IRVING, Texas ? Equipping women to implement successful women’s ministry programs in local churches is the key to meeting needs and revitalizing the spiritual walk of women. As the theme “Make me, mold me,” attests, the 2003 regional conferences hosted by the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention encouraged Texas Baptist women to allow God to create and shape their ministry.
The first of its kind, the convention offered three separate conferences for women: Mar. 7 at Ameila Baptist Church in Beaumont; Mar. 28-29 at Parkhills Baptist Church in San Antonio; and Apr. 11-12 at First Baptist Church in Post, Texas. Registration for the event totaled over 500 women from across the state including 135 in Beaumont, 278 in San Antonio and 111 in Post.
“We are trying to help women understand at the local church level [how] to organize themselves not only to meet the needs in their church, but also in their communities,” said SBTC Women’s Ministry Consultant Shirley Moses on a KBMT Channel 12 News report during the Beaumont conference, adding that women’s ministries is not a new concept. “Women have been ministering to other women since the beginning of time.”
During the Mar. 28-29 conference in San Antonio, Moses added that even though God has always used women in the church, there is something special about the nature of God’s movement among women today.
“Women are beginning to branch out and do things in ministry that even 10 years ago they wouldn’t have thought they’d been able to do,” Moses said. “[God] wants to do something through you to be a part of his kingdom. And being part of that is indescribable. If you ever once experience it, you’ll be there when he calls.”
Moses encouraged women to be obedient to the call of God in creating a personal ministry at home, in their neighborhood or in the local church. Using Jeremiah 18:6, which states: “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in mine,” Moses used the acronym M.O.L.D. to illustrate to women “how to get in shape for ministry.”
Making the right move
The first letter in the acrostic signifies an initial response to God’s call.
“Ladies, you are going to have lots of opportunities to disciple the women around you and help them to get in shape for ministry,” Moses said, noting that Jeremiah “made the right move” when God said “Arise” to the prophet.
Moses stated that a call can often be discerned by burdens placed on a woman’s heart.
“What has God given you a burden for? Write down the first thing that comes to your mind. Is God asking you to lead a Bible study or is he asking you to join the choir? Or maybe working with the children or possibly be involved in a mentoring relationship in your church?” she asked. “So when you hear that still small voice telling you to make a move, God is saying ‘I’m getting ready to do something. Will you make the right move and join me in doing something around you.
Referring to the Jeremiah 18:3-4 and the process of creating pottery, Moses said the beauty of the pot depends of the ability of the clay to yield to the potter’s hand. “Have you ever seen someone making pottery? He moves the wheel with his feet, but he never takes his hand off of the clay. The most important quality of the clay is that it yields and yielding is the very first step in our lives toward obedience,” Moses said. “We must learn that God is there. He wants to help us, but he is not going to do it until we learn to yield and obey.”
Moses said her first test of obedience in shaping herself for ministry came not long after she became a Christian. Burdened to start a Bible study in her home church, Moses petitioned the board of deacons to purchase 80 books for a women’s study.
“They didn’t really believe I’d be able to get rid of all 80 books, but they allowed me to do it. I started publicizing it, and I knew the Lord wanted me to take it to the community,” Moses recounted. “The day before the Bible study, I [handed out] 79 books.”
Moses said she still felt God stirring in her heart that one more book needed to be given away. As she was walking out the door to lead the study, her phone rang.
“It was the girl down the street said she said, ‘Shirley,