Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Womens Minsitry and The Big Picture

I've been the head of our Women's Ministry Team at our local church for four years now.

Which is a sentence I never would have thought I would write even 10 years ago.

{God seems to delight so much in using the most unqualified and weakest choices to accomplish what He desires for His kingdom. I am convinced it is so that He will receive all the glory.}

Women's Ministry just wasn't something I thought I needed or where I thought I'd fit in.

I grew up with a very detailed notion or expectation of what a woman  was to be and NOT be, and

more often than not I found myself on the outside looking in.  But, also what I saw I just didn't see

a need for in my life.

I had (Have) dear friends, I wasn't (still am not) crafty, I am neither demure or quiet. . .things I

thought you must be to be a godly woman.

And also, there's a not so very secret marker among women, yes even Christian women. . .we can

be downright mean.  Caddy. Viscous.  { I am blessed to serve with women who genuinely love

and care for each other and have a deep acceptance for the personalities God has blessed each of

us with. But I have seen first hand that this is not the case in many many churches.}

It has become quite common  to openly mock women's ministry or make blanket statements

like "I just don't like women".


I recently posted a survey on facebook, made up of a few brief questions concerning women's

ministry.

So far, I have received over 200 hundred responses.  Some findings surprised me and some didn't.

Here are the most popular and my response to them.
_________________________________________________________________


We are a busy culture and for women probably even more so.  (True...However, we let our business

excuse our lack of participation. Church life just isn't a priority...especially if we have children. Our children have become idols. And we've come to believe they just cannot function without us for even one night and if we miss one event of theirs we've somehow scarred them for life. Same can be said for marriages.
Can I tell you a secret? You'll be a better wife/momma if you LEAVE them sometimes. Of course, I'm not talking about every night of the week. But once every few months. . .I promise it'll be ok.  And you'll all be better for it.)

We don't care about organizing and cupcake decorating as much as some would have us believe. (A to the Men.  Women's Ministry needs to be a place for encouragement and deep biblical thought. The world is hurting and we have the answer. And it isn't found in cupcake decorating, scrapbooking ect. I would suggest finding a church that takes women and their spiritual needs seriously. Maybe YOU could be the change agent in your church?! How awesome would that be?? )

We are introverts. ( We use this to get out of a lot of things actually.  It's a built in excuse.  We let our fear dictate what we will and won't do. And before I get lots of hate mail. I get it. I do.  I AM YOU.  But, don't let fear count you out !  Deep breaths and you can do it.)

We don't seem to fit the target audience. ( what was interesting about this is all the different types of people who said this. Single. Young. Old. Married w/o kids. Married with littles. Middle Aged. We need to do a better job of making sure when we say Women's Ministry we don't mean 'married with kids' or a certain age range.  Again, maybe it's YOU that can help be that change agent in your church.)

We've been hurt. ( Yep. This is a biggie with no easy answer.  It stinks to be hurt and can take so much time to get over.  I've been there.  But, here's the thing: if we stop contributing/ participating in things that have hurt us, we're going to be very very lonely. We've got to get up, dust ourselves off, wipe away our tears and move on. )

I don't like women. (Whoa Sister, let's think about that for a minute. I mean I know what you're saying. And I know you're trying to say it in a funny way. But, I also know you're serious and what you're also saying without really saying it is that you don't fit in.
But, what you're also saying is you don't care enough about your Sisters in Christ to get to know them. To study the Word with them. To pray with them. To love them. Half of The Church, you're saying you don't like. That's not ok. You're going to have to work on that. I know it's hard. I know you don't want to. But when you say "I don't like women". You're saying you don't like yourself. Pray about it. Ask God to change your heart. Ask Him to grow you. You may just find it shocking what He can and will do in you and through you. . .I know I did.)


I also asked, "If offered would you participate in a mentoring program".
The response was a resounding 96% YES.
I was a bit surprised by how overwhelming that result was.  I mean especially considering most do not participate, even if offered, in a church women's ministry.

Oh how we are thirsty for community. We are hungry for someone to show us the way or at least cheer us on. We have got to have our older ladies (age/and spiritual walk) step up instead of checking out. We've got to make sure no one ever feels like 'their time is over' or that they have nothing of value to add.
Our tables need to be filled with 20 somethings, Middle Agers and Seniors.  We all have something to gain from each other.  Every single one has something to contribute.
Do not get locked into age categories. If you're younger, find yourself a women you admire who is both farther along in age and in her walk with Jesus than you. If you're older, don't think we don't need you or don't want to hear what you have to say. We are CRAVING to hear you.  Find a young momma and take her under your wing. Find that single lady who needs to know she's valuable in the church too, find that hard working women who's got so many plates spinning she's wearing herself out. We might not even know that is what we are missing until we hear you.

___________________________________________________________

Most of us would never question the need for children's ministry or youth ministry in our churches yet when it comes to women's ministry we do.
Women's Ministry is -or should be- a vital part of any church.  Not a party planning committee, but women who need each other and want to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. And not so they can sit and sour but so that they can shine for the world around them so when someone asks them why or how they are able to do so in a difficult and weary world, they can point them straight to Jesus.
__________________________________________________________________

I love women and am thrilled and humbled to serve them.  Women's Ministry can and should be a beautiful thing.
Your church needs you. They need you to show up. To serve. To be kind. To grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.
You can do it. I know you might be scarred, but I also know you won't be the only one.

Let's learn together and love each other well.



Grace and Peace,






1 comments - Add Yours

Jo Crews said...

I LOVE this!!! You are spot on, girl. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I've got to tell you this: since we've "reconnected" through facebook, it has been a joy to my spirit and such an encouragement! I have a "love/hate" relationship with facebook, but this is definitely one of the "love" parts of it! Blessings as you continue in bringing your heart's desire for women's ministry to reality!

Post a Comment