A few years ago, my church developed a nine-month discipleship course for single women. The twice-monthly, two-hour sessions are designed to provide a basic overview of Christian issues from a feminine perspective. Although we are mentoring single women in this course, the materials really are useful for every woman. Since many of our homework materials are available online for free, I thought I would post these materials for anyone who might be interested in using them, too. We're three sessions into the course, so I'll post those sessions now and, Lord willing, update them each week as we go along.
First Week: Introduction
This meeting is an administrative meeting, where we go over the purposes of the course, the commitment expected from each member, and the schedule. Then we get to know each other, sharing brief introductions. This is also where the course notebooks are handed out and the homework for each session is outlined. The notebook contains the audio material and articles that supplement the two core texts for the program, Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney and Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? by yours truly. (If you decide to organize one of these courses, feel free to poke fun at my book title. I do, too, and it helps women relax about reading such an ominously titled text! I make sure they understand that though the title expresses a common fear among women, the substance of the book is really about how to apply Proverbs 31 to a single woman's life.) Then we note the homework for the following week, making sure everyone knows to have these materials read before our next meeting and highlighting the Scripture memory verse.
Second Week: The Gospel
In this session, we focus on the gospel as the foundation for change. Many of us can assume the gospel, but we really don't apply it on a daily basis. During our discussion, we talk about why we need to remind ourselves daily about the gospel, what it means to preach to yourself instead of listening to yourself, and what is looks like to finish well in light of the gospel. At the conclusion of the meeting, we also write down a spiritual goal for the course, to be reviewed nine months later. Our homework that formed the basis of our discussion was:
-Living the Cross Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney, intro, chs. 1 & 2
-Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Ch. 1 and Afterword
-Memory verse: John 3:16-17
Third Session: Spiritual Disciplines
In this meeting, we look at why we need to pursue spiritual disciplines for growth. We look at each of the disciplines in an in-depth manner, including meditation, personal worship solitude/retreats, journaling, prayer, Scripture memory, fasting, and confession. Then we look at Titus 2 and why this chapter calls women (and men!) to certain practices--it's all to make the gospel attractive. If women don't have prayer or accountability partners currently, we encourage them to develop this practice during this course. Finally, we introduce the quiet time accountability sheets in this session. Each of the women is to write down the duration of her personal devotions and the spiritual disciplines pursued, and even the topics studied, if desired. The goal of this accountability is not to point to performance (or solicit condemnation), but to use these sheets to reveal the ways we do (or do not) pursue the Lord for growth. Our homework for this discussion was:
-"Pursuing a Passion for God through Spiritual Disciplines: Learning from Jonathan Edwards" by Donald Whitney, chapter 5 of A God-Entranced Vision of All Things
-"Confession: Doorway to Life" by John Loftness, Disciplines for Life, ch. 6
- Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney, chapters 1 & 9
- Memory verse: 1 Timothy 4:7-8