Read as our guest blogger, Linda Lesniewski, challenges us to lead the women in our churches, to reach outside the walls of the church to impact the kingdom.
I’ve been amazed over the years to watch God at work as He raises up gifted women to teach and equip women in God’s Word. We are feasting at the banquet table when it comes to options and opportunities to gather with other women and study the Scriptures together. Equipping women in knowing and applying God’s Word is the foundation of Women’s Ministry, but we must always be conscious of whether women are moving beyond the safety and comfort of their small groups and moving out to the hurting and lost world around them.
one hand tightly gripping the hands of her Christian friends who provide support and the other hand stretching out to the hurting women in her community. It’s not an either-or but a both-and scenario. The challenge as a leader is to first discern God’s heart for which ministry opportunities to pursue. Secondly, we need to decide how to minister in the name of Jesus—no small task! I’m amazed how the Lord has brought to my attention needs and opportunities for reaching out and how quickly the women responded when challenged to participate!
We’re currently partnering with an Arabic congregation in reaching refugees. Our part is collecting and delivering “personal care baskets”. We’ve recently begun accessing the growing Hispanic population in our community as one Hispanic single mother refers us to the next. All single moms have such wide variety of needs that just focusing on that target audience alone would create many opportunities for ministry. At a recent women’s luncheon we had a drawing for hosting an extreme one-room make-over for a single mom. We ended up rearranging the furniture, organizing the bookcase, slip-covering the sofa and ottoman, as well as adding lamps and an area run—all donated items.
My home church has a Missions Department that gladly offers guidance and wise counsel, but if that’s not a resource available to you, then where would you suggest that a leader begin looking for ministry opportunities? The Holy Spirit directed Jesus as he selectively responded to the needs around him. As leaders, let’s commit to asking this same Holy Spirit to do that in our own lives and the lives of those we lead. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.“ (Mark 9:41)
Linda Lesniewski is the Women’s Minister at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas and the mother of four young adults and grandmother of four little girls. She is a contributor to the book Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level published by LifeWay. She has authored A Little Book About Knowing A Big God for children, Women at the Cross, published by Revell, and Connecting Women: A Relational Guide for Leaders in Women’s Ministry, published by Baker Books.