Why We Need More Spiritual “Big Sisters”
Written by Phylicia Masonheimer | August 29, 2017
Do you ever wish you had a mentor in your life who was a little closer to your age than, say, your mom? While our moms and their peers should play a big role in our spiritual understanding and personal mentorship, many girls crave a mentor relationship with someone less a mother figure and more a “big sister.” I know I longed for this when I was in my teens!
There’s something beautiful about discipleship between Christian women. One of the most amazing things about it is that every Christian woman is older than someone! If you’re 20, there is a 13-year-old who could learn from you. If you’re 18, there is a 25-year-old who could help you navigate the next few years.
Today we will talk about both “ends” of discipleship: being discipled, and then discipling others. When Jesus ascended to heaven, He left a clear command: Go and make disciples. This was not a command just for pastors or other “leaders.” It was a command to everyone who follows Him! This is our greatest calling, single or married, working or in school.
Discipleship Begins with Relationships
Where does discipleship begin? Well, first, let’s define it: A disciple is someone who is under the tutelage, or teaching, of another person. In this case, that person is Jesus Christ. When we disciple someone, we’re not teaching them how to be like us, but showing them how to better know Jesus. That’s why the best discipleship begins with relationships!
Our friendships with other women are the basis of good discipleship. It is through having one-on-one conversations, discussing deep topics and asking the hard questions that we help each other know Christ more. This means we have to be intentional in our relationships with others.
On this topic, I want to make a quick note: It is neither biblical nor Christlike to dislike other women. From high school through college and beyond, I’ve heard girls say, “I just don’t like other women.” But as believers, we don’t get to live that way! If you don’t like other women, that is a heart issue that needs to be taken up with the Lord. Jesus loves the women He puts in your path, and you’re part of His commission to reach them.
You Don’t Have to “Arrive” to Disciple Others
A lot of girls hesitate to disciple others because they feel they don’t have their own lives “figured out.” But the Christian walk is not about achieving perfection; it’s about letting God’s glory shine through your weakness. As lead pastor Matt Chandler says, “Even hypocrisy can preach the gospel if confessed and repented.”
However, if you’re struggling with a significant sin in your life—especially sexual sin—it’s important that you are being discipled while you are discipling others. In fact, it’s important that you be discipled whether or not you are currently a “spiritual big sister” to another woman! Mentorship and accountability are vital parts of being in Christ’s body of believers. No one in the body will ever “arrive,” but we are all able to lead one another back to Scripture and closer to the heart of God.
The Great Commission Begins in Your Backyard
Finally, the great commission Jesus left begins right under your feet. You don’t have to go to Africa to be a missionary. You don’t have to leave your city to make an impact for the Lord! It starts at your workplace, with your relatives and with your unsaved friends. It starts in your conversations and your lifestyle. Everything you do will preach Christ if you are walking in His Spirit!
We need more women to rise up and disciple others, and we need discipleship ourselves! By connecting to Jesus’ call on our lives, we both give and receive as “big sisters” in Christ, contributing to His family along the way.