WOMEN’S MINISTRY IN THE CHURCH: Discipleship moves women beyond study to serve

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When the women of Southside Baptist Church in Abilene began studying the second chapter of Titus they had nothing more than the biblical text to guide them. It wasn’t long before the women began discovering their spiritual gifts and learning how to apply them in their local church and the community.

“We have to move past where we are in our churches and really begin to live out God’s words, holding each other accountable,” explained Brenda Greer, who coordinates the Abilene group.

SBTC Women’s Ministry consultant Shirley Moses believes Christian women will be pressed to fulfill the life they’ve been called to live when they start asking hard questions of each other and move forward in the discipleship process. “Right now I fear it’s all about studying the word and not living out the word,” she said. “We can’t just sit around and study the word. We have to do what the word tells us to do.”

“Women’s ministry leadership needs to create an atmosphere in which women are encouraged to move beyond the study and put their knowledge and faith into practice,” added Brenda Salge of River Hills Baptist Church in Corpus Christi. Women won’t get together simply to fellowship, but if they were to meet to accomplish a task they are more likely to become involved, she advised.

“There are some jobs in church that you just have to do,” added Chris Adams, LifeWay’s women’s enrichment ministry specialist. “Too often in the past we did the work in the church that nobody else would do because we felt guilty and said yes to it. Women today are going to work where God has assigned them to work,” she stated. “I believe if women are really growing in their walk with the Lord and finding places where God has specifically called them, we won’t lack for leaders. “

Borrowing a concept author Thom Rainer described in “Breakout Churches,” Adams said churches should determine who are the people God has brought to the women’s ministry and what he is calling them to do. Instead of plugging people into programs, Adams said churches should structure the ministry according to the people with a passion for particular ministries.

“What is God calling you to do? What are you specifically gifted to do?” she asked.

“Dream a little. God could use you to be a catalyst to start a new ministry.”

With so many women in the workplace, they have less time to volunteer, Adams added. “They are very picky about where they spend their time because they have so little to give. The burden is on leaders to make sure what they offer has meaning and purpose.”

Moses said the women’s leadership team in a local church must help women understand that every woman in the church is a women’s minister?not just the team that organizes and coordinates things. “There are two things that women really need?fellowship and Bible study. Other than that you find out what’s going on in your church and community and find a person called to coordinate that ministry.”

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