Disciple: Amy (Brown) Bay
Discipler: Allison Phillips
Location: St. Louis, MO
IF Director of Strategic Initiatives
Location: Ocala, FL
One discipleship relationship from two different lenses, the discipler and the disciple.
How Did This Relationship Begin?
AMY: God brought us together through IF:Gathering. Even though we live in across the country from one another, technology and the kindness of the Lord has allowed us to be in one another’s lives intentionally day to-day.
After IF:Gathering 2015, Allison walked in obedience to God when He directed her to share her story with me. As I poured over her story, I knew God was up to something. The way she confessed her sin, opened up to previous shame, and talked about the healing power of Jesus. I could tell—God had set this woman free by His grace & love. I wanted it too. I knew God wanted more than just a check-in call with an IF:Local Leader. He desired for me to be real with her, confess my struggles with shame, and seek her wisdom. It was personal, not work. I obeyed and the rest is history.
What were the characteristic or qualities of the relationship that made it impactful?
ALLISON: Our relationship is based on a mutual desire to glorify God in all things and grow in our love for Jesus and others. It’s also been beneficial that I am a “bit” older than her and have lived through some things that she is currently or will soon be walking through herself. However, the thing that connected us the most was our shared knowledge of our desperate need for His mercy and the belief that He gives it freely to all who ask.
What does discipleship mean to you?
AMY: To women who are seeking someone to invest in them, I encourage you to find someone who you believe loves God with all their heart, all their mind, and all their soul and loves others more than themselves. Then get as close as you can to that person. I desire to love Jesus and others like Allison does, and I believe that God has used her mightily to mold me into a better follower of Christ.
ALLISON: I tell Amy often that God causing our paths to cross has been a true gift to me. I have learned just as much, if not more, from her as she could possibly have learned from me. Knowing that someone is looking to me for advice and guidance makes me want to stay as close as possible to the One who I KNOW has the answers. I am humbled and honored that she would listen to anything I have to say, but I know that is because she knows my heart is for Him, and that I truly care about her and her relationship with Him, as well.
How have you seen God change lives?
AMY: In God’s abundant grace, He has allowed me to become a part of Allison’s family. Her kids and I love getting to spend time together. Only with God, could Allison invest time at night once a week in me, time that she could invest in her kids, and in return, I get the chance to be a Christlike example to them. I love the way God works!
ALLISON: I’ve seen Amy grow in her love for the Lord, in the knowledge that she is loved by Him and in her trust in and dependence on His strength, as well. I do not presume to believe that this growth is because of our relationship, but the fact that He allows me to walk with her as He teaches her and guides her. It’s a gift to me and I am so grateful.
How has your life changed?
ALLISON: My life (and, actually, the lives of my whole family) has been enriched because of what Amy has brought to it. She is my “mentee” but she has also become a dear friend. We pray, laugh, and cry together. She challenges me in my thinking (probably without even realizing it at times) and that is a good thing. We are similar in many ways, which is fun, but I enjoy watching her use her gifts that are so different from mine, as well. Our relationship has strengthened my faith in many ways. I am so grateful for the way He brought our lives together, and I have already told her that I would love for her to mentor my daughters as they get older. She has actually already started.