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Interview with Joyce Erdmann

In our previous post, we spoke with Doug Erdmann on discipling relationships. Here, we follow up with an interview with his wife, Joyce, on the discipleship of women in the church.

1. If disciple-making is just simply helping each other follow Christ, then how can women help one another in unique ways to follow Jesus? Is it there anything different about discipleship for women?

Women discipling women is special. Because of the many roles that women have, there can be many contexts in which discipleship can happen. As single women; with friends, co-workers or teens, as young married women; with other young married women, as a mother with young women; with other mothers as you watch your children play, etc. All through life and in the different stages there are so many ways and places a woman can disciple another. Even as women get older; they can meet with women of any age, as well as their own children and grandchildren.

2. Why is it important for the good of the church that women be involved in discipling other women?

It is important for women in the church to be involved in disciple making as we make up half the church :). Practically, women can understand the issues and emotions of other women. Also, to keep relationships pure, it is good for women to disciple women, and men to men.

3. How can women disciple other women? What do we need to know to get started?

All a person needs is to know one thing more, be just one step ahead of another person in their faith and share that with another to start discipling. It can be as easy as sharing how to have a Quiet Time, or even having one together. It can be asking what God is teaching the other person and you sharing what is He is teaching you. Explaining the basics of the Christian life; the Word, prayer, witnessing and fellowship and helping the other woman put those in their life. Sharing how you have made that part of your own life, being honest and sharing mistakes we have made. It is a time set aside to love, listen and care for the other person. It can be praying about specific needs. I think it's also important to have some fun times together and to pray for that person in between getting together.

There are good books on discipling that can help;"A Woman's Guide to Discipling" by, Dana Yeakley, "From the Heart of a Woman" by, Carole Mayhall, and "The Adventures of Discipling Others" by, Bennett and Purvis. As well as many others.

4. What advice/encouragement do you have for women who feel overwhelmed with juggling everything - career, family and other burdens and expectations? How can our sisters in Christ find time to enjoy discipling others?

There are many stages of life and I think a woman especially feels those. Be patient with yourself and look for ways to meet people that work with your schedule and stage of life. For starters, everyone needs to eat, so, discipling can be done over a meal, a cup of coffee, or while the kids play together. Work it around what you have going on. Be sensitive to the other person's schedule. Ask God to give you one person you can disciple and help grown in their faith and also pray for creativity in when and how to meet. Have fun!


Joyce (second from left), Doug (left), and their family.