NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–“Froo-froo” will only get you so far.
That’s what Chris Adams, women’s enrichment specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention, says about women’s ministry.
Gone are the days when women’s ministry simply meant feel-good fellowships and exchanging recipes. Women in today’s churches are hungry for something else — knowing Christ, growing in his service and loving his Word, she said.
Women’s ministries are growing daily, said Adams who believes it’s God’s doing.
“It’s a movement of God,” she said. “That’s the only explanation. We can’t deny it. Women are so hungry to personally be in the Word of God. It’s a hunger we’ve not seen in this magnitude.”
Adams believes the hunger by women to know God personally is growing exponentially because women leaders in the churches are reaching out to them and attempting to meet their unique needs.
“Women need godly women as role models,” Adams said. “We see women with a heart to reach other women, to help them grow and have their lives spiritually transformed.”
Reaching out to other women is one of the areas LifeWay’s women’s enrichment ministry lifts up through various resources and leadership events. Adams, with the cooperation of the Woman’s Missionary Union and the North American Mission Board, encourages the use of mentoring, education and missions.
The “Woman to Woman” mentoring guide published by LifeWay is just one example of what is available for women interested in starting a ministry in their own churches.
But more important than just starting a women’s ministry is sustaining it, Adams said.
“It all goes back to seeing women’s lives become transformed, seeing them figure out how to let Jesus have every little part of their hearts. There’s a vision to affect women and those around them. Everybody they have relationships with will grow.”
Although there are no hard and fast rules to initiating a women’s ministry, Adams offered a plan of action for women who feel such a call to do so.
“Get on your knees,” she said. “The first step has to be prayer so that the woman is in touch with God. Find out where God is moving.”
She also encouraged women who feel this calling to share their vision with their pastors or other staff members, asking them also to pray about the vision and give feedback about the needs of the church.
Potential leaders in women’s ministry should determine the purpose of their particular ministry and continually assess the needs of the women in the church.
How? “Just ask them,” Adams said.
LifeWay’s women’s enrichment ministry explores these stages of development in its training sessions and resources, Adams said. She said the basic training is beneficial to women new to the idea of a women’s ministry and those who are seeking to revive or maintain theirs.
Adams said women’s ministry leaders need to keep their fingers on the pulse of the women in their churches, while keeping their eyes on the vision for the ministry.
“Look down the road five to 10 years and get a vision for where God wants you to be. What do you need to do now to get you there? What will it take? Continual assessment and re-evaluation is the key,” she said.
“There must be a balance in the ministry — feeding them and asking them to give back.”
Another balance Southern Baptists have tried to strike in women’s ministry is among the three entities with women’s ministry areas: LifeWay, NAMB and WMU.
Adams said they all strive to work together to provide that balance of discipleship, evangelism and missions. The overall goal remains the same.
“Three entities are working together for the three areas of women’s work. You’ve got to enrich women, grow them in the Word of God and teach them to share and educate them in missions,” she said.
Toward that end, Adams is seeking to make contact with women who are already leading women’s ministry in their churches or those who desire to begin one.
“We have a free packet that lists training events and resources by LifeWay that we want to mail to them,” Adams said.
She also wants them to become part of the network of women’s leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention. “We have such a valuable network of women’s leaders, and we want to get as many people as we can involved in that network.”
Adams requests that pastors call or e-mail her with the names of the women’s ministry leaders or potential leaders in their churches or that they ask the women to do it themselves.
Her e-mail address is [email protected], and her phone number is (615) 251-2810.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: CHRIS ADAMS.