Rely on God, not strengths, women reminded

CONROE?”God showed up big time” as did 450 women from 79 churches across the state for a SBTC Regional Women’s Ministry Forum at Mims Baptist Church Jan. 29-30. That was the appraisal of Shirley Moses, event coordinator and SBTC Women’s Ministry consultant.

Despite ice storms that nearly prevented keynote speaker Cindi Wood, worship leader Matt Roberson, and LifeWay representative and workshop leader Chris Adams from getting to the conference, Moses said the conference was probably one of the best ever, and added, “It was a complete God-thing.” That all three were able to make it safely to Conroe, about 40 miles north of Houston, was proof God wanted them there, Moses said.

At the outset of her address to the conference, Wood announced, “God has so much in store. I know because it was so hard to get here!”

The crowd at the annual gathering of women’s ministry leaders heard Wood address the need to not rely on personal strengths to the detriment of one’s self, ministry and relationships. Workshops addressed current issues in women’s ministries and a panel discussion allowed for a question-and-answer session to close the meeting.

Similar regional conferences will be held March 5-6 at Greenwood Baptist Church in Weatherford, and April 30-May 1 at Friendly Baptist Church in Tyler.

This year’s theme is “Seeing Clearly: 20/20 Vision,” which focuses on equipping existing and newly formed women’s ministries in churches of all sizes. Special attention was given to cross-generational relationships within a congregation. Moses said that theme will be carried over into next year’s statewide conference Feb. 23-26, 2011 at First Baptist Church of Porter.

Moses said it is essential for women of all ages in a church to establish relationships founded on a common vision for their ministries. The older generation needs to mentor the younger generation to prepare them to take over the ministries. In addition the older generation, she added, also needs to be open to new ideas and perspectives on what defines women’s ministry.

BEWARE OF STRENGTHS

Women in leadership positions need to be mindful of their own skills and strengths, cautioned keynote speaker Cindi Wood, author of “The Frazzled Female.” She said a woman’s strengths can quickly become her weaknesses when the process begins to override the purpose of a ministry.

“Your strengths overdone become a weakness,” she said.

Wood was made aware of her own shortcomings as she was preparing for a series of speaking appearances. Bibles of three different translations, notes, commentaries, and a concordance were strewn across her kitchen counter “just because I wanted to get it all planned out.”

She said some women have difficulty relinquishing control of plans because “if we don’t do it, it doesn’t get done right,” Wood said. “It’s OK to plan but you can’t own the plan.”

With other life distractions on top of the planning (Wood is expecting her first grandchild), Wood was not at peace with the process. It wasn’t until a friend was forthright with her about the situation that Wood realized she needed to step back, let God take the plan, and let him give her the peace she was missing.

It is abnormal to have a sense of peace in the middle of chaos, but Christians should be abnormal in that respect. Having peace in the process is a marker that the believer is in the right place with God and on the right path.

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TEXAN Correspondent
Bonnie Pritchett
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