My friend Stephanie Edge, Director of Women’s Ministry, Poplar Heights Baptist Church, Jackson, TN, just helped her church celebrate a big day! She gives us great encouragement to celebrate what God is doing in our women’s ministry. Let this challenge you to watch for and celebrate God’s transforming power in the lives of women!
On Sunday, October 6th, Poplar Heights Baptist Church in Jackson, TN, celebrated its 90th anniversary. Reporters from the local newspaper covered the event. Two articles appeared in the daily paper with the captions, “90 years of blessings: Poplar Heights Baptist Church celebrates past, looks to future,” and “‛Spiritual harvest’ celebrated: Poplar Heights Baptist welcomes former members to its 90th anniversary service.” It was a GREAT day and former members did indeed return for the worship celebration along with former pastors, worship leaders, and previous missionaries in residence.
As I reflect upon the events, messages, and memories of that day as well as my shared history at the church, I believe there are principles from that historical day that can be applied to Women’s Ministry.
- Women’s Ministry leaders must take time to celebrate and be thankful. According to Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven.” There is a time to CELEBRATE! Poplar Heights was celebrating 90 years of God’s blessings on His people and His church. An unmistakable spiritual harvest had been experienced and recognized. In like fashion, Women’s Ministry leaders must celebrate:
- God’s faithfulness. “For His faithful love to us is great; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Hallelujah!” (Ps. 117:2) And, Psalm 119:90 proclaims, “Your faithfulness is for all generations…” Women’s Ministry leaders must celebrate God’s faithfulness through years of continued ministry.
- God’s ability to change lives. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “… if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” It is God who calls people to Himself and forever changes their lives. He is continually at work in the lives of people to bring about His will and purpose. (2 Cor. 3:18) Women’s Ministry leaders must celebrate changed lives.
- Women’s Ministry leaders must look to the future. Poplar Heights Baptist Church cannot remain fixed on the past works of God, but rather must move forward and trust God for a future harvest. Likewise, Women’s Ministry leaders must look expectantly with vision toward the future. John 4:35 states, “…Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.”
Women’s Ministry leaders, just like churches, continually find themselves standing between the successes of the past and challenges of the future. It is important to celebrate God’s work as we turn our focus on the ministry set before us in order that one day each one of us may say, “I have glorified You on the earth by completing the work You gave me to do.” (John 17:4)
Stephanie Edge is the Director of Women’s Ministry, Poplar Heights Baptist Church, Jackson, TN and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. She graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity. Stephanie also completed a Masters of Theology and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Stephanie currently is an Associate Professor at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee and an Adjunct Instructor of Women’s Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She has a passion for God’s Word and ministering to women.