leading the women’s ministry and serving in the children’s ministry.  She and her husband have four kids who are leaving the nest quicker than she would like, and writing is her labor of love.


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6 thoughts on “Barriers and Blessings of Biblical Discipleship: A Big Sister’s Perspective

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