What are the issues facing the women of your church today?
Career or work related?
I ask because it seems women today are facing such a wide array of problems. It is easy for me to fall into thinking it is only the women of my church... but I don t think that is the case.
I think women everywhere are facing pretty much the same issues. At least, that is what it seems as I talk with and listen to others either in my local community, across my state, and throughout the US and beyond via Internet friends, websites and message boards.
Women I know are hungry spiritually. They are hungry for real friendships and fellowship (emotional). They are hungry for peace and quiet (physical). They are hungry for real genuine rest (physical).
I guess what I see the most is that women are hungry spiritually. The solutions the world has offered us aren't meeting needs and we seem to be more and more driven back to the basics of God's truths. Once our spiritual needs are met, all else falls in proper perspective.
We really are desperate for more and more of Jesus..........I'm just not sure we realize the depth of our desperateness. It really IS all about Him!!!
..............just my thoughts!!!
I would have to say that the women in my church are so starved for a deeper spiritual walk that they no longer feel hunger pains. A large percentage treat church and their relationship with the Lord as just a small piece of the pie. We offer several Bible studies at different times and locations. We have conferences, and special programs at the church. I run accross very few women who are sold out to God. To tell you the truth, I sometimes feel like they are spoiled.
Here are some of the issues that I have counseled with women in the last weeks.
Divorce - feelings of loss, grief, and abandoment
Infidelity - betrayed, loss of trust, pain
Living With boyfriend -
Breast Cancer - widowed with 3 kids
Sandwiched generation - stress taking care of elderly mother, grown children, and grandchildren
This too is my experience. As a Bible study teacher committed to serving the "meat", how do I combat this? What is the answer? Are our variety of programs and studies an exercise in futility? At times, it feels like we are banging our head against a concrete wall! I know there are churches an communities out there experiencing revival and hunger for God's Word among the women. But not in my experience. Any ideas on how to motivate women to sell out to God?
P.S. I am curious about your statement that the women you know are spoiled. Because they have so many opportunities, yet do not take advantage of them, or ...... ?
Yes, that is what I meant. We are so spoiled in this nation. We have several copies of the Bible and all kinds of classes in which to learn what the Bible is saying and we don't participate for various reasons or excuses. They have so many opportunities to really learn to love Him with all their heart, soul, minds, and strength but they don't stick with it long enough. I believe there are numerous reasons. Some get involved in Bible study and get convicted over something and pull away from God and drop out. They don't want to open up old wounds or go any deeper. (Satan sure loves that) I think some of them are just plain lazy. We offered a 5 week series on Sunday nights a year ago. There was no homework or long term committments (come as often as you like). They showed up in droves! We had to bring in more chairs. They came every week just to soak up the teachings and brought friends. So I think some of this non-committment thing we are seeing in our churches is lazyiness. Some of these women are just apathetic.
Every month the women's council and I get together for extended prayer time. Number one on our list is REVIVAL. We know it has to start in us first. I love Him so much and He has given me a love for His girls that is so intense I just can't hardly stand it some days. I want them to know this abundant life that Jesus gives us!
This may sound really dumb, but something that is an issue with me is my lack of having any friends beyond my own church family. We have so many church activities that there is no time for other organizations, or inviting anyone over etc. At work, I'm pretty much on my own, and don't have but a few minutes at break to visit with employees. So basically, the only people I visit with are Christians - not only that, but mainly from my own church. - I really recognized this while doing the "Conversation Peace" study. So many of the things that are brought up in there, I just don't see as a problem. Which is nice - except how am I being salt and light? I'm not really. So that's why it's an issue for me.
I think one of the most difficult things I face is not having close friends. I have friends at church but no one I can pal around with or seek out when I have a problem.
On a good side, it is pushing me to stay close to God or just wither. But, I see women at church who have lifelong friends and since I moved alot, in my later teen years, I don't have that.
I agree with Sadean on that also. We moved when our children were in h.s. Never seemed to develop close friendships here, it's a small town and everyone had their own clique. So now, even my church friends seem to have family close by and those my age (grandma stage) are so busy with family relationships, they don't seem to have time for "just friends things". Plus my husband and I don't have any interests in common, so his friends (who tend to be found in the bar) are not my friends, and he doesn't have much use for my friends. So having couples as friends doesn't happen. - I have taken to being friends with elderly widow ladies; but they can't physcally do alot of "just girl things" I'd still like to do and also I really think it has made the young ones in our church think I'm older than I am.
Actually rather lonely when it gets down to it,
I have had the same problem concerning friends. I moved away after high school to go to college, then right after college got married and moved away again. Then several moves in the last 25 years with my husband's job.
I have been in Wilmington since 1997. I joined BSF and CBS and went to every Beth Moore study I heard about. Along the way, I have developed friends who love the Lord and His Word.
Some of us started going out to lunch on occasion and now for the last several years we have a weekly lunch date. We determine a few months in advance where we are going each week, everyone notes it on their calendars and we meet each other at the designated restaurant. What a blessing to see these ladies weekly and catch up with what everyone is doing. After several years of doing this, I count these ladies among my friends.
