For Those in Ministry

Effective Discipleship for Teens

discipleship[p This is my sister, Kandy Chimento. Years ago, she developed a wonderful discipleship program for teen girls. It was an amazing program and I have asked her to share a little about it.


Kandy Chimento has been in ministry with her husband since before their marriage nearly 30 years ago.  They have been blessed to minister in states from Texas to Wisconsin to Missouri and back to Texas again.  Though she served in children’s, youth, young adults, and lead pastors, her passion is discipleship!   She loves being mom to their 2 grown-up children, Tyler and Christa.  Gardening, crafts, and quilting take up most of her free time.  They have recently downsized their empty nest and moved to the country, and love enjoying the big Texas outdoors!

 

“Women of Virtue”

One of my favorite endeavors is discipleship.  In my own experience, I became convinced that effective discipleship can be more of a life-changer than a hundred sermons.  One of my prime times of spiritual growth came through a small discipleship group I belonged to in my 20’s, and by the on-going mentoring of an older godly woman. When we were youth pastors in Kansas City, I felt led to create a discipleship course for high school girls.

My vision for this course came from Titus 2:3-5,

“The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things, that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

How it Started

I wanted to especially invest in older teen girls who would soon to leave the family home and be out on their own, so the group was composed of junior and senior girls in high school.

The only qualifications were that they were

1) believers in Christ who had made a commitment to follow Him, and

2) willing to be mentored by women in the church.

The group met bi-monthly and I designed each meeting to have the spirit of a type of sorority – a sense of belonging and comradery.

Subject Matter

The teachings centered around 3 different areas of life:

  • personal discipleship,
  • practical homemaking, and
  • social outreach.

Though the topics in each area differed throughout the years, they all fell into one of these 3 areas. Different women in our church taught the lessons.  We elected officers and also included scripture memory in our curriculum. Some topics included; maintaining a daily devotional time, meal planning, finding your spiritual gifts, raising children, scrapbooking and marriage, to name a few.  Various outreaches included collecting and delivering needed items for a women’s shelter, helping out at Ronald McDonald house, and participating in a political event. We also attended a formal social event together, such as the ballet, and hosted a spring tea for the girls’ mothers.  One woman in our church hosted an annual formal Christmas dinner for the girls.  We ended each school year with a presentation service, highlighting each girl and her gifts.

Commitment and Accountability

The years of this mentoring program are some of my favorite memories.There was a strong level of commitment in each group of girls that developed through our year together.  We experienced some wonderful times of bonding, as well as challenging life events which proved to draw us closer together.  But one of the most unexpected discoveries was realizing the gifts and knowledge that dwells in our “more mature” women.  There are naturally some people that we gravitate toward for spiritual wisdom and knowledge, but the Lord also led me to people who had an abundance of other skills and experience that translated well into mentoring young women.  I believe that many of my mature “mentors” also discovered that they had important gifts to share.

Favorite Memories

Consequently, The years of this mentoring program are some of my favorite memories. I believe that these experiences had a lasting effect on the lives of these precious young women as well.  What are your gifts and how can you share them?

Kandy

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