RSSArchive for March, 2012

Re-thinking the Ministry of Women

Below are some notes from First Presbyterial President Lynn Robinson and Vice President Laura Navarro.

Comments from Elaine Reed, ARPWM president from Women’s seminar at Gastonia Feb 18th

Our women’s ministries exist to equip women to glorify God through relationships with other women and through service in the local church. Just as our bodies have a protective layer of skin, our churches have a protective layer of Bible study. Prayer is essential; when possible, end meetings with a season of prayer.

Seminar thoughts on revitalizing women’s ministries by Elizabeth Burns

Women’s ministries arise out of the supernatural work of God in our lives. Our purpose in life is not to be busy, but to be holy and to glorify God. Our focus should be prayer and meeting with our sisters. We need to become intentional Christians. Every day we are bombarded by what the world thinks we should be. If we concentrate on looking around us, we will become incidental Christians, caught up with the world. Jesus died so we could have abundant life. Are we living a busy life or an abundant life?

Our battles of faith are battles of the mind. Romans 12:1,2 call us to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Do we do what God calls, or what is convenient? The problem with living sacrifices, is that they crawl off the altar! Love kept Jesus on the cross—love for us and love for His Father. Every aspect of Jesus’ life proved His belief in the Father. He showed it by obeying. We are called to believe and obey. Our obedience stands on our belief. We live for God because we love Him. How we live reveals what we believe. Service follows and flows from our relationship with Jesus; the order cannot be reversed.

Life causes us to question God. Don’t forget to remember what you know about God. Our nature as women and our nature as Christians are opposite. By nature, we want to walk by the flesh, but we are indwelt by the Spirit and are to live for God. Here is where women’s ministries can help. We encourage one another in holiness, right thinking, defending our faith, being refreshed in our spirit, and being built up in our faith. God ‘s new life in us is an all-consuming pursuit. Women’s ministries are to be a place of confidentiality and love, a place where we are intentional in our practice of holiness. Where else can we go to talk about the deep things of Jesus and how we are to live for Him. How will we know we are off-kilter unless we walk arm in arm with each other?

The accompanying article appeared in Tabletalk. It shares that Noel Piper was 60 years old when she first sought out godly lady friends. What she experienced is exactly what women’s ministries is to be doing. Our goal in this ministry should be a lifestyle devoted to advancing other people’s faith and holiness. To watch after and pursue the best for others comes at our own expense

Keep Jesus the main thing. If women could see what a real Christian woman was all about, it would take a big stick to fight them off from women’s ministries. If our ministries become successful, it is because of Him and through Him.

Laura’s notes:

She spent time explaining why God must be our all in all. We must be an intentional Christian, not an incidental Christian. She mentioned that God is the only one who can corral our emotions and keep them in check.

The reminder that woman’s purpose is to be holy and to glorify God, not to be busy was important. We can fill our schedule with “good” things but miss out on the better things. We get too busy with the many distractions in the world. We are supposed to be in the world, but not of the world.

We need to remember that the world places value and worth on the wrong things as end goals. We become convinced that everyone else is content and satisfied and happy. This is where true ministry happens. As we reveal truth – about our lives not being perfect and about our Savior being the perfect answer to it all.

After lunch she continued to build on this.  Women’s Ministry should be about showing how to live as Christians. We should be encouraged, refreshed in spirit, and built up in faith. Then others will be drawn to those same qualities and seek the ultimate answer. We need a place of safety, confidentiality, and godly love. I loved this description because it is exactly what I feel my Circles provide for me.

She encourages this kind of ministry to be once a week, not just once a month. We need an umbrella of godly sanctuary and it should become all consuming. Only when God is our all in all can we find the indwelling of the spirit to power true ministry.

Then she ended with a definition. Ministry is a lifestyle of devotion to advancing others’ faith and comes at personal expense.

****************

If you have an opportunity to attend this seminar by Elizabeth Burns, we definitely recommend it.

March Letter from Spiritual Life Chairman

I pray that all is going well in your Spiritual Life with the Lord, and in your Bible Reading and that Prayers are your main emphasis.
It is hard to believe that spring will arrive in several weeks and Daylight Savings time is already here.  God’s creation is much in bloom with flowers, grass and trees.  We should all be thankful for the many blessings He gives us and in so many ways.
I know that you are enjoying David The Anointed One, David was surely a man after God’s own heart.
It’s not too early to start thinking and planning to attend the Family Bible Conference July 23rd – 26th.  You always feel closer to God at Bonclarken.  Another date to keep in mind is the Spiritual Life Retreat for 1st Presbyterial. A committee is working hard to provide an excellent  program. The date is November 3rd. at Bonclarken.
Promote a retreat for your local women.  It’s a good time to relax and enjoy a time of Spiritual Enrichment.
I hope that you have participated in the Lenten Season and prepared your hearts for the Day of Resurrection – Easter.  Easter is a special time in our church calendar year to renew our lives in the service to our Lord Jesus Jesus Christ.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16
Have a wonderful spring and enjoy the fruits of the season.
God’s Servant,

Rachel Spencer,
Spiritual Life Chairman