Care & Community, Event in Review Part 1

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It was another great event, with our community leaders coming together to learn about serving our communities (local and abroad) better.  We are quickly outgrowing our space, and the Lord has provided a new location for us.  The site and RSVP pages for all of our future events will be updated as soon as we know our exact move date.

Some highlights from our Care & Community Event:

Convoy of Hope’s Convoy:Women division sent us this amazing Empowering Women Party Kit for our women to preview.  This kit will help you put together a great event that raises funds for women in their at risk/trafficking rescue programs across the globe.  Additionally, they sent each Women’s Ministry Leader in attendance a great gift bag with information about Convoy:Women and Tumbler.    THANK YOU DOREE WITH CONVOY WOMEN! 

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We also had the opportunity to share with the leaders a ministry called “HOPE Mommies”, which is a two part ministry.  If you know of someone who has suffered the loss of a infant, during pregnancy or after, then you know how difficult it can be to work through that loss.  Churches can charter a HOPE Mommies Group and create a support network for the women in their church and community who have gone through this loss, and need a community who understands their pain.

You can also order a HOPE BOX (pictured below) to be sent to a woman in your church or community that has suffered a loss, or as a Women’s Ministry host a Hope Box Gathering where you can pack up multiple boxes and then take them to your local Hospital or Doctors Office where they can be distributed to grieving mothers. 

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All of our Women’s Ministry Leaders received the following in their gift bag, thanks to the ministries that support our work, and sent us information to share with the leaders. 

jan17wmcfguthriecrosswayCrossway Publishers donated sample chapters of “What Grieving People Wish You Knew” by Nancy Guthrie, and two full copies for us to give away.  Harvest House Publishers donated thirty copies of Women Counseling Women for our leaders to add to their Women’s Ministry Resource Libraries!  Do you have one?  Look for an upcoming post on suggestions on how to start your own!

SonGear sent beautiful necklaces, bracelets, and scarves (not pictured) for our leaders, as well as these awesome Overcomer Stickers.  New customers get 10% off their first order when they register.  Great site for event favors, speaker gifts, or personal shopping.

We also provided information on local ministries that our leaders could bring their Women’s Ministries alongside for serving in various ways.    This included information on on starting their own MOPS Group, Hope Mommies Group, Foster Parenting and Ministries that serve Foster Kids, Parents, Volunteers (4Kids Treasure Coast, Place of Hope Treasure Coast).

If you have not heard, the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. opens this fall, and would make a fun Women’s Ministry trip.  We also included information on Christian Leaders Institute which has a developing Women’s Ministry Certification program.

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Finally, we included information from our two guest speakers.  Sue Chess of Carenet (Treasure Coast) shared with our leaders about our local pregnancy crisis center and how they serve the women in our community.  Sue also shared a bit about their teen program, Protect the Heart, and then turned the topic over to her guest Pam who leads their Post Abortive Care program.   Not only were the leaders given information on the organization itself, but also a list of suggested ways they could serve and support this ministry.

We also had guest speaker Curtis Wilson, of One Child Matters.  Curtis shared with the leaders the One Child Matters vision and process for reaching kids in communities around the globe.  From child sponsorship, to mission trips to meet your sponsored child, One Child Matters has a unique program that focuses greatly on connections between the church and the community they serve.  We are looking forward to planning a Women’s Ministry Leader Mission Trip in the future.

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Part 2 of this event review will publish on Monday, Jan 16.

Wednesday Devotion: Serving With Passion

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Serving with Passion, Laura Masoner

I grew up hearing that God is love, but I never heard the word “passion” when describing God or His character.  The description of God’s passion toward us is found all over scripture, a prime example being the Song of Solomon. If you’ve spent any time in Psalms, you can’t miss David’s passion for God.  I love where Psalm 42:1 says: “As the deer pants for the water brook so my soul longs after thee”.  I can sense the love, passion, and longing that David feels toward God.  Through trials and triumph, David loves and longs for the abiding presence of our creator, and it pours out of him like a bride gushing over her groom.  The bible itself is the greatest love story in existence, no one can deny the unconditional love and the lengths to which He goes to draw us near and lavish us with His love.  But the bible is more than a mere love story, is pure passion from cover to cover.
 
We are only able to love because He first loved us.  Not only does he love us, He is passionate about us.  As a jealous God, His godly jealousy is also a display of His passion for us.  He is passionate that we remove idols from our lives that keep us in bondage to sin and rob us of the freedom He has for us.  It is not self-seeking, God knows the pain and loss we will suffer if we choose sin over Him.  God has a passion for intimacy with His children, and true intimacy between God and his children occurs when we pursue Him with an undivided heart.
 
When I decided to fully devote myself to Christ and die to self, the Holy Spirit ignited my passion toward Him.  Not only am I passionate about Him, I am passionate about my calling and purpose.  He wants us to serve Him out of our passion for Him, not out of a feeling of obligation.  We are to have an eternal perspective that helps to develop the drive to exchange the things of this life for the things God calls us to endure.  The apostle Paul knew this all too well.
 
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
 
As leaders we must have an eternal perspective from which we view the world.  We also need passion and purpose, although it is essential that we are passionate about the right things.  We need to place a high value in people rather than possessions or positions because we serve a God who is all about relationship.  As leaders we must be invested in people, not in numbers, fancy websites, or lavish brunches which are mere tools.  That is not to say that events and websites have little value because they are great tools to disseminate information and draw women together.  The point is that relationships are the point, and we must be careful not to turn ourselves into little “Martha’s” and begin to extend our focus in the wrong direction.
 
An effective leader should have passion about their ministry.  That’s not to say that 100% of the time we are positively effusive about leading women’s ministry, but if we ever find ourselves in a place where we’ve lost passion for the ministry, we need to inquire about it at the throne.  We could be taking the ministry in a wrong direction, or God may be calling us to step out of leadership so He can raise up a new leader.  It can be evident to the team you are leading if you lack passion for the position to which you are assigned, and you will notice the enthusiasm of the team begin to wane. 
 
 Paul was passionate about Christ, his ministry, and people.  Paul was actively and heavily invested in the people he served and his fellow servants in the ministry. This is evident all over scripture, it is seen in his greetings at the beginning of each of his letters.  He models a sacrificial leadership fueled by passion and bound by love.  He gives thanks, encourages, and prays for those to whom God has entrusted to him.  Read over the first few verses of a couple of Paul’s letters, such as Romans and Ephesians, and as you pour over the beginnings of his letters, prayerfully consider what made him a passionate leader.  This week, let us pray over our ministries and our leadership, that we will honor Christ courageously and passionately in the path He has set before us.