An Acts 2 Ministry is a Praying Ministry

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A ministry that is seeking to align itself with the Acts 2 Church, needs to be a ministry that prays.  Together, corporately.  Individually, independently.

  • We set the standard for prayer being important in the daily life of the individual believer, and also over the body as a whole.
  • We model the behavior we want repeated, when we as the leaders pray… we encourage others to pray.
  • We teach how to pray.  It shouldn’t be assumed that everyone instinctually knows or at least feels confident in it.

Have you ever been in a situation where you were praying in a group, and you listened to someone fumbling through a prayer when put on the spot?  Did you ever ask for a volunteer to pray only to hear awkward silence?  

The Scriptures talk a lot about the importance and value of prayer.  How often we should do it, why we do it, who should do it, etc.  In Luke 11, Jesus was praying and when he finished one of his disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray.  Surely this wasn’t the first time they heard Jesus pray, modeling wasn’t enough.  They needed to be taught how to pray.

We should never assume that just because a person has gone to church all of their life, that they understand how to pray (or why it’s good practice).

Another assumption that should be avoided is that because someone doesn’t pray well out loud in public doesn’t have a solid personal prayer life.  She may be shy.

Some recommendations:

  • Use some of your women who are gifted in prayer to set up a prayer team.  A prayer team stands in the gap for those who need someone to pray for them.  This is a great way to incorporate your introverted women into serving the body through intercessory prayer.
  • Invite the more extroverted praying women to lead the prayer at your women’s events, let them model their prayer gift for others.
  • If a prayer warrior is also a gifted speaker, How To Pray is a great topic for a women’s event or part of a larger retreat breakout session.
  • Build confidence in praying by never putting people on the spot to lead/close prayer.  As them in advance, if they seem hesitant offer to take a few moments to guide them, and give them an opportunity to opt out if they are not ready.  Make a note to follow up with her later about coaching her on praying.
  • Host Small Groups/Bible Studies that explain the value of prayer, cover the Scriptures about praying, and that teach women how to pray on their own and corporately.  Make this something you offer regularly or as part of your discipleship program.

Characteristics of Godly Leaders: Not a Lover of Money

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There are so many reasons why Paul would write to Timothy that those in the office of overseer should not be a lover of money (1 Timothy 3:3).

Some immediate thoughts that come to mind:

  • If you value money too much, you may put your day job or your desire for success above your ministry responsibilities.  
  • You may be tempted to use your position for financial gain.
  • Often the love of money accompanies pride.

In fact, later in 1 Timothy, chapter 6, Paul goes on to say:  “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (v10).  Warning that those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, ensnared by foolish and harmful desires, plunge into ruin and destruction.  He even says that the desire for money, the craving of it, has caused some to walk away from their faith.

However, I think there is another aspect of money we should consider, in regard to ministry.  Let’s face it, the majority of those who are serving in a ministry capacity are not doing so without some financial struggle in their own life.  This struggle also happens in the ministry field.  Who hasn’t dreamt of what a little extra money could mean to the ministry work that we do.  What if we had an extra $500 or more in the budget.  Oh the things we could do!

Therein lies the culprit… “with money” this is what “I” can do.   While it is true that money is a means to get things done, such as purchasing supplies or bringing in guest speakers; money is also a tool of man.  God doesn’t require money to do anything.   We can throw a lot of money at our ministry, polishing the rough edges, making it attractive to others, filling the seats at our tables to the brim.  But this is not the measure of success.

Spiritual growth is a measure of success.  Bringing women to Christ is a measure of success.  We create a ministry that serves in His name, we bring women to the Cross, and then watch as the Lord does a work in their life.  He creates something new, He molds and shapes, and none of that costs a single dollar.

A shoe string budget it not a bad thing, it actually requires us to lean on God and trust in His provision for our ministry.  It teaches us to be good stewards with the blessing we are given.  It also challenges us to be creative with the gifts, talents, and blessings the Lord has given each of us to be used in the ministry as we serve others.

How much does it cost to welcome others into your home?

Do we need a huge budget to pray with another women?

What is the expense to sit and walk through the scriptures with a new believer?

When we begin to believe that money will solve all of our ministry problems, open up more opportunities, or even that money will give us a better pathway to bring people to Christ… we begin to blur the lines and our love for money grows because we become dependent on it.

This doesn’t mean that God won’t bless us financially, as a ministry.  It’s a warning to not become dependent on it, to not allow it to become something that we crave.  We may receive it, but remember we are being given something that is already God’s and called to use it in a way that honors Him.

A godly leader will recognize who the blessing is from, and what it is for.  They will not compromise their faith, their family, their home, their values, their time, and their service in order to gain more money.

