Who Have You Invited Lately?

This thought has been going through my mind for some time now and I figured the only way to get it out of my head is to…..say it with me……..WRITE ABOUT IT! You are good!

When I became a believer as a teen, I was taught right away to share what I had experienced which is known as “witnessing.” As a very shy girl, I did my best. Many times it was very easy and other times it wasn’t. I learned how to sum up my story in a few words to get the point across. What a joy it was to actually lead someone to Christ. Which means to lead them in a prayer of salvation. I have to stop right here and explain something….terms and life has changed so much over the years. In the church world we have been told that times are a changing and we need to change our lingo in order to reach people with the gospel better. I’ve tried to change my lingo but, I always go back to what I know. What can I say.? I hope what I’m writing about makes sense. If it doesn’t, I’m always here to answer any questions. Now…where was I?

In high school, my mission was to tell as many that would listen about Jesus. Yep, I was teased a few times and put on the spot and in one class I was ostracized for using God’s Word in my speech, etc. In later years, in full time ministry, it was just a natural thing. I was always inviting people to church and Bible study. Leading neighbors and strangers to Christ was always so exciting. Many times we picked people up on the way to church. There were those times someone would say, “Yes, pick me up.” Well, you get there and they don’t answer the door and you get the message that they weren’t interested. That was my world for many years. My favorite story is when we pastored a tiny church and we had one car. My husband would go to the church early on Sunday mornings and get things read and study. Then he would come back and pick me and our two babies up. We would then pick up a lady that lived in government housing on the other side of town. She had I don’t know how many kids…it was a bunch of stair stepped cute little kiddos. Her husband was an alcoholic and we had the privilege of sending him to a home for alcoholics that the late Jerry Falwell started. We would be piled up in our car Sunday after Sunday until they moved on to another town…I have no idea how we all fit!

I miss those days…..sometimes!

While serving as a women’s ministry director for several years….one of my favorite things to do was invite women to everything we had. Every Bible study, every event, every class….it kept me busy because we had a lot going to reach as many women as possible. I met many new friends. I carried cards with all the information on it. When we had an event, it was natural for me to ask everyone I knew to it. I was excited and I wanted everyone to hear and see what was going on. Most of all to be encouraged with what Christ can and will do in our lives. Everyone needs encouragement and I think everyone needs Christ in their lives. So, why wouldn’t I invite everyone I knew and met while out and about?

I have a feeling you are probably that way, too. You don’t want anyone to miss out on anything that would help someone in their walk with Christ, right?

I have noticed that not everyone thinks like we do. You have no idea how many times I have listened to people talk about their Bible studies they attend, their church group, special events and ministries….and no mention of inviting anyone to join them. They go year after year, week after week and the thought never enters their mind to invite someone to join them or make sure someone doesn’t need to be encouraged somehow.

We might be surprised how many people are looking for a connection. How many women are needing some fellowship (there’s that old fashioned word) or some encouragement and just need an invite to whatever we are doing.

Has someone visited your church, study group or event and you are wondering where they are? Maybe you need to check on them and make sure they felt welcome and are invited back. It takes a big step to walk into a place alone…uninvited. Don’t be the one, who just wonders who someone is and then wonders where they are the next week when they don’t show back up. Do something about it. Even if you have to start your own ministry in reaching out to visitors.

I’ve been in a lot of churches and study groups as a visitor and a new member and I could tell you some crazy stories, but, we will save that for another time.

My challenge for you is to make a list of people that you are in contact with that don’t have a place to study or go to church. Then one by one, do something about it.

Think back to when you became a believer or joined a new church or Bible study group. How did you know about it? Why did you go back?

I believe we have a huge responsibility other than the “us four and no more attitude.” It’s probably one of the most important responsibilities we have. We have no idea who is struggling in their faith, in their walk…..in just life!

Many times we get comfortable in our church and our special groups and we forget the main reason we are even still here. We need to step out of our box and look around. Who needs just a little nudge or a fresh start somewhere. We all have a tendency to get so busy with doing, we don’t stop and look around to what is really important…..reaching out to others!

I can’t wait to hear about you making a difference in someones life by just one simple invitation!

Need Ideas for Your Women’s Ministry?

Here we are for our final post on ideas for women’s ministry.  I just finished going through my  last file folder filled with everything from newsletters, brochures, typed messages, thank you notes and everything in between.  I found things that I had forgotten about and what fun it was to reminisce all those sweet memories.  I did hang on to a few things that I just couldn’t let go of.  I’m saving things like newsletters, newspaper clippings, pictures and some videos of some event promotions.  I’ll check back on them in a year or so and maybe I will let go of them then, but for now, just so hard to let it go.

So, are you ready for a few ideas for ministries within your women’s ministry?  I really hope some of this will spark some interest for you somehow and maybe help you develop ideas that fit your group of ladies.

