This month will feature a series of interviews I conducted with church elders and women in ministry. The aim is to gain perspective on the benefit of having church shepherds intentionally invest in older women, so they are better equipped to disciple younger women (Titus 2:1, 3-5). Many of these leaders have made this a priority in their churches, and have valuable insights and resources for us to consider. I want to thank all of the shepherds and sisters who contributed to this series for the glory of Christ and the building up of his church.
Susan Hunt has contributed significantly to the discussion of women’s discipleship according to Titus 2. In this 9Marks article entitled, “Wanted: More Older Women Discipling Younger Women,” she recognizes the disconnect between the biblical mandate and state of practice in the church. Hunt promotes the need for more older women who are godly and able to teach younger women. She also invites male church leadership to take seriously their responsibility to equip the older women for this task (Titus 2:1-6). This was an excellent contribution in the context of a journal written mainly for pastors and elder teams entitled, Pastoring Women.
This entire issue of the 9Marks Journal is an extremely helpful resource to pass on to your pastors, elders, and women’s discipleship teams:
Thabiti and Kristie Anyabwile have identified a crucial aspect of a biblical approach to the discipleship of women. In 2014, Thabiti wrote an article entitled “The Most Neglected Part of the Pastor’s Job Description” which I referred to in an earlier post here. Through studying the Scriptures and ministering to women, they have noticed a crucial blind spot in many evangelical churches in their approach to fulfilling the Great Commission. There has been a fair amount of attention given by women’s group to Titus 2:3-5 to help women mature in the faith. However, in the context of Titus, it is the qualified elders who are to identify and equip the older women according to sound doctrine, so they might teach what is good to the younger women.
Here is a four-part podcast series on this topic of Shepherding Women with Thabiti and Kristie Anyabwile, produced by The Front Porch. I am so thrilled that they are offering their wisdom and pointing us to God’s Word on this essential aspect of making disciples.
This is a powerful clip describing Biblical Womanhood by Pastor John Piper from his talk at the 2008 True Woman Conference. The main sessions were also published in the book, Voices of the True Woman Movement: A Call to the Counter-Revolution, edited by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
This is a foundational chapter in the book, as Piper builds a passionate case from Scripture on the amazing and powerful ways God has created male and female to reflect his character and Trinity. He astutely observes that “wimpy theology makes wimpy women,” and challenges women to embrace the sovereign plans of the God of the universe. Piper addresses both single and married women to argue that it brings the most glory to Christ when we strive to reflect God’s original design for us as women.
Check out the entire talk here.
In this book, Dr. Andreas Kostenberger and Dr. Margaret Kostenberger have effectively compiled an biblical-theological survey of God’s unique design and calling for men and women. While they give attention to the passages typically associated with the complementarian egalitarian debate, they provide a much more comprehensive presentation of the overall patterns in Scripture which affirm the distinction of roles. In addition, they provide helpful appendices on the three waves of feminism and on the value and strategies of responsible hermeneutics. This is an excellent resource and foundational for a biblical understanding of the complimentarian position.
In the book of Titus, Paul is writing to help this pastor establish a healthy church. After describing the qualifications for elders, Paul gives instructions about discipleship. In chapter 2, Paul exhorts Titus to teach what accords with sound doctrine to three groups: older men, older women, and younger men. Notice that the elders are not being called to equip the younger women. Rather, it is the older women who are to be identified and equipped to teach the younger women “what is good”. We see in Titus 2:4-5 that the older women are to train young women according to sound doctrine in seven areas: to love their husband, to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and to be submissive to their own husbands.
My heart is burdened to see this type of intentional discipleship become a reality in the Church. Lord willing, I hope to spend a significant amount of time in the years ahead studying, praying, and considering ways to support this vision among God’s people. I am excited to begin more intensive research and writing in this area, and I am so glad to see valuable resources emerging with the same goals in mind. Ultimately our hope is that we might gain wisdom from the Scriptures to bring God the most glory by making more and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ.
This is an excellent article written this past fall by Thabiti Anyabwile, “The Most Neglected Part of the Pastor’s Job Description“. He acknowledges that he has rarely seen churches who have elders that are intentionally discipling the older women in their congregations. Anyabwile raises awareness of the exhortation in Titus 2, and suggests that this is a vital ministry that is being overlooked. Finally, he offers some practical suggestions on how to take steps toward developing this elder led, biblical model of women’s discipleship. See the article here at “The Gospel-Centered Woman”.