Today we’re sharing an excerpt from Kelly D. King’s new book, Ministry to Women: The Essential Guide for Leading in the Local Church. Order your copy or see a free sample today at LifeWay.com/MinistryToWomen. You can also pick up a copy at your local LifeWay Store. We’ve also included some fun, free downloads at the end of this post to celebrate this new book!
Label a teaching session on “evangelism” and see how many women show up. It’s likely they will use the excuse, “I don’t know how to share my faith.” They might share their fears in regard to sharing their faith—fear of rejection, fear of difficult questions, and fear of unknown responses. Fear is generally driven by the unknown or what we can’t control. The reality is the word evangelism often deters women instead of causing them to embrace the call to share with eager attentiveness.
If you desire to have balance in your ministry to women, you need to teach women practical ways to feel confident in sharing the gospel. Your ministry should be outwardly-focused—that echoing of God’s heart for the world that we discussed earlier in the book. You need to help new believers feel confident in their newfound faith and help them learn how to take the next steps in discipleship. Intentional discipleship results in good evangelism, and good evangelism should result in ongoing discipleship. Both go hand-in-hand—not one without the other. Disciple-makers who believe in multiplying and replicating disciples should strive for women to come to faith. So where do you start?
Evangelism methods have shifted and changed over the past forty years. If you lived through the days of Evangelism Explosion or the Four Spiritual Laws, you’ll remember simple tracts and directed questions that were extremely effective in their day but have lost momentum in recent years. With a culture that has rejected moral absolutes and embraced religious skepticism, it has become ever more difficult to use the same methods. Please don’t misunderstand me. Those methods can still be effective. I’m not against personal evangelism or tracts. Instead, we must help women understand the process of evangelism—how to begin gospel conversations and how to see people as people and not as projects that must be fixed.
How can you practically equip your women for this kind of evangelism? First, help them determine people in their lives who need the gospel. Challenge them to make a list and share it with others. Whether it’s a neighbor, a family member, or someone in the community, awareness of lostness should be the first step.
Second, encourage women to pray—really pray. Whether women in your ministry meet for Bible study or for fellowship, encourage them to share their lists and to actively begin praying for gospel conversations. Pray more than once—make it an ongoing point of prayer. How differently would your prayer time look if you stopped praying for sick people and starting praying for those who are spiritually sick?
Third, help women be aware of daily, divine appointments. Remember Philip? He was sharing the gospel in Samaria and found himself on the road to Gaza. He was sensitive to the angel’s prompting and was in the right place at the right time when the Ethiopian had questions. Help women see their daily routines as divine appointments. Help them always be ready to share Christ with those they encounter. Remind women that people die, relationships break, and suffering is all around us. When those situations arise with neighbors, coworkers, and family, these circumstances are times to lean in and offer the hope only Christ can give.
Fourth, create spaces in your ministry where evangelism is talked about and emphasized. Encourage your Bible study groups to invite women with spiritual questions. Make it a point in every Bible study to extend a salvation invitation, and don’t assume everyone in your group has had a true conversion experience. Leave an open chair in small groups as a reminder of the woman who needs to fill that spot. Provide events that draw non-believers, and then offer invitations for them to respond. Offer experiences—such as mission trips—that give women a focused time to share their faith.
Finally, help women make the most of every conversation that might help a non-believer take one step closer to Jesus. Equip your women with an easy way to share their own salvation stories and also to share the simple steps of following Christ.
Kelly King is the Women’s Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Women. She and her husband, Vic, have been married for more than 28 years and have enjoyed serving together in ministry both teaching in student ministry for 25 years and teaching young married adults. They have two young adult children, Conner and Courtney, and a son-in-law, Gaige. They enjoy kayaking, having people in their home, and cheering for the Oklahoma City Thunder. A good day includes mocha lattes, Mexican food, and shopping for bargains.
Want to read more from Kelly? You can pre-buy her new book, Ministry to Women, here!
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