Here we go:

Cancer Support Group

First Place Weight Loss Program/Bible Study

Heart to Heart Widow Support Group

Homeschool Mom Support Group

University Classes for Women (Bible Studies)

Ladies Exercise Class

Moms of Teens Support Group

My Time Mom’s Group

Spanish Women’s Ministry

Home Bible Study

Woman to Woman Mentoring

Women’s Ministry Network (Area Women’s Ministry Directors)

Women of the Word Bible Class

Virtue College Girls Bible Study

Tae Bo/Pilates Class

MOPS – Mothers of Preschoolers

Things Treasured Scrapbooking Club

Writing for Him

Women of Grace Bible Study

Deacon Wives Book Club

*Many workshops were taught over the years covering all types of topics that pertained to women in all walks of life.  The Lord always provided just the right lady that was willing to share and serve in the capacity.  This was always one of my favorites.

The theme for all of the ministries was the following:

Pursuing Godliness

“…teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”  Titus 2:12-13

In our city we have a home for moms and their children who are needing a fresh start in life and this was a great place to provide ministry that would reach out to the moms with help of all kinds.  The women’s ministry blessed the kids with “Operation Backpack,” which provides a backpack filled with school supplies at the beginning of the school year.  At Christmas children and the moms received gifts from their wish lists.  Also, the moms were blessed with items to set up housekeeping  in the way of  home furnishings, food and toiletries.  Special classes and Bible studies were provided as well.

A baby shower was held for our local Life Center that provides counseling and services for crisis pregnancies.

One last thing to share with you.  Two books were created and published by the ladies and for two consecutive years, these books were given to all the women in attendance on Mother’s Day as a gift from the Women’s Ministry.

The two books were:

“Pearls of Wisdom” – “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and her tongue is the law of kindness.” Proverbs 31:26  This book was filled with stories written by ladies of the church sharing the best advice they received that encouraged them in their walk with Christ.

“….and with God’s grace, she lived happily ever after.” – This was a book compiled of salvation stories of many of the ladies in the church.  This was an awesome project to put together and we saw much fruit from it.   One sweet story I can share is a dear lady of the church couldn’t write her salvation story simply because she didn’t have one.  She came to Christ because of this book.  She gave her life to Christ and now has a beautiful story to tell.

The ladies also put together a beautiful cookbook;  “The Fruit of the Spirit.”

At a “Friendship Tea,” a small recipe book was given to each attendee. It was filled with tea time recipes and encouraging quotes on friendship; “Recipes and Reflections.”

Women’s Ministry can be such an amazing ministry to the ladies of your church.  When you see the needs of the ladies in your own church as well as the community, you can be creative and come up with a million ways to serve,  provide friendship and encourage a life to be lived fully for Christ.

I’ve always said that a woman’s life can change her home life, which can change her church, which can change her city, which can change her country, which can change her world.  So, why wouldn’t a church be sure to have a strong dedicated ministry to women?

It’s pretty funny, well, not funny, sort of sad to learn of the attitude of some churches on the idea of a women’s ministry.  When we were putting together a city wide conference, I called all the churches possible.  One of the churches the pastor answered the phone.  I introduced myself and told him why I was calling.  When I asked if he had a contact name so I could mail information about the conference, he hung up on me.  Yes…he did, really!

If you are involved in women’s ministry, I pray that you are successful in every area and love every second of it.  Always remember, the enemy doesn’t want to see women living a life sold out for Christ, so be ready for the evil one to try to destroy.  Trust me, he will use whatever vessel is available.  Everything you do, should be prayed about and have the blessing of your husband, pastor and you should know fully well what the Lord would have you do.  The best place to ever be is in the center of God’s perfect will.  When you are there, nothing can stop you. Keep your eyes on Christ.

When the time comes for you to step down from women’s ministry and you know without a doubt that is what God wants you to do, know that you gave your best and did your best.  Hopefully, the ministry will flourish in the hands of someone else.  If it doesn’t, you have to realize, there isn’t anything you can do about it.  It’s all in God’s hands.  Your season has passed and it’s time for a new season for your life.

So, there you go….maybe something helped and maybe it didn’t.  At least I got my files cleared out and I was able to put in writing some things I don’t want to forget.  I’m pretty sure I will have to share some other things sometime about women’s ministry as it is one of my passions.

I would love to hear what you are doing in the way of encouraging other women to live a life for Him.

Here are the links to the previous posts in this series:

How’s It Going With Your New Year Plans?

My 10 Tips For Beginning a Women’s Ministry

Tips On Beginning a Women’s Ministry Newsletter

Ideas for Women’s Ministry Events

Ideas for Women’s Ministry Events

While cleaning out my files and discarding papers, notes and many memories of my time volunteering in our women’s ministry, I decided to just make a list of the many events that our ministry held for our church and our community.  I hope they will inspire you to step out and take the risk of planning some events that will be an encouragement to your ladies.  I am one of those that believes you can have fun with things that women enjoy and always share the gospel at each event.  I had a friend that said “bring them for the fluff and then give them the gospel.”

Women wear so many hats and are responsible for so much.  We love to laugh, cry and grow in our walk with Christ together.  Granted, there will always be someone that will try to make you feel like you should only meet together for deep intense Bible study and prayer without any “frufru.”  Is that a word.  I love Bible study and prayer.  I also love getting friends together for encaurgement and inspiration with the girly girl things of life.

My list is not in any certain order.  I’m just typing as I go through files.  I sure hope it makes sense for you.  Here we go:

Ministry Kick-Off Dinner:  A time to introduce the ministry with a Guest Speaker along with introductions of the ministry team and leaders of various ministries available.

