CLARKSTON, MI – When my husband and I were in youth ministry together we noticed quickly, this ministry needed both men and women mentors. So, we made sure to encourage healthy numbers of both to be youth workers for our teens. All of us, male and female, have a common need of people who can understand and mentor us through our struggles.
I had not thought about this need for years until this past January when God prompted me, for the first time, to publicly share my private horror of experiencing sexual assault. It was the last thing I wanted to do, but God had His reasons which became apparent at the close of each and every event. One woman after another came forward with hands shaking and tears in their eyes bravely sharing their traumatic experiences. The sheer number of women who whispered, “I have never heard this addressed in church before”, was both crushing and convicting. It brought me right back to our years in youth ministry, and the unique needs of women of all ages.
We need Women’s Ministry because women really do need each other. Healing from trauma and addiction, trying to fit society’s mold of female perfection, infertility, miscarriages, surviving abuse, being single in ministry, and many more struggles are rarely, if ever, mentioned in polite church circles. If God’s healing is to come, we need to change the narrative, open up, and begin to embrace our imperfections, struggles, and failures.
We need our obedient and brave Deborahs to speak truth boldly into the dark places of our lives.
We need the loyal companionship of the Ruths who stick with us through our worst pain.
We need the Esthers who will stand up with us and for us against injustice.
We need the loving wise mentorship of Eunice.
We need the hope given from the Sarahs who tell us miracles can still happen, even when we least expect them.
This last year I needed my dear friend Carolyn Minot, who’s never wavered in praying for my healing or Ebony Robinson, who directed me to place my burdens back on our heavenly Father. I find the courage to continue because of Kelly Yang, whose diligence in helping persecuted Christians reminds me to never give up or Melanie, Angela, and Lindsey whose gift for words and encouragement keep me moving forward in faith. There is the beautiful Joyya Pettus who reminds me what it looks like to unabashedly love everyone without fear, and Allison Hix whose passion for God’s word contagiously pushes me to read my Bible more. There are so many amazing women I still haven’t mentioned, but I would not have met any of them, if it had not been for WMU and Women’s ministry. If Robin, Shar, Karen, Marta, Sharon, and Sue had not invited, mentored, and encouraged me to join the Women’s ministry here in Michigan I would not have found the deep encouragement and wisdom I had been longing for.
We all need women of God in our lives, and Women’s Ministry is an amazing way to meet that need. For more information on how to impact the women in your life, contact us at the Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM).
For more information about BSCM Women's Ministry, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heather Windeler is a Mercy & Justice Ministries Coach with Michigan WMU who serves with Women Without Walls and Be the Bridge racial reconciliation ministries. She is a speaker, artist, wife, and mother of 3 who loves being a Cross Waves Church Hotspot leader with her husband Josh.