I have some news for all the “haters” of women’s ministry. There are many of us who love ministry to women, and there are lots of good reasons you should too.
I get it. You say you don’t like pink. You don’t like cupcakes (seriously—who doesn’t like cupcakes?). You don’t like events that focus on self-worth, modesty or Biblical womanhood.
What I really think the “haters” are saying is that they want purpose. Their time is precious, so don’t waste it. They want transparency and authenticity. They want community. They want missional activity. These are all great goals, and I applaud those who are calling women to have a higher standard in ministry.
I’ve been involved in some form of women’s ministry since I was in college. Maybe we didn’t call it women’s ministry, but I can tell you that ministry “between” women and “to” women has shaped my life and my ministry calling. For those of you struggling with women’s ministry, here are five reasons why it has been an important part of my spiritual journey.
- I have a deeper love for God’s word. Whether it was debating the Second Coming in a dorm hallway or facilitating small group discussion on the book of Daniel, women’s ministry has given me unique opportunities to learn and apply God’s word. I’ve learned how to dissect scripture, defend my theology and have confidence to teach because Bible study has been the focus of my women’s ministry experience.
- I have learned how to lead. There aren’t always a lot of opportunities for women to lead in the local church, but because of women’s ministry, I have learned how to develop teamwork, mastered project planning, and learned how to navigate conflict management. I learned some of those things in the secular workplace, but it definitely wasn’t from a Biblical worldview.
- I’m a better wife and a better mom. I have great role models in my family, but I have acquired a much broader education because other women mentored me. We didn’t call it “mentoring,” and we weren’t paired in a systematic program (although some ministries do a great job of matching women with one another). I learned because I watched Godly women just be themselves. I asked a lot of questions, but they always encouraged and instructed me with Godliness that I wanted to imitate. Without them, I’m not sure I would have made it through the potty training years.
- I’ve learned we are all broken “Jesus girls” in need of a Savior. I hear the moans of women who are intimidated at going to a women’s ministry event because they feel inadequate, underdressed or just ashamed. If we can get over it and realize we all have our “stuff” and need each other. Seriously. We all need Jesus and we all need community. The prayers of other women have prayed me through some dark days. They’ve forgiven me when I’ve messed up and we’ve learned to leave judgment at the door.
- I have a deeper appreciation for beautiful things. I just spoke at a women’s event, and I asked my college students to attend and evaluate what they learned. (emphasis on college students) Do you know what impressed them the most? All the details to beautiful things. They all mentioned it was an event done with excellence. Maybe you like to bash tablecloths and cute centerpieces, but I promise, women want to know that when they enter a room, there has been an effort to make them feel wanted and special. Jesus created women with an appreciation for the beautiful. I like to think He created spectacular sunsets, so women can dream of new colors like saffron, citron and lavender.
I could list additional reasons I love women’s ministry because I believe it’s Biblical. I believe it’s vital to the body of Christ. Most of all, I believe Jesus loves women and making disciples might just include a chocolate fountain.