Discipleship: A Command For All Believers: Tara Dew
Here at Southeastern, we seek to fulfill the Great Commission. It is written in our mission statement and recorded on the top of every syllabus. It is a part of every classroom and every assignment. The word “GO” has been branded in our logo and is now on our bumper stickers, our license plates, our apparel, but mostly in our hearts. We train men and women to GO, reaching the nations with the gospel of Christ. We are a Great Commission Seminary.
The Great Commission, however, is not completed by our mere going. It also entails discipleship. Look at the words that follow the word GO: “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” (Matthew 28:18-20, bold added). Just as much as GO is a command, so is MAKE DISCIPLES.
Sometimes discipleship can be formal, with one-on-one accountability for a certain length of time. At other times it is very informal, just being in relationships, reading a book, or taking a class. But no matter the format, the goal of discipleship is to influence and lead others toward a deeper obedience and love of Christ.
This command might seem very daunting, especially for women who are juggling so much already. However, let me offer a few ways that you can be a disciple-maker in your daily activities:
Be in love with Christ. Before we are called to be a sister, a mother, a wife, an employee, a student, or a friend, we are called to be a follower of Christ. Our words, actions, and daily activities should display adoration and devotion to the One who has redeemed and restored us. Remember the great command found in Matthew 22:36-38: “Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” Loving Jesus should be what determines how we spend our time, finances, and energy. Every thought, word and deed should demonstrate our love for Him. If you looked at your checkbook, what does it show as your first love? If you looked at your calendar, what does it display of what you love the most? To make disciples, it must begin with a love for our Savior.
Be selfless in your love for others. As a disciple-making woman, we are called not only to love God wholeheartedly, but also to love those around us. Jesus continues in Matthew 22:39 with these words, “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” We don’t love others because they deserve it or because they can give us something in return. We love others simply because we have been lavishly loved by God. God’s Word promises that when we love selflessly, we will be noticeably different from the world around us: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another” (John 13:35). How can you love others more selflessly? Is there someone who needs a home-cooked meal or for you to listen to their heart over coffee? Do you know someone who could use a kind word today or a reminder that they are loved by God? To make disciples, we must be the hands and feet of Jesus to those around us by loving selflessly.
Be faithful and live a life worth imitating. Never forget whose you are. Christ loved you. He saved you. He redeemed your life from the pit (Psalm 40:2). And because of what He has done for us, we are called to display His character for all to see. The Bible states in James 2:17, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” Our faith in Christ must display itself genuinely in our words and actions, and we must live in such a way that others will want to imitate us. Are you a woman who shows others the value and importance of prayer? Are you a woman who is recognized for your work ethic and loyalty in business? Are you a woman who is hospitable and friendly to those you meet? Are you a woman who is raising her family in godliness? The author Fern Nichols posed a question that is simple yet challenging: “What do you want your children and friends to remember about you when you’ve gone to be with Jesus?” To make disciples, our lives must genuinely reflect Christ and be worthy of imitation.
Be intentional with other women. We are commanded in God’s Word not only to be faithful in our actions, but also to teach other women how to be godly. Titus 3:5 says, “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to too much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands that the Word of God may not be reviled.” We must be intentional in teaching sound doctrine and in modeling the spiritual disciplines of prayer, giving, and submission. As women, we must spur other women on in their marriages and in their parenting. Over your playdates, can you encourage another mom to love her husband and children more? In your work break, can you help another wife stay committed to her marriage? Is there a younger woman in your church who could use some help in learning how to study her Bible? Is there a friend that you could meet with to pray? To make disciples, we must be intentional.
And friends, we have the greatest example to follow. Jesus was a disciple-maker. He had a small group of 12 men that lived day in and day out with Him. They saw His daily activities, they asked Him questions, and they imitated what He did. So often we want formulas, or Bible studies, or books to teach us exactly how to disciple others. But I think it really comes down to these few things: (1) Be in love with Christ, (2) Be selfless in your love for others, (3) Be faithful and live a life worth imitating, and (4) Be intentional with other women.
Ladies, let’s be faithful to the command of the Great Commission, not only to GO but also to MAKE DISCIPLES, wherever God has us.
About the author
My name is Tara Dew andI love spending time with family and friends, whether that’s going out to eat, watching movies, shopping, or traveling! My husband, Jamie Dew (the Dean of the College at Southeastern) and I are also renovating our 1950’s house, so I enjoy DIY, Pinterest, Houzz, and HGTV.