Did you notice during the holidays ministry needs surfacing in larger than normal numbers, especially in the lives of single women? But what do you do after the new year has begun to follow up on those needs. Linda Lesniewski challenges us to consider what plans we have in place to continue ministry after the holidays.
I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me. Matthew 25:36 HCSB
As I’m clearing off my work space from the past month’s activities, I realize that the majority of the ministry bustle had been directed toward assisting the needs of single women. That wasn’t intentional. The requests that came to our church just happened to come from women in desperate situations, and most of them were single. The Christmas season provided a window into their lives and entrance into their homes. But how will we continue to minister to these women during the months stretching out ahead of us? Their needs won’t disappear just because of the new year.
I’m convicted to be intentional about staying in touch and making sure they have a personal presentation of the Gospel beyond the Gospel track tucked into their bags of groceries or among their children’s gifts. I want to introduce them and their children to opportunities to grow spiritually at our church. I’d like to find out about their personal needs. Do they need the computer skills offered through Christian Women’s Job Corp or codependency recovery offered through Celebrate Recovery? Is domestic violence part of their situation? Have they healed from their divorce or would they benefit from Divorce Care? Are they recently widowed and need Grief Share?
Now I’m concerned that their needs might feel as overwhelming to me as they do to them! Fortunately, the body of Christ makes reaching out possible. Together we can make a permanent difference in these women’s lives rather than provide temporary seasonal relief. What experiences did you have meeting needs during the past month? How many recipients were single women? What are your plans for continuing that loving touch of God’s love into the new year?
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.