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Why Women's Ministry?

Howdy! Jill, my wife who serves on the women’s leadership team, received a set of questions about our women’s ministry from a female student who is pursuing the women’s leadership track at the College of Biblical Studies-Houston. This student was doing some research about women’s ministries and thought it would be worthwhile to contact Jill to see what we do here at Bethel. 
As we look forward to the fall kick-off, August 31st at 6:30pm in the High School Room, I thought it would be helpful to share a lengthy portion of Jill’s response to our adult class leaders and community group leaders. Perhaps some of the people in your sphere ministry wonder why we have a women’s ministry? Is it significant enough to make it a priority in their weekly calendar? Consider Jill’s description:
“At Bethel, we [women’s ministry] always ask the question what can we provide that no other ministry in the church can provide? There is no need for entertainment… or for general Bible studies that can be discussed in a Sunday School or community group. Also, women’s ministry should not consume the lives of busy women who have weighty responsibilities given by God. So our focus is efficiently meeting the unique needs of a woman and touching her heart in a way that models the Titus 2:1,3-5 “prescription” for healthy growth and strong relationships among women in the church. So we will tackle questions like what does it look like to live out sound doctrine according to how God has made the woman differently from a man? How do we love our families when the storms of life are ripping us apart? Is reverence more than showing up for church on time with the kids in their classes? Why hasn’t God brought me a husband? If women are to be workers at home, can they work outside the home? If I’m following all the instructions, why do I still feel lonely? How should a woman support an ungodly husband? Why don’t I love my family more? How do we submit in a God-honoring way? How do we balance love for home and love for our workplace? How do we function when spread so thin across life’s responsibilities? 
No honest treatment of these issues centered around the Bible can happen in a setting other than women discussing it with other women. Instruction can be given in any context, but God made it clear that it was through relationships between women in the church that dynamic growth would occur. Furthermore, nothing encourages a woman like hearing another woman who loves her pray over her specific need. I am also a testimony of the success of this model. Obviously, relationships form organically as women are given time to converse, so each gathering offers extra time for fellowship built into the timeframe. We even pay for an extra hour of childcare for the morning study to allow young moms to spend more time building friendships. My evening group has “tea-time” to discuss our lives and update each other on our own situations. Godly conversations between women whom God has made a “church family” are life-impacting on a direct level. I believe it is the church’s obligation to provide the opportunities and raise up godly older women to embrace it and teach it.
Under these guidelines, we offer three Bible studies just for women, morning or evening. We offer MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) as a lifeline for young moms needing mentoring and as an outreach to the community. We have a weekend retreat every other year, a prayer breakfast once a year, a fall kickoff dinner, and a summer book study. Women are made available for mentoring, though not an official “matching-up” program as we learned that was not successful…. God made church women to connect, not separate. 
We don’t always use curriculum that is made just for women, though we have many times. We have a godly leadership team with women in different walks of life and different skill sets that choose curriculum and then it is reviewed by our Pastor of Adult Ministries, our accountability partner. These ladies are deeply in touch with the Bethel women weekly, so they are acquainted with the needs and desires. They make sure that Bibles are opened and women are encouraged to drink deeply from the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments. Trained small group leaders are aware of our purpose and use questions from these resources and create their own to “bring it home” to womanhood.
It is a ministry that I have seen God use, even dramatically, to bond women and bring them further along in their faith. Other than the pastor previously mentioned, we have no payed staff over only women’s ministry. Leadership meets once per two months, or more often if necessary, to make plans and discuss publicity and any special situation, and of course pray. We ask for 3 years of commitment to that." 
If you have any questions about how women can join our women’s ministry, please don’t hesitate to have them contact Jill Shockley, Lou Ann Chae, Linda Robinson, Talitha Powell, Justine Hirschbueller, Mercia Miles, Susan Mercer, Chiharu Dewhurst, or Jeannie Frazier. 
Shalom, Pastor Paul

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Bethel Church of Houston

Bethel Church is a family of believers committed to making disciples of Jesus who glorify God in all of life.

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