The Heart of Disciple-MakingChristina Ellis
I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus. Therefore, let all of us who are mature think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this also to you. In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained. Join in imitating me, brothers and sisters, and pay careful attention to those who live according to the example you have in us. Philippians 3:14-17
This past year, the Lord placed a desire on our hearts to start a small group of college girls. We knew that we wanted to put into practice what Paul commands in Philippians 3—to invite girls to imitate us as we imitate Christ. This is the heart of making disciples.
The Lord formed our small group of about ten young women. On our first night meeting together, we told our girls that our time spent together in the Word was not going to be a book club. The Word of God is living and active, and we desire to know our God by reading His Word. We know that the Bibe will continue to transform their lives. Our prayer is that they would be all in for what the Lord wants to do through them.
We also know that we are held accountable to what we are teaching and leading these girls in. We too must be all in for the sake of the gospel and for the name of Jesus. This is not about us. Spending time together on Monday nights is for loving Jesus, growing in Jesus, and teaching these girls to do the same.
However, discipleship doesn't end on Monday nights. It extends to lunch dates, phone calls, encouraging texts—truly walking alongside these girls and encouraging them to look to Christ in their everday lives. We are commanded in Mark 12:20 to love God with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength. We are commanded to be all in for the glory of God. There is no time to be half-heartedly committed to following Jesus.
We have girls who are learning to study the Bible for the first time, others who are faithfully learning to walk with Jesus, and some who are continuing on in discipleship by pouring into younger believers. All glory be to Christ for what He is doing through the lives of these young ladies.
We are thankful that the Lord is gracious and does not hold us to a perfect standard of imitating Him, but He lives and works in us every day. We trust that "He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6) May our love for Him grow stronger and His name be stretched farther.
Christina Ellis and Rebecca Acre lead a small group of college girls on Monday nights. Christina works on staff as the BH Kids Ministry Assistant, and Rebecca is a golf professional at the Country Club of Birmingham.