May 31, 2011

Are You Old and Fat?

Great! That means you are ready to begin discipling someone.

We have already explored what discipleship is and why it's important, so today let's talk about qualities you need to disciple someone and qualities to look for in a person to disciple.

That's where the oldness and fatness comes in. Who knew those wrinkles and stretch marks were good for something? Hallelujah!

The first qualification of a discipler is that she is old.
Titus 2:3-5 says, "Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God."

No woman likes to think of herself as an older woman, but every woman is an older woman to someone, whether it's a college student to a high school student or a mom of teenagers to a mom of young ones. 

The second qualification of a discipler is that she is FAT.
Most of us fit the description of an older woman, but there is a second implication of oldness in the Titus 2 verse. The older woman is not just chronologically old, but spiritually old, or mature. It does not mean that she is perfect or has it all figured out or the Bible memorized from front to back. If that were so, none of us would qualify. But it does mean that she is FAT:

Faithful: A discipler is a disciple herself, increasingly dependent upon the Lord. (Matthew 4:19-20)
Available: She is available to the Holy Spirit and trusts Him to work through her as she leads others. She knows growth and heart change don't happen because of her, but because of the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:6)
Teachable: She is teachable, seeking to grow, responding to the Spirit's conviction, and willing to receive from the one she disciples. (John 1:38-42)

If you desire for God to use you in the lives of other women and you are growing as a disciple, I strongly encourage you to seek God about someone to disciple. I will talk about how to do that (and how you can ask someone to disciple you) in my next post. As you pray about who to disciple, there are certain qualities you should look for and I think you'll find them easy to remember: she should be young and FAT. I describe these women as "ripe" for discipleship.

Is she faithful?
  • Does she seek to obey God?
  • Does she follow through on commitments?
  • Does she make commitments to the things that are important?
Is she available?
  • Does her life show an increasing dependence on the Lord?
  • Does her schedule permit a commitment to a discipleship relationship?
Is she teachable?
  • Does she seek out the advice of others?
  • Does she apply God's Word to her life?
  • When she is convicted, does she respond?
I hope God revealed opportunities and relationships to you as you read that list. It's my prayer that through this series you will be motivated to action, armed with tools to get started, and encouraged in whatever capacity you are already involved in discipleship.

It never felt so good to be old and fat, did it?

You can read the next post in the series here.