Last fall, my husband and I were asked to lead the newly-formed Young Marrieds class at our church. Wait! What? When did we become old married folks? We are just a few short…uh, 14 years and 4 kids…past that time of life.
OK, I guess we qualify. And it has been a fun adventure thus far. Our core group is starting to gel, we still have visitors–some of whom return!–and social events have helped build relationships. Recently I’ve also stepped into a more intimate mentoring type of relationship with one of the young women.
I’ve often said that my testimony can be told by the names of the women, sometimes a bit older but definitely with more life experience, who have built into my life. Starting with my 6th grade teacher who introduced Jesus to me as more than a distant object of reverence but as my personal savior who wanted a relationship with me, then to “big sister” friends, the college pastor’s wife, the seminary fellow-student-now-professor, and my coauthor (you might recognize a couple of these women ;)).
Each of these godly women spent significant time with me, whether sharing the gospel, in dedicated bible studies, or just walking alongside me. Along the way they’ve shared not only knowledge but their lives.That’s what discipleship is all about. Growing the next generation into mature believers who can turn around and grow the the next generation. Keeping alive a love for Jesus and his mission.It’s my turn (and it has been for awhile). I smiled the other day as I met with the young lady in my group, listening to her story and planning out future times. I confess my mind wandered back, briefly touching on each woman from my past.
And to whomever is reading this, think about who has invested in your life. Are you investing in someone else’s spiritual growth? I encourage young believers to find a leader or a group in which you can be discipled. Draw on the wisdom of others. And if you are one of those “elders,” do not flinch from your responsibility to disciple the next generation. Go love on a younger believer, encourage her and equip her for the good works God has in store!