Shopping Trip:  Our church already had in place a yearly shopping excursion to a city that had a large outlet shopping mall.

Fall Celebration: Ladies brought their favorite dish (pot-luck) while enjoying special music and a message.

Mother/Daughter Retreat:  An opportunity for moms and their teen daughters to go away for a weekend for teaching and togetherness.

A New Year, A New You Seminar:  A day full of workshops on various subjects taught by ladies of the church that specialize in various things.  (Prayer Journaling, Writing, Cooking, etc.)

Baking Night:  A lady in the church who was gifted in the area of hospitality and cooking shared how to set a menu for the month and freeze meals, etc.

Spring Conference with speaker and author, Elizabeth George.

A Woman’s Heart for Missions: Guest Speaker was a missionary to Costa Rica and the ladies brought a mexican dish to share.

Friendship Tea: A Fabulous Tea Party with all the decor and treats to make it even more fun and a guest speaker.

New Year Kick-Off Brunch:  A new year and time to introduce ministries.

Teen Girl Conference:  Two days filled with guest speakers, music and workshop all for teen girls and even some classes for moms of teens.

Christmas Tour Of Homes:  An actual tour of several homes that were decorated for Christmas.  Would meet back at the church for a devotion and snacks.

Spring Conference with author/speaker, Lane Jordan.

Comedy Night:  A night of fun with ladies sharing funny stories, etc.

His Princess Tea

Dress Your Decade: Ladies dressed in the era they grew up in and guest speaker, Sandy Stiles.

Holiday In-Style:  Ladies decorated their own table and a fashion show by Stein Mart with a guest speaker.

Spring Conference with author/speaker, Lisa Whelchel.

Girlfriends Cafe:  An afternoon for girlfriends filled with music, food and messages from the leadership team.

A Woman’s Heart of Joy:  Desserts with guest speaker, Joni Reese

A Woman’s Heart of Celebration:  A Christmas event with the annual Tour of Homes.

A Woman’s Heart Cares:  A lineup of speakers from various ministries through the city.

A Woman’s Heart Has Purse-onality:  Spring Conference with author/speaker, Donna Partow.

A Woman’s Heart: An end of the year event with author/speaker, Joy Weaver.

Spring Conference with author/speaker, Sheri Rose Shepherd.

A New Year, A New You, Mini-retreat Day:  Instead of traveling away from home, we had a retreat for a day.

Mother-Daughter Cupcake Tea:

Season’s of a Woman’s Heart:  Fall Conference with author/speaker, Laurie Cole

Mother/ Daughter Royal-Tea:  Luncheon with guest speaker, Tatum Hubbard, former Miss Texas.

True-Woman Ladies Luncheon, Guest speakers from Life Action Ministries.

Holiday In-Style: This became an annual event with beautifully decorated tables, style show and guest speaker that year was author/speaker, Debbie Stuart.

Becoming More Women’s Conference with author/speaker, Lysa TerKeurst.

Chocolate Extravaganza: A night full of fun, a great message and lot’s of chocolate.

Fashion Workshop:  I can’t remember the title of this one, but we had an amazing event with author/speaker/fashion stylist, Shari Braendel.

*several events became annual events as the ladies seemed to really enjoy them. 

I think I will stop there….I’m sure I’m leaving so many things out.  I actually went through all of our newsletters and went by the ads.  What sweet memories I have of all the ladies that always worked so hard but had so much fun putting on events.  I loved seeing ladies bring their neighbors, co-workers, friends and family to our events.

For me, the idea was to provide something relevant and something ladies would be proud to attend and bring their guests.

As I was going through the list of events, I also noticed all of the various ministries we provided for our ladies.  In my next post, I’ll list those and maybe it will spark an idea for you and your ladies. I’ll finish up with a post on what I would do different if I had it to do again and lessons learned.

If you missed the previous posts on this subject of putting together a women’s ministry, just click on each title and you can catch up.

How’s Your New Year Going?

My 10 Tips On Beginning a Woman’s Ministry In Your Church

My Tips On Putting Together a Woman’s Ministry Newsletter

I would love to hear what you love about your women’s ministry.

Thanks so much for following along.  I always love reading your comments either left here on the blog or sent to me by email.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 10 Tips On Beginning a Women’s Ministry In Your Church…

 

Are you ready to talk about women’s ministry?

Whether you are a leader, a participant or just curious about how to begin a women’s ministry, maybe the next couple of articles on my blog will be of some help.

You may have a question such as, “Beverly, what could you possibly know about women’s ministry that I don’t already know?”

GOOD QUESTION!

I don’t claim to know much of anything at all.  I just go by my experience and what I’ve been through in my 58 years of life! ha!  Some good and some not so good.  I love this scripture in God’s Word:

“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17

 

We can all learn so much from each other if we share with one another what we know and have learned.   We may even help one another from going through some of those not so good things that could happen and become wiser and stronger.

Nope….I didn’t go to college and major in Women’s Ministry.  Although I wish I would have when my husband was in Seminary.  I worked while he attended school.  Bummer!

