I am no longer on campus! Discipling ‘after campus’ looks different than when we are on campus. However, the qualities we want to look for in those we might help are the same. I always have my radar up to identify women who are open to and want help as a disciple. One such occasion where God completely invaded my heart was when I was attending the funeral of my nephew, Brandon, in North Carolina.
Brandon’s younger sister, Casey who was fifteen at the time, spoke at his funeral. She also sang. Her resolute but grieving spirit stood out to me as I heard her share and sing. God began speaking to me about discipling her. I really did not know Casey at all. And, did not know how it might work. I began to pray if I might disciple Casey. I had many questions as to whether this discipling relationship would work. We would have to meet long distance via ‘face time.’ Our age difference is 46 years! Our generational differences seemed like a vast cultural gap. Could I cross into her world? Lastly, would she even be interested or teachable?
Because of her age, I first spoke with my sister, Bonnie, about the idea of discipling her daughter, Casey. She was very receptive and said she would talk to Casey about it. Bonnie shared that Casey had made a mission trip to Guatemala and wanted to be a missionary. When I heard that about Casey I was ready to invest. Casey is a young woman that is FAITHful!
Who do I help?
The most important thing to consider is the heart of the woman we might help. Whether she comes to us and asks us to disciple her, or we see and observe her as we attend Nav meetings and sense God might have us disciple her we need to begin with her heart. (If you never have opportunity to serve and observe the women on campus closely please read the paragraph after this one on ‘helpful considerations.’)
- Is she a faithful woman? Faithful, Available, Initiative, Teachable, Heart for God
- Faithful: Does she follow through on commitments to school, friends and ministry? Is she faithful to point others to Christ as she hears their needs?
- Available: Does she show that she is hungry through showing up to opportunities to grow? Is she willing to come to my house and meet when my children are around? Will she, if need be, meet with me early in the morning before my children are up from their beds?
- Initiative: Does she demonstrate movement, relationship and a heart to share the gospel with those who don’t know Christ? Does she willingly serve others? Is she showing a desire to help other women grow?
- Teachable: Does she talk about obeying Christ? Does she demonstrate a learner spirit when corrected? Is she receptive to the help of the general opportunities for growth on campus?
- Heart for God: Does she exemplify in her choices a love for God’s Word. Does she show a love for God and people around her? Is she putting God first in her life? Does she obey God even when it is costly?
- These qualities have proven to be foundational as we seek out those we might help.
Some other helpful considerations to answer the question, “Who do I help?” are:
- What does the campus director advise us regarding women in the ministry who need one on one discipling?
- It could be that you might be needed to disciple the EDGE or SIT women God has sent to your campus. This is an exciting opportunity as they will immediately pass on what you give them not only in content but relationally and prayerfully. Your model will give them much!
- What do the single staff woman, EDGE team, key Bible study leaders advise us as we pray over those we might help?
- When we pray about who we might help who does God bring to our heart and mind?
- When we think we have identified someone through prayer and advice of others is there a sense that God is affirming the DR? (discipling relationship)
- If there is an abundance of women who fit the FAITHful woman description than it is important to ask your advisors, “If I only meet with one woman this year or semester who is the most strategic or needy or ready?”
- Ultimately you want to make sure that you fit with the woman you disciple and that your contribution in helping her is strategic for the ministry on campus.
Because Casey is a FAITHful woman our times together for the last 18 months are proving fruitful. We have a mutual respect. We are comfortable as we share. We seek to be honest and transparent as we engage. Casey has led several of her friends to the Lord. She told me enthusiastically, “I told them whatyou said about God’s Word, how it is essential, powerful and inspired. They need to know that as new believers!” I love that Casey is looking to invest in other women even in her young age.
Dana with Tom has been on staff with the Navs for over 30 years and married over 40 years. They are blessed with six children and seven grandchildren. Dana has lived in many places throughout her life time: Florida, Maryland, Indonesia, Chicago and Colorado Springs to name a few. Dana’s loves are the Word of God, people and helping people learn.
To contact Dana please email her at: Dana.Yeakley@navigators.org