Biblical Principles for the Discipleship of Women (Part 2 of 4)

5. A biblical approach to the discipleship of women should include teaching on biblical manhood and womanhood. (Genesis 2:15-25, 1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-33)

In order to disciple women effectively, we must begin with God’s created design for men and women before the Fall. God entrusted man with creation to work and maintain it, and with the law to keep and to teach it. He then created woman to be a helpmate to support and assist man in his responsibilities. Scripture also teaches that the marriage relationship between husband and wife was originally designed to point to the relationship between Christ and his church. Women must be taught and equipped to know and live out our created design by God to be helpmates and pictures of the bride of Christ both in singleness and marriage.

6. A biblical approach to the discipleship of women requires pastors and elders to equip and disciple older women and members of the women’s discipleship leadership team. (Genesis 2:15-25, Ephesians 4:11-16, Titus 2:1)

God created man and woman with distinct roles and responsibilities to most fully reflect his image and bring him glory. Scripture teaches that women are to prioritize helping male leadership with the tasks entrusted to them. God has gifted people in the church with leadership tasks of shepherding and teaching in order to equip the saints for the work of ministry and the building up of the body. While women may also be gifted in these areas, they should use their gifts under the male leadership that is overseeing the church. Paul wrote to Titus and instructed him to appoint qualified elders who were then to teach what accords with sound doctrine to older women, older men, and younger men. It is the older women who are to then instruct the younger women. Scripture indicates that pastors and elders should be intentional about the discipleship and equipping of both older women and women with leadership and teaching gifts to help them use their abilities in the appropriate context.

7. A biblical approach to the discipleship of women should occur in glad submission to the authority and intentional oversight and involvement of the church elders. (Hebrews 13:17, Ephesians 4:11-16, 1 Timothy 2:8-15)

All believers are instructed to submit to our leaders as they are caring for our souls. A women’s discipleship plan should gladly come under the authority and oversight of the elders to reflect God’s design for a distinction of male and female roles. Scripture teaches that women are not to have teaching authority over men, but to learn quietly and submissively. Just as Adam was formed first, so men are to have the authority of teaching Scripture to women and equipping them to teach other women.

8. A biblical approach to the discipleship of women should be overseen by a team of qualified and spiritually mature men and women who model servant leadership and are continually growing in Christlikeness. (John 13:1-7, 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, Titus 2:3)

Identifying and equipping a qualified leadership team is essential for women’s discipleship. Team members should be both men and women who are growing in Christlikeness and in the biblical qualifications of overseers. Ideally, there would be one or two male church elders in addition to the mature women who have gifts of leadership and teaching. This team should reflect the servant leadership of Christ as he washed his disciples’ feet and led by humbly serving and giving himself to others, while intentionally living out the will of the Father.

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