Below is the message from the 9:30 worship service. Yes, that’s a gingerbread house behind me. The children’s musical was that night.
Events are good
Events have a soiled reputation in many women’s ministry circles as marshmallow-y gatherings that produce nothing of worth for the Christian woman. Yes, some women’s events lack vision, are poorly executed and are laced with bad theology, but blanketing all women’s events with this grid is not wise. Strategic, gospel-centered, well-executed women’s events are open doors. They can provide a comfortable environment for non-Christians, opportunities for Christians to use their gifts and they creatively speak to the uniqueness of the female through the lens of the Bible in enjoyable ways. As a general rule, women love events. Put great effort into planning, serving and attending quality women’s events.
Your goal is not to be voted Prom Queen
Some believe serving in women’s ministry, whether in an official capacity with a desk and title or unofficially as a volunteer or teacher, means you are a well-liked, well-known, super-sweet extrovert with a manicure, lots of friends and a knack for biblical truth and fun. You are the woman all the women in your church want to be like, be with and learn from. Every woman, ages 19 to 98, just loves you. These things could certainly be true, but they aren’t always, nor do they ever have to be. Doing ministry correctly often means you make very unpopular decisions. You’ll be misunderstood, misinterpreted and sometimes ridiculed. You won’t be able to please everyone. When women repent and believe in Jesus, their lives will change and their non-Christian husbands might actively despise you. You will make mistakes and not be forgiven. You might be doing an incredible job with very little energy and excitement surrounding the work. Your goal is to make much of God’s name rather than make a name for yourself.
Not everyone is excited about truth…yet
Have you ever gotten in your car, loaded down with notes, commentaries, possibly a bag of ice-breaking Hershey Kisses and a fat Bible, excited to teach women God’s truth? Have you ever exhausted yourself in that teaching to the point of joyful tears, swelled to the brim with the Spirit, wanting nothing else in the world than to live in that moment? Have you ever then walked back to your car, heavy and tired, because no one seemed to care? Allow God to lift your head. Don’t let perceived or actual apathy curb your zeal for conveying God’s truth. The women you serve need it, even if they don’t know or believe so. Love them, don’t judge them. Be patient, not demanding. Trust God to use your passion and faithfulness over time.
Expect great sorrow and great joy
When you kneel down into the dirt of life with women whom you are ministering to, you will unearth both trash and treasure in their lives. You aren’t trying to avoid one and find the other…you are actively looking for both; some women can’t tell the difference between the two. They are unaware they’ve rooted in a dangerous place and are headed for destruction. You will see great sin. You will hear of situations that make you physically ill. You will earnestly pine for a woman’s salvation and she will ultimately run from God. You will weep with many who weep. And yet, you will witness the hand of the Lord move and work so mightily you will at times be unable to stand because of His goodness. Women who were once ensnared by the enemy will be released and worship the living Christ. The adulteress and the abused will turn to Jesus and become disciple makers. Homes will change. There will be tears of joy. God’s goodness and provision will overwhelm you.
Don’t let the trash deter you. There is great treasure to be found in the work of women’s ministry. Stay the course, dear sister.