by Joy Skarka
Scripture is filled with examples of the importance of working with one another. We learn about iron sharpening iron in Proverbs, how two are better than one in Ecclesiastes, and the metaphor of the body of Christ throughout the New Testament. We need one another in ministry and in sexual discipleship.
At Sexual Discipleship®, we provide many ways to learn and grow personally through resources like our e-course, blog, interviews with experts, Java Packs, and small group curriculum and training. All of these resources can be explored on your own, but one opportunity stands apart; a chance for members to experience the beauty of sexual discipleship in community––our Sexual Discipleship cohorts. These cohorts are for Sexual Discipleship members only (learn more about membership).
We understand that your time is precious, but we believe that devoting seven weeks to go through the Sexual Discipleship training e-course with a cohort will be well worth the investment, both on a personal level and for your ministry. Here are four ways participating in a cohort will expand and enrich your experience with Sexual Discipleship:
As leaders, we often enter into learning environments to become equipped in ministering to others. While that does happen, another surprising thing occurs ––God radically changes our own hearts. We hear testimonies like this again and again with leaders in our cohorts.
One of our members shared this about her experience. “I signed up for the SD Cohort to learn more about the bigger issues of sexuality that are facing young people today, so that I may be better equipped to enter into the hard and uncomfortable conversations that I have with those I disciple. What I found was that, though God is equipping me for those conversations and for those relationships, He wanted to change my own heart in radical ways and give me a deeper and fuller and more beautiful understanding of the story He has written on all our hearts. I encountered Him in a whole new way and have begun to see how our call into intimacy with each other mirrors His desire for us to know Him intimately.”
In a group, you learn what has worked and what has not worked in different ministry settings. Leaders share about their experiences taking sexual discipleship into their ministries, churches, families, non-profits, and one-on-one individual relationships.
One participant shared, “It has been very encouraging to get to know others who are walking similar paths and seeking a Biblical perspective when facing similar challenges. Exploring difficult topics together and being able to ask difficult questions has given me more confidence. Listening to different experiences and approaches and sharing resources has been very helpful.”
These conversations also grow your confidence in leading small groups and sexually discipling others. The cohort provides a framework and teaches believers how to think about sexuality and ministry. One leader shared, “It’s deepened my own understanding of sexual brokenness and sexual integrity. Meeting such a diverse group of other committed believers who are authentic about their own brokenness was so refreshing and encouraging. I feel much more equipped to enter this conversation with my family and church.”
Many leaders come across roadblocks as they begin to implement sexual discipleship into their ministries. Common roadblocks include: not having the approval of a pastor or staff team, feeling overwhelmed with where to start, or encountering your own sexual brokenness that needs to be addressed first. In the cohort you will be able to share your personal roadblocks and be encouraged by knowing others are walking alongside you in similar situations. One leader shared that after hearing other ministry leaders processing their own roadblocks, she felt more equipped and confident in moving forward with her own sexual discipleship plan.
During the cohort, you will engage with the Sexual Discipleship training e-course (preview here). One participant shared that she continues, even months after the group has ended, to refer to the topics from the e-course over and over again as she has conversations with others in her church and in her daily life. She believes the e-course and workbook have helped her know how to better lead the women at her church.
In a cohort, you will meet with other leaders from all over the world who are learning to sexually disciple others in churches, organizations, etc. and to hear their wisdom and thoughts. One leader said, “Meeting other leaders in similar ministry contexts has expanded my network!” Many leaders stay connected even after groups end.
Another leader shared, “I loved connecting with other people from around the globe that share my passion and desire to spread the good news and help the captives be set free, especially in the area of sexual brokenness. I was touched by each story of my cohort friends, and seeing how God has brought them where they are right now was truly an inspiration to me. I feel that I am better equipped, that I have more resources at my disposal for tackling different topics, and above all I am encouraged in what I feel is my calling. I really enjoyed this experience.”
You too can learn and grow with other leaders who are also passionate about discipling others in the area of sexuality.
The cohort will end after all lessons are completed (after seven weeks), and you should be fully prepared to take your course quiz!