In many churches, the women’s ministry can seem to run like a well-managed resort. Special events feature a warm welcome, excellent cuisine, choice of activities, and even a small gift to take home!
There are very capable and creative women in leadership hosting Bible studies, mom’s groups, and retreats. Yet there is a troubling trend that has emerged in many local churches. Very often women’s ministries exist on their own islands, detached from the involvement of the shepherds of the church.
While taking an island vacation with your women’s ministry may sound fun at first, a commitment to living on that island can eventually be problematic.
*Originally published by The Gospel Coalition Canada.
If there was a romantic comedy about my life leading up to marriage it would be called “Christmas by Candlelight.” It would begin when I see a handsome stranger, and we lock eyes across the room of an Old Testament seminary class. It feels like love at first sight, and a friendship develops. But confusion ensues over six months until he finally makes his intentions known.This is followed by him cooking me an incredible meal as we clear up all of the miscommunication and laugh into the evening! We then fall in love surrounded by Christmas lights, and he later proposes in the budding spring gardens of a castle courtyard. The montage of our exquisite December wedding is set to the music of the live Motown band from our candlelit reception.
The final scenes of our wedding day set up the sequel of our “picture perfect” future: we would launch both of our successful careers, buy our forever family home, fill it with beautiful, compliant children, and make memories travelling the world together.
Just as it is rare to find a sequel as good as the original, the scenes after our wedding day have yet to play out in the “picture perfect” way I had imagined. Continue reading
Mary Kassian gives a helpful overview of the feminist movement and its impact on the evangelical church. We must be aware of both the positive and negative effects of the movement, and how feminism has influenced our thinking and practice. Mary reminds us to hold firm to God’s good and wise design for male and female according to Scripture. She will be teaching again this year at Revive ’17, Adorned: Women Mentoring Women The Titus 2 Way.
Courtney Reissig is a wife, mother, and writer. She has written for numerous Christian publications including the Gospel Coalition, Christianity Today, and the Her.meneutics blog, and is also an assistant editor for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Courtney is the author of The Accidental Feminist: Restoring Our Delight in God’s Good Design and Glory in the Ordinary: Why Your Work in the Home Matters to God. She also writes regularly at “In View of God’s Mercy”.
13. A biblical approach to the discipleship of women should include an emphasis on service which will help women identify and use their gifts to serve the church. (Romans 12:2-8, 1 Corinthians 12, Philippians 2:1-11)
The Bible teaches that every believer has been given spiritual gifts for the building up of the body of Christ. Women should be trained to understand what the spiritual gifts are and which ones we may be uniquely blessed with. We must then help women develop their gifts and offer opportunities to use them to serve and support the mission of the local church.
5. A biblical approach to the discipleship of women should include teaching on biblical manhood and womanhood. (Genesis 2:15-25, 1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:22-33)
In order to disciple women effectively, we must begin with God’s created design for men and women before the Fall. God entrusted man with creation to work and maintain it, and with the law to keep and to teach it. He then created woman to be a helpmate to support and assist man in his responsibilities. Scripture also teaches that the marriage relationship between husband and wife was originally designed to point to the relationship between Christ and his church. Women must be taught and equipped to know and live out our created design by God to be helpmates and pictures of the bride of Christ both in singleness and marriage.
If you are involved in women’s ministry, I’m sure you are aware of the multitude of resources available to us for establishing and growing an effective program. However, I believe Scripture has more than sufficient wisdom on this topic and should be used as our starting point and foundation. Here are 16 biblical principles for the discipleship of women for your consideration:
1. A biblical approach to the discipleship of women should be gospel-centered and use the Bible as its primary text. (Luke 24:44-49, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Jesus taught that everything written in the Old Testament is fulfilled in him. The Bible also teaches that all of Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. God’s Word offers everything that is needed to disciple and minister to women. It must remain as the foundation for establishing and growing a healthy approach to every event, study, small group, or gathering. We must constantly teach and remind women of the gospel of Jesus Christ so we can live in the grace and identity of God’s salvation and eternal hope. Other books, DVDs, or curriculum packages should be secondary and only serve to complement using the Bible as our primary text.
Recently I had a conversation with a woman who has chosen homemaking as her primary career. Now that summer is over and her husband and children are back in school, she is left at home wondering if joy and fulfillment can be found among the long quiet hours that await her each day. Many women her age have successful careers in workplaces outside the home. Media and the surrounding culture suggest that women should enjoy the convenience and freedom of the single life. Alternatively, women can “have it all” if they so choose marriage, family, and an aspiring career, which also comes with high-achieving children, exotic vacations, and a white picket fence!
God’s Word teaches that young women are to value the call to marriage and motherhood. Even so, there are women everywhere who wonder how changing diapers and cleaning bathrooms can really be a fulfilling way to follow Christ. It seems the values of the surrounding culture have had a much greater impact than the truths in Scripture about God’s high calling and purpose for young women. Continue reading
Don’t miss this exciting opportunity be led by Dr. Margaret Kostenberger and Linda Reed at Heritage College and Seminary in Cambridge, Ontario.
Dr. Kostenberger is the author of Jesus and the Feminists: Who Do They Say That He Is? and co-author of God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey. Linda Reed is the Director of the Heritage Centre for Women in Ministry at Heritage College and Seminary. Linda has taught women’s Bible studies for over 25 years, and also enjoys writing Bible study curriculum.
Here is an overview of the course from the Heritage Centre for Women in Ministry: “The course will include an overview of the biblical teaching on man and woman, including the uniqueness of their roles in the home and church as well as an exploration of the practical components of being a Christian woman in ministry and leadership in today’s church. This course will also consider four essential components of ministry and leadership: call, character, craft and competencies. Various methods for leading will be explored, including large-group ministries and one-to-one mentoring, with examples provided from biblical, historical, and contemporary women in ministry and leadership.”
This course is offered over two weekends: September 23-24 and November 18-19, 2016. For more information, click here.