I spent the weekend in Orlando at the Synergy conference with a couple hundred amazing women. Either they got an extra dose of spiritual awesomeness when they were created, or something about that weekend is special. Do we need women’s ministry? was still knocking in my noggin, and my heart said YES we do. But why? Here’s some things I’ve heard this week, and then I’ll share my thoughts:
This past week-end I was away on a business trip with my husband. It was a little reward for him and other companies on the east coast to be taken to one of the beaches of Mexico. While I enjoyed the beach and the sunshine (yes), the thing that hit me was how much he shined being around other salesmen. It was fun to watch them chatter and laugh and try to one up each other with stories about everything from installers who do crazy things out on jobs to finding jobs in the first place in the current economy. In a word, my husband in his element.
I think that it’s the same for us as women, as especially for us as Christians. While we adapt to fellowships and bible studies that are really geared to the masses and get a tremendous amount of blessing from them, it is nice to sit around one of the tables at a local coffee shop and simply let loose on our gender specific needs, hurts, and also joys (the laughter get ridiculous sometimes) so I say, absolutely, as females on our journeys here for our Heavenly Father, let’s find a way to bond with Him in our own way.
Jodie had some cool thoughts about “niches”:
I think that within a larger body, such as Hope, niche ministries become connecting points for people groups. The point of these ministries is not exclusion, but rather focusing on common needs and interests. This gives us all a place to find new friends, make lasting connections to a particular body of believers, and most importantly become an active, contributing member of the congregation.
And what about that power of women, maybe some of that awesomeness I was feeling this weekend…here’s what Sally shared:
My mom has been a strong Christian woman for many decades and enjoys a weekly couples’ small group with my Dad. Yet,as we were talking about ministry at church she said you can never replace the power of women getting together and praying to the Lord. She went on to say that there is something so wonderful when a group of women get together who understand each other and have a shared faith, it’s a beautiful thing.
And how about C.’s thoughts? Do you agree?
1. Women need each other because they feel emotionally safer and more understood
2. Women “hear” other women, men haven’t been able to hear us (I haven’t met one yet, at least, not even my Dad who I actually do love and trust!!)
3.Women can be more themselves with other women; when there is the possibility of a potential mate or a sexual union somewhere with mixed company – in a woman’s mind, they dress to impress/get made up and become less authentic around men
4. Women are natural care givers and know how to care for others. Women crave this care just as much as men and children but women don’t often get enough of this care (emotional/spiritual/mental/etc).
5. Men tend to be much more insecure than they put on and they tend to feel threatened by a strong, intelligent, capable woman, and that strength and intelligence can be squashed by an insecure man so easily. Women are better at building each other up instead of tearing each other down (always exceptions).
This weekend, I sat at the proverbial feet of some amazing women teachers. Michelle Lloyd-Paige, Carolyn Custis James, Susan Isaacs. What they brought to the table was an amazing connection that was uniquely feminine. Their voices didn’t drown out the many things I’ve learned from male teachers. They just enhanced those things. So when I think of women’s ministries, I think that they are a place for women to share that special awesomeness. Not to overpower other aspects of church, not to be the church themselves, but to enhance and enrich the experience of the body. Having sisters in a family doesn’t make having brothers any less special. They are both unique and wonderful in their own ways.