As a new Christian in the church at the age of 14, I was drawn to the pastor’s wives and missionary wives.  I wanted to learn so much from them as well as the older women in the church. I wanted to know everything possible to become a mighty woman of God.  The church I grew up in from the age of 14 on, didn’t have a women’s ministry.  I do remember a time when some special classes were taught by women of the church to teens and women on how to be a Godly woman.  I soaked it up.  Every now and then on Wednesdays nights, the women would gather and have a time of prayer.  The staff wives would lead and I loved hearing the women pray about the things of the church.

When I married at the age of 20, we prepared to sell everything we had (which wasn’t much) and move to the Dallas area and attend a Bible Seminary.  What an exciting and scary time.  I could tell your stories about that season, but, that will have to be another day.  It was a sweet time as well as an interesting time.

Our first church that we served in while in Bible college, gave us so many sweet memories while my husband served as the youth pastor/associate pastor.  In our our youth group we formed a group called “Christian Womanhood.” (My husband led a group called, “Christmas Manhood”.) What a sweet group of girls we had.  We studied what it was to be a young woman of God.  We actually began a girls choir. What’s funny about that one, is, I can’t sing.  We also had a Mother’s Day Conference.  I knew nothing, but it was a success.  I was 21, newly married and scared out of my mind.

Our second church we served in; my husband was the pastor.  It was a tiny church.  I started off with just having ladies in my home for get togethers and we attended a ladies conference nearby.  This was a very small church and money was extremely tight.  I had a new born and a 3 year old.  I only did what I could to get the women together when I could.

The next stop on our journey was a larger church and it didn’t have a women’s ministry.  I was hungry to learn from other women in the area of living my life as a pastor’s wife.  I read whatever I could get my hands on.  I stayed busy helping my husband however I could in his ministry while homeschooling and raising our children.

We then were called to another church where my husband served as youth pastor.  Again, no women’s ministry.  I talked to the pastor’s wife and she wasn’t interested at all as she was busy and worked full time.  So, we started small with a ladies conference to kick it off.  From there, several women got interested and a few little ministries developed.  This was the time that I learned some serious lessons in how dangerous women’s ministry can be if the wrong people are in charge.  Woowee…..I won’t go into details, but let’s just say,  if someone wants to start a “Secret Sisters” group, you might be in a pickle if the ladies that are in charge take it upon themselves to get on to  participants if they didn’t give a gift or card for the month. Not just get on to, but a good chewing out might be the right word.  I’ll just leave that one right there.  We eventually got a new pastor at this particular church who loved women’s ministry.  She took the reigns and did a great job with it.

I learned many lessons at that time, good and bad.  Not just in women’s ministry, but in every area of service.  I can share some of those lessons at another time.

Years later we were involved in a church as laypeople.  (That means, not in full-time ministry.)

I was asked if I would be interested in starting a ladies Bible class.  The thought scared me terribly and after praying about it, I had peace that was what I was to do.  As I was preparing, I thought how awesome it would be to possibly begin a women’s ministry at the same time.  When I visited with the pastor about it, he was on board with the idea.  So off we went.  What a fun time of learning, sharing and  many lessons, once again.  I wouldn’t trade the nine years of this season for anything.

So from there, I will share what I know and how we did our women’s ministry and maybe there is something that will help or prevent some issues in your ministry.

The sweet girls from our very first ministry. I’m the scared looking girl in the middle of the back row!

Enough of where you’ve been, Beverly, where’s those 10 tips?

Here they are…

  1.  If you don’t have the full support and backing of your pastor and staff, don’t even think about it!  You should operate under the guidance of your pastor.  Know what he wants and doesn’t want.  Communicate with him on a regular basis.  Clear all ideas and plans through him. (or whoever the pastor has chosen to be over the women’s ministry)  Women’s Ministry is a ministry that is just as important as a children’s ministry or anything else and if your pastor/staff doesn’t see that, they will never catch the vision and support you.
  2. Know what your purpose is for having a women’s ministry.  We set a Mission Statement which read, “The women’s ministry of …. seeks to encourage women in spiritual growth, discipleship, enrichment, ministry and evangelism.  This goal will be accomplished by providing resources, training, enrichment events and a supporting network.”
  3. PRAY!  Pray about everything!  Every little detail and every big detail.  Ask God for wisdom.  Take everything to Him as you plan.  Be sensitive to His guidance in what the ladies of your church need and what you are actually capable of.
  4. Form a leadership team.  Remember when I said pray?  Well, you need to pray over this one for sure.  Be wise.  You want a leadership team that is made up of women that love God with all their hearts and live a life that is evident of that love.  I didn’t say perfect women.  Women who are wise, godly and forgiven.  Once you build your team, build a relationship with each one of them.  I made it a habit to have lunch with each one by themselves on a regular basis. You might find yourself in a pickle by someone on the team that is contrary to everything possible and it might even be evident that they don’t like you very much.  I pray that never happens to you, but, it it does, hopefully, I can help. Just so happens I have experience in this one.  We will talk about that one tomorrow.
  5. Get to know the women of the church!  Step out of your box and speak to everyone.  Doesn’t matter age, race, economic status or whatever else there is.  Do your best to form a relationship the best that you can with each woman that is in your sphere of influence. Stay clear of cliques.  You really can’t afford to have your own special group of ladies.  You have to be open to everyone.  As crazy as it may seem, it can be a lonely place to be since you aren’t connected to groups.
  6. With your team, put a plan in place for the coming year.  Clear it all through your pastor/staff.  Make sure everyone is on the same page.
  7. Have a kick-off of the ministry.  This could be a full-blown conference, or something simple as a pot luck dinner.  This is where you will introduce the ministry, the team and all that will be available through the new women’s ministry.  A good idea would be to have your pastor at this event to share his approval and his vision as well.
  8. You are now on your way to a successful women’s ministry that could change a woman’s life.  This ministry could be the key that gives a woman hope, encouragement to keep on the path of living a life sold out for Christ. Think of all the lives that are changed just from one woman.  Her husband, her children, her home life, her work environment, her city, her country and her world.  Pretty amazing to think about, isn’t it?
  9. Manage your time.  If you love women’s ministry and enjoy every aspect of it, you will find yourself spending hours everyday working on projects.  I honestly don’t think I could have spent the nine years that I did as women’s ministry director, if I had children at home.  That’s just me, though.  Did I mention I was volunteer?  There are some churches that hire a full time director.  I’m not sure how different that would be….maybe just in a salary of some type. I’m only experienced in serving as a volunteer, paying my own expenses. Lunches, workshops, conferences do add up.  So you might need to figure that out as well. All churches operate differently.
  10. I feel compelled to say this again.  Pray.  Be sensitive and strong at the same time.  You may be confronted with issues that you never even dreamed of and that you would rather not deal with.  As my husband told me as he gave me his blessing to serve in this capacity.  “You are going to have a target on your back, be ready.”  That’s sad, isn’t it.  That was one of the best pieces of advice that I got. The enemy for sure doesn’t want a woman to be at peace and to live a life of godliness, does he?  So, be prepared for attacks in the strangest ways.  Also be prepared in seeing some amazing and exciting things happen in the lives of women in your church.

