Many times we are asked the question, “What is Women’s Ministries, and what does it do for the women of the church?” If I were to answer this question in three words, I would say, “Nurture, Empower, Outreach.” These three words express what Women’s Ministries is about and what we do.
Our aim is to nurture our sisters in the areas of spiritual and personal development. Having a daily relationship with Jesus is vital to our growth as daughters of God. To this end, we have created a number of Bible study lessons and seminars that emphasize the importance of prayer, Bible study, and personal devotions. The women’s devotional books are an important component of this as well.
We seek to empower women through training programs, such as the Leadership Certification Training seminars and health education seminars. Ellen White tells us that each woman “should develop and cultivate her powers, for God can employ them in the great work of saving souls from eternal ruin” (4 Testimonies, p. 642). We also help women through abuse prevention, economic and literacy empowerment, and health ministries.
Finally, we train, encourage, and motivate women to be involved in outreach through friendship evangelism, plant-aseed ministry, public evangelism, small group ministry, and much more. We believe that our name, Women’s Ministries, indicates clearly what we are about: women involved in service to others. Each woman using the gifts that God has given her to draw others to Jesus by first experiencing the love of Jesus through us.
Our homes are the center of influence not only our families but also our neighborhoods. “Homes of Hope and Healing” is small group ministry focusing primarily on outreach. In these groups, we invite our neighbors to join us for a time of healing and hope. We begin with what we call “bridge” lessons that focus on areas of health and personal development, such as self-esteem. Then gradually we move on to non-doctrinal Bible lessons and finally into Bible doctrines. This is a process and takes time, but during this process friendships are built that will last a lifetime. This is one of the key approaches to reach people. “Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me’” (Ministry of Healing, p. 143).
Jesus calls each man and each woman to serve God and others. Can we ignore this call? I pray your answer is “No!”
Heather-Dawn Small, Director, General Conference Women’s Ministries.