A year ago our lunch group formed a Christian Red Hat group and added some more ladies to our fellowship. So once a month we go out dressed in our red hats and purple outfits. What a blast! We have also gone on a trip to Charleston, SC together.
Currently, I have a group of 14 ladies meeting in my home studying Believing God. I was thrilled to have some ladies come that I did not know previously. I am praying that I will make new friends from this group.
I think it would have been wonderful to have had a lifelong friend or two, but I find that I am growing and changing myself, and God is sending my way other like-minded Christians and I believe that He can knit kindred hearts together even in a short time. So I am blessed to have a number of special ladies in my life, who I have not known for years, but yet count them as sisters and friends.
Friendship- I agree that is a huge issue.
Women who have been in my church since it's beginning are all friends. And the newer people are friends. There's very little crossing of the lines.
And ages don't mix much except for the Bible studies.
I've only been there 2.5 yrs. The women on our WM team and our Girl's Ministry team are my friends. But even with that I can't share everything with them.
Since our church has gone thru a time of 'transitition' it has been difficult to encourage new friendships.... I hate to say this but I've had a hard time knowing who to trust. There's been a whole lot of hurting going on....
But God is at work, and things are changing!!!!
And now people are crossing the line of faith every week!!! Praise God!!!!!!!! He is faithful!!!!!!!!!
WOW, I don't feel so alone now that I know others have the same difficulties I do. Thank you Lord for that. You are always faithful. You always fill the gap--to overflowing.
I wanted to chime in here. I know this post is a couple of months old, but I have seen something in our women that deeply concerns me... MARTHA SYNDROME coupled with fear of knowing...
They all are busy carting kids, keeping jobs and balancing home and career that the first thing to go is BIBLE STUDY. "I come to church, I serve in this ministry on Sundays... but you know that (time) you do Bible study is really the only time I have to spend with ____________ and that is MY time so I am just not going to do it this turn." This turn turns into several months, even years.
Everyone feels compelled to serve, but no one seems compelled to grow spiritually beyond a sermon a week - which is really no growth at all. We have strong relationships... I have a couple of very good friends at church and my pastor's wife is someone I can share anything with. There is another woman who I share with more openly than my own mother, and then outside of church I have a cousin who is about 10 years older than I am and she and I connect spiritually and covenant to pray for one another regularly.
Yet, the women at the church thirst for God and fill it with people (their families and friends), things (more financial success and material possessions), jobs (more work), and anything else the world offers, dimestore novels, television fillers, and well the list goes on... What is sad is they are doing it to their kids, little league practice, dance class, music lessons, and extracurricular school activities drive kids far beyond limits - some do not even get home until 8 - 9 PM each night because Mom and/or Dad works until 6 and then practice, a drive thru meal and this is working 4 or 5 nights a week. On weekends there are the games and the constant running of errands that cannot be done during the week, until the entire family collapses in front of a less than appetizing meal, that is less than homemade and a television offering a temporary escape and they all oversleep Sunday missing the only opportunity to meet with God they could have made all week. So what is the solution.. this is really not a judgment - it is the way we lived before God got my attention - How do we stop the perpetual cycle of neglecting God in our individual lives. How do you promote women in leadership who don't even have time to meet with God... how are they going to serve if they are not fed??? I have one lady who has come to me and said she wants to teach... she feel strongly led in this direction - yet her cosmetics business comes before Bible study each week, she has missed at least half of the sessions we have had for discussion and I am concerned about her ability to teach the Word over life experience... So what next? Committment is a huge part of ministry and if they cannot be committed to a personal relationship how can they be committed to helping others develop one?
Am I out in the weeds or too controlling in this matter or are these valid concerns... ?
Then they get mad because you cannot keep up with their schedule...
It is a frustrating and haphazard cycle. We are going to offer more opportunities and offer a guided study class next to our In Depth study because I believe a lot of women are flailing in the In Depth studies simply because they have never really studied in this way before.
We've outlined a ministry purpose and goal in our ministry and we are doing what is working and changing what doesn't.
I kow not everyone can be on the same level I am, but if I am responsible for the ministry and need the help where do I draw the line....
For teachers, I plan to set the bar high, for service oriented type issues, decorating, registration and so on... I will ask only for committment.
When I get to talk to them, the response is generally the same... I am really too busy for that and if I actually find something out that I need to change, then I will have to change or sin... and well I would just rather not know. Honest... I have heard it put in those terms.
In December we went to a conference in San Antonio - the Lifeway Women's Conference - no doubt... and the women who went along were many of the same who had attended our spring Women of Faith event in the same city. We got down there and the first night of course we heard Beth speak and that was wonderful, the next day we were so blessed by Mandissa Hundley and hearing Beth again... and by the end of the day we had all gone shopping and so on.. well, some of the women went amongst themselves - not approaching our guests, myself or the pastor's wife and agreed among themselves to just sit out the evening session which was fine... if that is what they wanted to do. But the evident intention was to go out and enjoy the atmosphere of San Antonio on Friday night. I was completely upset by the entire outcome. I felt as if they had deceived me and did not trust me to understand they just did not want to go that evening. We should have all had a chance to make the same choice. But, as we concluded that last day and Jennifer Rothchild spoke, I could really see the only reason that most of them came was to see Beth Moore and when Beth was no longer there, well, they no longer were interested. We had one woman who was really hurting and needing to stay, while others tapped their watches impatiently waiting for the final note of music to play and for us to leave. It broke my heart... but I had to get over it and press on... I could not accept responsibility for the decision they had made. I had to be willing to stick to my desires and live consistent with God's calling on my life and be patient with others who are just not there yet.
MichelleThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Michelle.Bentham,
Oh, and as for me... I know that I am to trust God over what I see in the women around me, know He is working even when the evidence fails me and Pray believing that He is working and I have what I ask for...
I guess I just needed to vent.
You are not alone! You could have been describing my experience and the ladies in my church! It is frustrating and depressing; and I have had to fight disappointment and resentment.
What is the answer? What do we do? I like what you said about offering other types of study other than in depth, which I have tried, sort of. The problem is, I am pretty much it as far as leading studies, and I am worn out from doing it all.
You are right, I too am seeking to
Let us not grow weary!
P.S. I am also "onethingidesire", but could not log in as such????
I counsel with women on a regular basis. Some of the common issues that I have seen have been:
Many women I meet with lack strength and dignity. They fall apart when the husband forgets their anniversary. They rely heavily on the husband to meet deep needs. They seek for thier needs to be met. Instead of seeking the very heart and person of God, they only are seeking the quick fix he can give. But when God doesn't give it, they give up. Really lack patience and faith.
They allow children to push them around. They are afraid of being the "bad guy".
Circumstances and people control them and their feelings.
Proverbs 31 describes a virteous woman. One of the big characteristics there seems to be strength and dignity. This woman finds fulfillment in being a keeper of the home. Doesn't care what society says about that. She just stays focused. She doesn't look out for her own interests, only the interest of her family and others.
I would love to see more women come to hear God's word in depth. Women today do lack spiritual depth or "meat" of the Word. But I don't think that there is really anything I can do as a person. I believe that comes from the Holy Spirit. I think that we must just focus in on what we need to teach and be faithful in everything God gives us to do.
I have found that people have responded well to personal invitations like to Sunday School and Bible Studies. I am not sure why, but I have seen a positive respone to that.
There are two things I face at my church. One is loneliness. It's hard, as a leader, to have a close friend. I seem to be spread all over the place with no one (female) to lean on. I, of course, have the LORD and my dh.
The other thing is when I see on TV or through a Beth Moore study that women are excited about the Word and about God and then they just aren't at my church. We have the same 6-10 women who come to the Bible studies.
But, I am praying.
I am a new member to the Lifeway community, but look forward to the opportunity of meeting women in ministry who face the same joys and trials that I do being a Women's Ministry Director.
I am a part of a smaller church and we too have the same few women who attend our Beth Moore studies - but man, how those women have grown in the Lord! We usually get different women based on the alternate study that we provide. Have you tried offering different studies to your women based on their needs? Different locations? We met at someone's home for a study, and had a completely different group of women. Don't get discouraged- keep on keeping on!
One thing that we have had to reevaluate is our women's needs at our church. Also, we have found that "PERSONAL INVITATIONS" to participate works far better than sign up sheets or just making announcements. Anyone else have advice about this?
Welcome to the Forums, I pray you find all you are looking for in this community. We are currently re-evaluating the dynamics of our women's ministry. I sat down in the last few months and through Scriptures came up with a four point plan for becoming Wome of the Word at our church. (That is our Women's Ministry Name...) The first is 1.) Spiritual Growth - James 1:19-27 receiving, responding to and residing in God Word, 2.) Teaching - Titus 2:3-5 passing on sound doctrine and teaching women to have their own personal relationship with God, 3.) Legacy - 2 Timothy 4:15-16 Growing women leaders in our church and passing our faith on to the next generation, 4.) Relationships - Hebrews 10:25, Acts 2:46-47 by promoting friendships, common interests and community to create life long bonds and networks of support in crisis.
I am also courting the seed planted in my heart to write a Bible basics course for women in our church, to create the forms for them to allow God to pour in a firm foundation of Scripture and Sound Doctrine for them to live their lives by. It is an ideal place to start teaching women to initiate a relationship with God, encourage them to mark their journey and pass it on to the next generation as leaders of this generation, and develop the relationships that women so desperately need with one another.
We are having book club this summer... Reading and discussing Christian genres in small groups once a month, and we are planning for social groups to begin meeting in the fall.
So yes, we are working on it. We also offer a fall women's conference at our church. Planning trips together seems to get women involved and going to the different events as well as creating an atmosphere of bonding.
Some of the things I want to do as well is to visit a Messianic Jewish church and learn more about their practices and beliefs.
I want to bring richness and wealth from God's Word to the women in our church. My desire is true to God's calling on my life. I am a seeker and a teacher with strong faith that marks the lives I encounter.
I am not discouraged or beaten down by the apathy in our women, it occurs to me that it is as much my responsibility to find the center with them as it is their responsibility to find the center with God.
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