See you tomorrow for a few more ideas in developing your women’s ministry.  Feel free to share thoughts or questions.

I would love for you to be a regular subscriber to my blog.  You can find the link on the side of my blog.  Just enter your email and you will be on the list to receive the latest articles in your email inbox.  Your email address is safe.

May you always be seeking to have a heart like His!

 

 

And….How’s It Going With Your New Year Plans?

It is January, 26th of the New Year!  How’s it going so far?  Are all your plans, goals and resolutions working out?

For me, it’s going a bit slower than I planned.  I’m a dreamer, so I spend way too much time dreaming and then a bit slow on the action part.

One of my goals for this year is to have my entire house totally dejunked and uncluttered.  No more hanging on to things in case I need them.  The easiest part is cleaning out drawers and cabinets.  The hardest is my closet.  It’s organized and cleaned out, I just have an excess amount of clothes.  Oh, I guess I should mention… in a couple of sizes.  I keep thinking I will fit into some of my favorites.  I’ve given myself  a deadline of fitting into the smaller sizes and if I don’t reach it…out it goes.  Which…is hard, because everything in my closet I LOVE!  I’ll keep you posted on that one.

As I was cleaning out my office, I came across all of my things from when I served as a women’s ministry director of our church for nine years.  I was thumbing through them and what sweet memories came across my desk.  I can remember each one.  I loved serving in this capacity and I miss it terribly.  After nine years it became evident it was time to pass the torch, maybe I should say baton, on to someone else.

Before I get rid of all of these items I thought I would do a few blog posts on the subject of Women’s Ministry.  I’m not an expert by any means, but, I might know a little tiny bit and if I can pass on any info that will help someone….I will do my best.  With all the highs, there were a couple of lows and hopefully, those will only help you to do what maybe I should have done better.

I kept a file with cards and notes that I received from so many sweet ladies over the years.  I will really hate to part with those, but, I guess I shouldn’t hang on to them forever, right?  As I was reading them, there were a couple that weren’t so sweet.  I learned very fast that not everyone was as excited about women’s ministry as I was and they were determined to always cause a problem.  Maybe just maybe if you are dealing with an issue such as that, I can help.  Hindsight is always better, isn’t it!   I didn’t really have anyone to glean wisdom from personally.  I mainly received my encouragement from books and workshops on the subject of women’s ministry.  More on that later.

Stay tuned and I’ll be writing my article on this subject and maybe spend about three days on it next week.  So, if you don’t have any interest at all in ministering to women, hang with me, it won’t last forever, I promise.  But, for those of you that are in women’s ministry or you just attend your local women’s ministry events, maybe there will be a tiny bit of something to encourage you.

Okay, back to my decluttering and I will see you Monday morning with the first article on Women’s Ministry.  You may hear from me before then about a couple of other things swirling in my mind.

Have a great Friday and a restful weekend!

 

 

10 Ways to Become a Woman of Influence

Have you thought of building friendships with the ladies that serve with your in your church?  As a pastor’s wife, you have a group of ladies around you that are hungry to learn from you and most of all, to have a friend that loves them and prays for them.  I thought I would share some of my ideas in beginning a ministry with these ladies.  I would have loved to have had this in my life when we were in full-time ministry.

