There is something I’ve been noticing as a trend, with multiple articles, blogs, and people commenting on the subject. I have seen a few writings resurfacing (one was actually about 3 years old) about the dislike and distaste for women’s ministry. I did not agree with what I was reading.
Here is where I was initially quite frustrated: the idea that women’s ministry is lacking in scripture, and second that it is focused on womanhood and not the “gospel”.
Well, last I saw, we are to study the full counsel of God; all of Scripture. Scripture talks about Jesus Christ and His work, but there is also a great deal of instruction for how a follower of Christ ought to act. Including women as their own distinct group. God did not make gender neutral people, He did make us different, male and female. So, if God sees us each as individuals, as He made us, then we should see what His word has to say about our roles. Titus 2:3-5, 1 Peter 3, and many other passages in scripture give examples of women. (Try a quick Bible search for “women” and you’ll find God has a lot to say about them specifically. Blue Letter Bible search on “women” here.)
Many say, “We need doctrine, bible, theology.” Well, guess what, you can have that, all the time, every day, just read it. Thankfully, the Bible is available for all people, so there should be nothing stopping any of us from picking it up. How about the issue of good teaching? Well, ladies and Christians, be selective. Kay Arthur, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Elise Fitzpartick, Elizabeth George, Lenya Heitzig, are some examples I know of, and there are many others teaching the Bible. So why aren’t you studying it? You can find solid biblical teaching if you look for it, even within your local churches. If your church does a study through a book or dvd instead of their own in-house teacher, make sure you speak up and ask for material that is actually teaching the Bible.
How about the teas, the “fluff”, the lace, and pink? Well, here is a news flash: if you are a women, you know deep down you are concerned with pretty (I am speaking generally, our definitions of “pretty” may differ, but we still like it). That’s part of the way God made us. So, what’s wrong with enjoying the beautiful while among other women? I have met a good share of ladies who will go for tea, have a ladies night out, go to concerts together, and dress up to hang out with friends; just for fun. Why not join a group of fellow believers for a few hours to fellowship, worship God, and learn together? So, If we are willing to take time with co-workers, friends, and relatives, why not our own family of God?
Hebrews 10:25 warns a believer not to forsake the assembling together:
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging
one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:23-25
Lastly, the point that has me the most concerned with these types of complaints about women’s ministries, is that those making the noise are not always the ones willing to dive in, join, participate, and be the catalyst to encourage women to study the Word. By not being wiling to be the change they hope for, they are doing a disservice to themselves and to anyone who listens to them. While I had once been one of those on the fence about women’s studies, I personally decided that I would not just sit, but rather investigate and be involved myself. By doing that, I realized there are women who are amazing; who love God more than anything, who cannot wait to pray for one another, to sing songs of worship, who are ready to weep with the brokenhearted, and laugh with the joys in life. The difference wasn’t the so-called fluff going away, but rather emptying myself. I realized my own pride, conceit, and indifference were in the way, and by that attitude I am afraid I discouraged some around me from jumping into women’s ministry whole hearted. Once I realized my wrong, I found that a women’s ministry does have so much to offer and was a place where God drew me to deepen my faith and strengthen my walk with Him.
So please stop discouraging others from attending, from making the view cloudy, and muddying the waters. Do not be the one to influence someone away from what might be God’s way that He wants to work in their lives. If you are on the edge, and have been influenced by negative ideas about women’s ministry, please, go and try it yourself; drop the expectations, look through the lens of the Word of God, and then dive in. You don’t have to love glitter, just love the Lord and let His love spill out of you for your other sisters in Christ.