I hope you’ve had a chance to check out the new Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast; if not, here’s your chance!
The transcript will be available for each solo episode (not the leader interviews) the week after the episode has been released.
The transcript is here for those who:
- Prefer to read, rather than listen.
- Wish they had taken notes when listening.
- Want to revisit a portion of the podcast.
- Like easy access to links and Scripture references noted in the show.
I hope you’ll find them to be helpful.
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Episode 1: Scriptural Support for Women’s Ministry
Welcome to the Women’s Ministry Toolbox podcast. I’m Cyndee Ownbey, your host and women’s ministry mentor. I’m the founder of Women’s Ministry Toolbox and the author of Rethinking Women’s Ministry. The Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast is a podcast for women’s ministry leaders and team members of all stages, from new to seasoned, serving in their local church community. If you’re looking for hope and inspiration, you’ve come to the right place. In addition to discussing the nuts and bolts of women’s ministry, I’ll be asking seasoned women’s ministry leaders to share their best tips and the lessons they’ve learned together. We’ll learn to build a flourishing Christ-focused women’s ministry.
Welcome to episode number one of the Women’s Ministry Toolbox podcast, Scriptural Support for Women’s Ministry. In today’s episode, we’re going to look at the biblical basis of women’s ministry. We’re going to dig into three different scripture passages, and we’re going to talk about why knowing the biblical basis of women’s ministry is so important.
Now you probably know that God’s word does not lay out a written plan for women’s ministry, much less men’s ministry or even children’s ministry. But there are scriptures that offer support for ministry to women. Now, seasoned leaders, don’t tune me out, please. You may be called one day to give a biblical defense of your women’s ministry program and I want to make sure that you are prepared to do so.
Let’s start by looking at probably the most famous passage that points to women’s ministry and that is Titus 2:3-5. That passage reads, “older women, likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to too much wine. They are to teach what is good. And so train the young women to love their husbands and children to be self-controlled, pure working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” Now I know there are some, maybe possibly, controversial stuff in that passage, but that’s not where I want our focus to be. I want us to focus in on the end of verse three and the beginning of verse four. Did you catch that? It says that “older women are to teach what is good. And so train the younger women.” This was a directive that was given to older women in the church.
We need to create a space for older women to teach our younger women.
Because in most communities, this is not happening organically. I hear stories all the time of young women who want a mentor who approach an older woman of the church and ask them to consider discipling them. And more often than not, the answer they receive is no. Let’s agree that women’s ministry should be the place where older women teach what is good and train the younger women.
Now, perhaps in your church, small groups have replaced women’s ministry, or you’ve been told that small groups serve that purpose. Let’s talk about that for just a minute. I could say I’ve found that’s not always true in many churches. Small groups are just that they’re small. They may only have 10 or 12 members in them. They’re often co-ed, which means out of those 10 or 12 members, only five or six might be other women. They’re often grouped by age so there’s no older or younger women to teach. They may be more about fellowship than they are about teaching. Now I love my small group, but it’s not a place where there’s a lot of cross-generational teaching between women.
Small groups are good and they are valuable, but they cannot take the place of a healthy, vibrant women’s ministry.
Let’s move on to the second passage I want to look at today, and that is Acts 2:42, “and they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Women’s ministry is a place where women can devote themselves to God’s word, where they can find fellowship, where they can break bread, and they can pray.
Now, I know those things can all be found outside of women’s ministry, and they absolutely should be. We’re offering another layer of opportunity, and we’re supporting the mission of the church. These should not be once-a-week activities. But this also does not mean that every women’s ministry event or activity has to feature all four of those things. So let me be clear, you don’t always have to have teaching fellowship food in prayer, but as I’m sure we’ll talk about on an upcoming episode – that is a great place to start.
Are you launching or revamping your women’s ministry? Do you struggle to get your women’s ministry team on the same page? My book, Rethinking Women’s Ministry: Biblical, Practical Tools for Cultivating a Flourishing Community, is designed to help women’s ministry leaders and team members prayerfully examine what’s working and what isn’t. As God highlights the areas that need rethinking, you’ll be able to form an action plan that will enable your team to reach more women more effectively and create a community that flourishes. You’ll find rethinking women’s ministry on Amazon, your favorite online retailer, and at womensministrytoolboxshop.com.
Our last Scripture passage is Matthew 28:19-20, “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you and behold, I am with you always to the end of the age.”
That passage may be a familiar one to you. It’s often referred to as the great commission. Those instructions were not just given to the apostles in Matthew. They apply to us today, and I’m sure we’ll unpack in a future episode how women’s ministry teams can help the church make disciples. But for now, let’s remember that women’s ministry is an arm of the church and that it should do all it can to support the making of disciples. We can do that through things like women’s ministry, Bible study groups, events that focus on the word of God, and times of teaching.
Now you’ve probably heard women’s ministry can have a bad reputation. Some people think women’s ministry is filled with just fluff and fellowship and that they are lacking depth. If you find that to be true, if you sense that your women’s ministry team is maybe starting to lose their way a little bit, come back to the scriptural basis for women’s ministry and that can help you get back on track.
The foundation of our women’s ministry must be God’s word.
It reminds me of a story from Luke 6 (incorrectly noted as Matthew 6 on the podcast) – the one where the man builds his house on the foundation that’s the rock and the one where the other man builds his house without a foundation at all. Verses 47-49 say this, “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
Ladies, we want to make certain that our women’s ministry program is built on a solid foundation. And that that foundation is the word of God.
These three passages that we’ve talked about today, Titus 2:3-5, Acts 2:42, and Matthew 28:19-20 can be the building block of our women’s ministry foundation.
Now at the end of every episode, I want to issue a small little challenge to you. Give you an action item, a takeaway, something that you can do. I am calling them Toolbox Tasks. It’s a recommendation. It’s not a requirement. Please let the Holy Spirit guide you. Perhaps you are going to want to:
- Read and discuss those three scripture passages with your women’s ministry team, maybe even at your next meeting.
- Then examine how your ministry, in part or in whole, reflects the instructions given by God.
I’m sure it will make for a great discussion.
Thank you. You’re listening to this episode of the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast. Leading in women’s ministry can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. You’ll find support and ideas you can use in the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Community Facebook group. We’d love for you to join us. Search for us on Facebook or visit womensministrytoolbox.com/groups to access the link. May the grace of God carry you through difficult ministry seasons, may he direct your steps as you seek to make Him known, and may your love for the Lord be apparent to every woman you serve.
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