  1.  Get together once a month for lunch and use this time to get to know one another so you know how to better pray for each other.
  2. Attend a women’s conference together and learn things that will build your personal lives as well as the church.
  3. Go on a shopping trip together.  This would be a fun and casual way to build a relationship.
  4. Have the ladies in your home for a luncheon or dessert.  It’s very rare these days to host people in our homes.  Practice true hospitality with these special ladies. Show them what hospitality is….don’t just talk about it.
  5. Have each of the staff couples over for dinner in your home.
  6. Do a Bible Study designed for  pastor’s wives together.
  7. Suggest books that you know would be an encouragement to their marriage, home building, child raising and ministry.
  8. Get to know their children.  Pray for each child.  Find out their birthdates and send a card on their special day. Be a friend to their kiddos.
  9. Pray regularly for these women.
  10. Always be a source of encouragement and be a true friend to each lady.

You may be in a small church and not even have a staff to work with.  I’m sure there are some teachers, ministry leaders and deacon wives that would love to have you take an interest in them.    You have people in your path that need your wisdom and guess what? You need them!  You may find that you are being ministered to yourself.

You will be teaching and sharing your wisdom of life in the ministry with these ladies as they get to know you and watch you as you love your husband, home and children.  They will see how you love the church and each member.  You will be giving an example to these ladies that they will carry on in their lives as they minister along with their husbands.  These couples may move on to another church someday and I can almost promise you that she will be so grateful for the love and the wisdom that you showed her during her time under your care.

Don’t miss this opportunity to make a difference in someones life.  Don’t leave it up to someone else to reach out.  Even if you have a thriving women’s ministry in your church, don’t think that is enough.  You need to have a true bond with the women who walk in the same shoes as you.  You need to be a team and support one another.

I hope you will begin today and build a ministry with the very ladies that are in ministry right alongside of you.

Maybe you have already built a solid relationship with your fellow staff wives of your church and ministry leaders.  If so, I would love for you to share what  you have done or plan to do to reach the women in your circle of influence.

You may be reading this and not in full-time ministry.  I hope you were still inspired to use the tips that I shared and reach out to the women in your life and design a way to build a relationship and become an inspiration to them.  It could be the women in your business, the women in your husbands office, your neighbors, friends, and family.  We have some work to do, don’t we?  I know I do.

I’m linking with A Wise Woman Builds Her Home blog.

 

The Glass House Can Get Messy!

After being in full time ministry alongside my husband for two decades of our marriage, I discovered that yes, being a pastor’s wife is a lonely place to be. At least that is how it was when we served. During our time, money was extremely tight, we never had any extra money for anything outside of the basic needs. I really didn’t mind living that way.  I never really thought about it much; I just knew that this was our calling and I was at peace with that. My focus was on my home and family. There were few times that I wished we could take a simple vacation or at least get away once in a while without the worry of finances. I did feel the pressure to be able to supply Christmas or birthday gifts for friends and family members that had grown accustomed to not really receiving anything of much value from us. Our lifestyle was very different from what I see today with the mega churches on the rise. I’m wondering if anyone would understand how we lived in those very lean years.  I feel like one of those people that try to tell their kids that they walked to school barefoot in 10 feet of snow.  I have some stories from our years in ministry  that make me wish I walked to school in 10 feet of snow!  We will see if I’m brave enough to share them in the near future.

A few years ago when I was serving as women’s director of our church, we were preparing for a large event. One of the new staff wives had agreed to put a table together with her ministry information out. With just a few hours before the event would begin, her table sat empty and I hadn’t heard from her. I asked a couple of ladies if they had seen her or knew if she were coming. No one had heard anything.  I then went to the office and thought I would ask her husband if he knew if she was coming up to prepare her table before the event. He very angrily looked at me and said, “My wife is very busy packing for our cruise, so no, she won’t be coming.”  I said, “okay” and slipped out quietly and removed her table that was waiting for her. No problem. All I could think of was, “Wow!  first of all…enjoy your cruise and second of all…if my husband had talked to  someone like that, his head would have been on a platter at the next staff meeting!” So, yes, times have changed since we were in ministry.  I have to admit, I had a very hard time with the man who talked to me that way and his wife who never apologized and for the lady that was in his office as I walked in who obviously went and told him I was asking about his wife’s plans.  I got over it though, I grew to love this couple and only wanted the best for them as they ministered.  They did a wonderful job as they served the church.  Now, for the lady that trotted in to tell him that I was asking about his wife….I struggled a little bit longer on that one…but, I got over it.  All is well!  Seriously!  It is!

I was 21 years old when my husband first served full time at a church.  Oh, he also went to seminary full time.  This was an exciting time for us.  Together we answered God’s call on our lives to serve Him full time. I was also hungry for discipleship and just to learn the ways of the ministry. I read everything I could possibly read and sought out wisdom from people that I knew in ministry. My former pastor’s wife that I grew up under, took me aside for a short season and shared with me many things that I still remember to this day. I was able to share with her my fears and my struggles. She was my source of encouragement. But, she had her own world that she was very busy with, so I tried not to bother her. I waited for her to reach out to me. Soon, I didn’t hear much from her at all.  There were so many times I thought, “what would she do in this situation?”  If you knew her, you would say, “Um, you probably don’t want to know what she would do.”  She was a spitfire.  She didn’t take anything from anyone.  I wasn’t her…..I was the total opposite.  I was like…”hey,  you can say those mean things about me, you can chew me out just because you can and I will be hurt, but I will still be your friend.”   Since those years, I’m a little bit more calloused and I might not be your friend, but I will wish the best for you.  Maybe. (wink)

After three other churches and many years later, I  learned so much about the ministry; the goodness of people and the oh,  not so pretty part of people.  I learned things about myself as well.  My weaknesses showed and I did eventually learn  to turn my weaknesses into becoming a stronger person.  I’m still working on that by the way.

