“If you want lifelong friendships they must be based on an inexhaustible topic.”
Melody Richeson shared this C.S. Lewis quote with us at our women’s retreat in April where over 60 women from New Hope gathered to dive into what discipleship looks like. She taught us by providing rich, Bible-based examples of what the Bible says about discipleship. We desire for women in our community to reach out to one another, taking the risk to be vulnerable and finding others to help them as they walk with Christ.
I hope that the women who attended the retreat felt the freedom that I felt as Melody walked through what discipleship looked like. It is NOT a rigid, rules-based, legalistic relationship. It doesn’t mean having entire books of the Bible memorized. It doesn’t mean taking on a project person to fix them. And it doesn’t mean having it all together.
The definition of discipleship that Melody gave is “offering whatever knowledge, experience and faith you have to help someone else walk with Christ for the rest of their life.” Melody spoke of how each of us has a unique story. We should be good stewards of our story, using it to bring glory to God and blessing people. We should be intentional in encouraging one another and lifting each other up. We should first and foremost love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind as it says in Deuteronomy 6.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. -- Deuteronomy 6:5-9 NIV
Our hope and prayer is that women will connect across all lines within our community to form deep relationships to encourage one another to grow in each other’s walks with Christ.
So you may be asking, “How can I connect with other women at New Hope?” or “How do I find someone to disciple me?” Great questions! New Hope's Women's Ministry offers several Bible studies throughout the week, occasional events on weekends, and events like this retreat. We had four studies this spring semester with different times, days, and studies. We hope that through events like the retreat and Mug and Muffins events we can foster a gospel-centered culture, connecting the women at New Hope. LIFE Groups at New Hope function to help people to connect and grow with Christ as our model as well. If you are interested in someone walking alongside you as you grow in your walk with Christ, be bold and approach someone, asking them if they would be willing to walk through life with you. If you don’t know who to ask, please come talk to me, your LIFE Group leader, or any New Hope Staff or Elder. We would love to help you!