Women’s Ministry Is Not the Enemy

concept of making choice with versus letters

One of my favorite activities in college was being part of the women’s glee club. As a nonmusic major, this outlet gave me the opportunity to be part of something I loved while getting to know other women on campus I might not know. We sang in various churches, went on tour together, and practiced every afternoon in the basement of the university’s music department.

During each rehearsal, our director rapidly breezed through several pieces, focusing on areas where the timing wasn’t perfect or the harmony wasn’t blending. Each section of voices practiced its individual assignments, but when the entire choir sang in harmony and in rhythm, beautiful music was created. If one section wasn’t doing its part or singing the wrong note, it was back to repetitive practice until we got it right.

Every time I read Romans 12:16, I’m reminded of singing in the glee club, but more importantly, I’m reminded of the spiritual practice of unity when I read, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” Working together in unity doesn’t mean we all sing in unison, but we work together to blend our gifts, passions, and abilities to serve God and bring Him glory. It is not about the attention we bring to ourselves but about bringing attention to the gospel.

Too often, though, I’ve seen women divided in the local church in regard to separating women’s ministry and women’s missions groups. Somehow, there are times when the 2 see each other as competition instead of complementary. To complement each other means you take both parts and bring them together to completion. As a missions leader, you must make the effort to see how both missions and ministries labor together for the good of kingdom work.

So how can you do this? How can your women’s missions group partner with women’s ministry in the local church? How can you promote unity and work in harmony? Here are 5 suggestions for practically living out Romans 12:18, which says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

  1. Examine your calendar for overlap and opportunities. Does your missions group meet at the same time as women’s Bible studies? If so, this forces women to choose one or the other, which can seem like a competition. Work toward offering various opportunities so women can participate in both by meeting together as one team and planning your calendar together. Don’t force your ideas on each other, but find common ground and ways to value each other. Celebrate both by speaking highly of each other to avoid conflict and confusion.
  2. Suggest ways your women’s ministry can incorporate missional activities in events and Bible studies. Present creative ways WMU can be intermingled with women’s ministry. For instance, challenge Bible study groups to adopt an unreached people group or to take up an offering for a common cause.
  3. Look for creative ways to incorporate praying for missionaries. Offer women’s ministry leaders a creative way to pray for missionaries at their next event. Create small reminders with missionary names attached and challenge women to take them home and keep them in a spot where they are reminded to pray for someone specific. Ensure that what you provide goes along with the theme and decorations so the prayer reminders are a special touch that says you’ve thought of them. For instance, I attended a girl’s Christmas tea that had a Chinese theme. Every mother and daughter received a pair of chopsticks with the name of a missionary. We took them home and placed them on our Christmas tree as a reminder for our entire family to pray for the work of someone serving overseas.
  4. Purchase a WorldCrafts item as a door prize and introduce women to shopping with a purpose. Women love giveaways and they love to shop. Combine these at your next women’s ministry event by showing women WorldCrafts and the opportunity to make a difference with their fair-trade purchase.
  5. Challenge women’s ministry leaders to incorporate a fund-raising portion at their next event. For instance, give every woman a small bottle of water that has information about Pure Water, Pure Love. Place a large empty water bottle in the middle of each table and encourage women to fill the bottle with their change or donations. Show this video to help women understand how they can provide clean water for missionaries and those who are desperate for access to water.

May these suggestions spark your creativity and help you think of ways to see your church’s women’s ministry not as the enemy but as an ally and partner for kingdom purposes. When the body of Christ works in unity, much can be accomplished.

Kelly King is the women’s ministry specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee. She is the former women’s missions and ministries specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, where she served as the WMU executive director for the state. She is passionate about encouraging women to embrace and echo God’s heart for the world. You can follow her on social media @kellydking or read her blog at LifeWay.com/womensministry.

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