As I look back on all those years I see something that was desperately missing. I never really saw a strong bond among fellow staff wives/pastor’s wives that served together in the same church. At one of the churches we were at, they had a large staff and my husband and I were basically at the bottom of the totem pole and were reminded on several occasions that we weren’t really on the level of the others due to our time at this particular church and our status of living. As if life wasn’t hard enough, right?  I also saw a power struggle at a couple of the churches we were at among the wives and even the men. I discovered that the less I had to do with anything the better. I concentrated on my home and would soon learn that was even attacked by some. Yes, I even got a note one time accusing me of sheltering my children too much. (I homeschooled our children, and this didn’t set well with some) I missed fellowship but it seemed too messy. Fortunately, I gained a wonderful friend who became a life saver for me. She was a bit older than me, but we had so much in common and I loved being around her and hearing her stories and being inspired by her life. That too, was a sore spot as I was informed by a pastor that I had to be careful with her friendship.

I’m sure some of you reading this are saying to yourself, “what in the world…that sounds crazy. I’ve never had anything like that go on in our ministry!”   I know, right?!  I am convinced that some of the things that we saw and went through just can’t be normal. All I can attritute it to is….the enemy had our number the second we surrended our lives to full time ministry; because, the second we did, all heck (or should I use the word “hell”….that is where the evil one is from, right?) broke lose.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” I Peter 5:8

“So, Beverly, Why are you sharing this…what if it discourages someone!”

I’m so glad you asked!

“And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another.” Romans 15:14

My 10 Reasons for Sharing My Heart:

  1. It helps me to get it out of my head and in print so I can makes sense of some things.
  2. I feel that there may be someone struggling with some of the same issues and need help and encouragement.  (I truly hope you aren’t going through any of the things I did.)
  3. There may be a lay person reading this that will reach out to the men and women that have gladly given of their time and service to the people of the church.
  4. If you are a pastor’s wife, you will seek out the women on the staff of the church and encourage and train the women serving along side of you.
  5. If you have been through similar situations that I share, I only pray that you will be encouraged to forgive, learn and share with others how Christ desires our lives to be in admonishing and lifting one another up to better serve Him.
  6. No one is above anyone, treat everyone with the same respect
  7. Your pastor(s) and their wives need your love, your forgiveness, your encouragement and most of all your prayers.
  8. Always know that the enemy is alive and well and is out to destroy your pastor, his family and the church.
  9. When your church is hurting, you are hurting.
  10. Regardless of where you serve, whether a full time pastor/wife or a lay person….Get in the Word and live your life fully for Christ!

My Disclaimer:

If you know me personally, don’t be trying to figure out who, what or where.  I don’t ever share names of people or places unless it helps the story and I have permission.  I may even mix up a few details so you won’t try to figure anyone out.  I don’t claim to have all the answers and I don’t claim to be perfect by any means.  I also don’t sugar coat anything.  I do know my life and I refuse to let the enemy win anything in my life.  I will use the discouragements, the cruel works of others as examples of how to turn it around for good.   I will use it to be a better person and to help others to not fall for his evil ways.  I will share the good and give all the honor and glory to Jesus Christ, the one who began a good work and continues to allow me learn and lean on Him for my comfort and understanding.

Be sure to subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss a post.  Tomorrow, I will share some ways for women in ministry to build a team among one another in order to be stronger and lift one another up.

Make a difference in someone’s life today! (in a good way)

An Idea:  Pick out a pastor’s wife or fellow staff wife and send her a card with a word of encouragement….today.  It will make her day!  I can almost guarantee that!

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” I Thessalonians 5:11

Blessings!

Confessions of a Former Pastor’s Wife

I am working on a book that will deal with the things that I witnessed personally and with others while serving in full-time ministry along side of my husband.  Yes; the good, the bad and the not so pretty.  I have such great memories and how thankful I am that God allowed me to serve in such exciting ways.  I also have some memories that hurt deeply and I saw the not so pretty side of ministry.  I wasn’t sure if this would be a subject that would be needed and I shared an article with one of my favorite author ladies, she is an author/pastors wife/women’s ministry leader/loving wife and mother, Lois Evans. Click here to read more about her.  She published the article on her blog for pastor’s wives and so I thought I would use that to start off my series, Looking Back at the Glass House. Click here for the actual post.  I hope it makes a difference somehow for someone.  If you know  someone who is serving in ministry, I would love for you to share this with them.  Enjoy….

My Dad’s A Preacher!

“Oh, I bet you can’t, because your dad is a preacher!” Has anyone ever said this to your children? Would they know how to respond? You may want to prepare your children today, because more than likely, they will hear these very words throughout their childhood and into their teen years.

The Word of God is filled with verses that encouraged me to teach my children to love and serve God with all their heart, soul and mind. My goal was for my children to have their own convictions and not mine when they were grown. During our teaching and training years, we are able to teach, share and hopefully instill God’s ways into their hearts that will last a lifetime.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9

There was one area that I was really particular about and that was to teach my children that if we did or didn’t do something a certain way, it was not because their father was a preacher. We honored God with our words and our actions because of our duty to bring honor and glory to God, not because their dad was a pastor. I have yet to find a verse that says anything that sounds like, “and because your father is a pastor you can’t ______________” or “and since your father is a pastor you must ________”

I learned this lesson when I was about 16. I had only been a Christian for a couple of years. Going to movies wasn’t really a big part of my life and my family didn’t have the extra money that it took to go. As I was growing in my faith and attending Bible Studies, I heard often about how Christians didn’t go to movies. One day I was talking to my very good friend at that time and asked her this question, “what do you say to people when they ask you why you don’t go to movies?” She very smugly said, “my father is a deacon and so we don’t go to movies.” I then said, “Why? She said, “because my dad is a deacon and we just don’t do that.” To this day, 41 years later, I can still hear that conversation and even see where I was sitting and I remember in my mind thinking in my head, “that is not a good reason at all!” Granted, I understand now what she was really saying, but that type of answer just wasn’t good enough for me!

Many years later when our son was about 8 years old, he had spent the day at the home of a very good friend. This was a sweet family that attended the church that my husband was serving as the associate pastor. When our son came home that evening, he was telling me all about his day and informed me that the family had sat down to watch a movie together. It was a movie that was out at that time that my husband and I had rented before and we actually stopped it because of the subject matter. If I told you the name of the movie you would probably laugh because it is a mild movie compared to what is normal today. I had told our kids about this movie and how we had stopped it due to the things that were in the movie. When the father of this family was starting the movie and mentioned the name, my son said, “I’m not allowed to watch that movie.” The dad then said, “oh, probably because your dad is a preacher.” Fortunately they didn’t watch the movie that day. When my son told me this story, it was a perfect opportunity to explain that his daddy being a preacher has nothing to do with it. It has to do with keeping our hearts and minds pure and not watching things that God doesn’t want to fill our minds with.

The words, “because your daddy is a preacher” was never said in our home. The convictions that we had and I pray even today, as they are adults, are because of their love and honor of God and His ways not because of man’s rules.

“But, as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, Be holy, for I am holy.” I Peter 1:15-16

Beverly Dillow

www.HisHeartMyDesire.com

Looking Back At The Glass House, are Beverly’s writings on her life as a pastor’s wife. “Many lessons were learned and if I would have had a mentor along the side of me, I may have endured that season just a little bit better!” Her prayer is that “Looking Back At The Glass House” would serve as a mentor and be an encouragement to those women in the middle of serving alongside their husband, while raising a family and loving her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I’m linking this post at: A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

 

Women’s Ministry Memories!

Our church was looking for a new youth pastor and the pastor asked my husband to fill in until they found someone.  I was 21 and hadn’t been married a year yet.  We took a group of teens to a winter camp in Colorado.  I was in a cabin with several girls and one night a young girl about 15 woke me up to talk. She shared with me that she thought she was pregnant.  This was a beautiful young lady who was visiting our church at the time.  I remember mostly just listening to her and in my head I was begging the Lord for the right words to say and the right way to help.  I didn’t have a clue of how to handle a situation like this.  Along with my husband’s guidance, I did my best in being someone that she needed in the area of talking to her parents and guiding her in some steps to take.

Shortly after, our church had a Family Life Seminar with Tim and Beverly LaHaye.  I was honored to help one of our pastor’s with the planning of the seminar.  When the seminar took place, I was awestruck by the ministry of Beverly LaHaye.  She had a passion to see women live their lives in a way that brought honor and glory to the Lord through their marriages, raising children and serving in the church.

When my husband went to seminary, we served in a church where my husband worked full-time as  youth/ associate pastor.  This is where my passion for equipping young girls and women to be all that God desires for them really began.  Here are a couple of pictures I found of the Christian Womanhood Class that we started.  I would love to know where these girls are now!  Notice the monogramed jumpers?  They sang as a group, too!  So cute!  The second picture shows the girls and I during our first event, “Hat’s Off To Mom!”   (early 80’s)

 

IMG_20140829_0001 IMG_20140829_0002

 

 

 

The following pictures are just a sample of some of the amazing women that I have met over the years while serving in women’s ministry and going to various women’s events .

IMG_0065 IMG_0239 IMG_0514 IMG_0534 IMG_0542 IMG_1010 IMG_1054Bev & LizDSC01652Let_Your_Life_Count_final_-168x264Jenny-Beverly-Ayeishakathy-in-chair1-200x300IMG_1831IMG_1834Lanenewheadshot-241x3002011-10-06-252C-Donna-252C-Beverly-Dillow418699_10151072242048052_552685418_n DSC00640DSC00584DSC00602DSC00605IMG_2631IMG_3004Small-Head-ShotIMG_4419

 

There are many more that I didn’t get or have a picture of.  Can you recognize any of them?

I will always remember that first young girl that came to me in the middle of the night with a desperate need of help and I wasn’t at all equipped to help her.  I vowed way back at that first meeting of that little Christian Womanhood Class, to be equipped myself and to teach other’s to live their lives as God designed.