 

Characteristics of Godly Leaders- Drunkeness

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Something that I have learned over the years is that when it comes to policies regarding drinking alcohol different denominations, regions, Pastors, and even congregants have strong & differing opinions on the subject.  There are some who believe there should be total abstention, others who believe the opposite, and then there the many opinions that fall between.  Occasionally.  Regularly, in moderation.  Certain types are ok, others are not.  It’s a pretty wide cavern to cross.

Today, instead of getting into the debate of if and when, let’s talk about why this matters.

Why Does Avoiding Drunkenness Matter?

Something worth noting is that drunkenness can directly affect all of the characteristics of godly leadership we’ve already covered, and the ones still to come.   If you are drunk, how can you be above reproach… if you can’t remember the events of the evening?  How many times have we heard of an affair or one night stand blamed on a night of heavy drinking?  What about losing our temper or losing self control due to being drunk?  How can we teach a good example or a lesson when were are intoxicated?  Domestic abuse has plenty of connection to being drunk, argumentativeness too.  Money has been wasted on a night out drinking, or keeping the cabinet stocked full.  A drunk is not respected by others, including their spouse and children.  A drunk will often have a bad reputation and may fall into disgrace often, blaming alcohol for their poor judgement.

In other words, if you are intoxicated to the point of drunkenness… how can you meet these standards of leadership?  Whether you stand the side of absolute abstinence or will allow for occasional or moderated consumption, we should all be able to agree that drunkenness isn’t good for anyone.  Leaders being held to higher standards, as we set the bar and expectation, even more so should avoid drunkenness.

Some will assert that the best way to avoid being drunk is to avoid consuming alcohol entirely, “lest we be tempted”.   Yet, Scripture will point to wine being consumed regularly and at special events/occasions.  Jesus made wine from water.  The Bible says that we simply shouldn’t drink too much, right?  The argument can go in circles.  However there are some things you need to consider, as a leader.

What Does Your Denomination/Church Say on the Topic?

If you are a leader in a denomination or church which believes in total abstinence, as a leader you are expected to adhere to that rule.  When you agree to step into leadership at a particular church, you are also agreeing to abide by their rules for leaders.  Some churches will have stricter rules than others.  It is important to know these rules for yourself, your team, and your events.

If the church policy is total abstinence of drinking, have you ensured that your team members understand this policy?  If the church is fine with your consumption of alcohol in your own home, but not in public spaces… perhaps a ladies trip to the local vineyard for a wine tour is not appropriate.   We can’t claim ignorance on the topic, it is our responsibility to ask the church leadership what is and isn’t acceptable. 

I remember sitting in on a meeting where it was shared that a group of women had brought a bottle of wine to share in their hotel room while at a weekend long retreat.  This was new territory because the women’s ministry leadership team had never even considered that anyone would bring a bottle of wine to a church function.  The debate ensued between it being in the privacy of their own room, they were not drunk, and only a limited number of people knew about it.  On the other side of the equation was the question of would allowing it encourage others to do it, could it become a larger problem?   This resulted in a decision to make sure that in all future events of this nature, it was clearly stated in the “what to pack and what not to pack” information that alcoholic beverages were not to be brought.

If it wasn’t allowed, then everyone in attendance’s behavior was beyond reproach.  The church was represented well, and it’s reputation was not potentially tarnished.  Now, as I coach ministry leaders, I bring this up when we discuss event planning.  We must as a ministry stand in agreement with our church policies, and the leadership sets the tone.  If it is something you disagree with, you must ask if you can accept their terms or not.  When we are acting under the umbrella of our church, we become the face of our church.  Whatever our actions reflect about us, as a person, are also cast onto our church.

* Take the time to read the scriptures and ask the Lord to reveal to you His truth on this topic.

* Speak to your Pastor(s) and Staff/Leadership to ensure your ministry policies reflect the views of the church.

 

 

Rest & Retreat Event, Part 1 of 2

 

The Women’s Ministry Council ended our 2017 year meeting in a new location.  CareNet Pregnancy Services of the Treasure Coast has opened up their new facility as hosts for the WMC meetings in 2018.  This is a blessing for us, and an answer to prayer.  We are so excited about this partnership and to be able to bring our leaders through the doors of CareNet and see how they serve the women in our community.

We were also blessed to be joined by Rozanne Brown of CareBag and Kenya Reinhard from 4Kids Treasure Coast, as guest speakers.

CareBag is a non-profit organization that serves the homeless in the Treasure Coast, as well as helping those transitioning from homelessness into housing.  What WMC loves about Carebag is not only that they are serving the least of these in our area, but it’s not just about giving them provisions but helping to restore dignity.   CareBag is currently fundraising for a mobile shower truck, that would be made available to our “neighbors without walls”.  Being about to shower isn’t just about being clean, but also about lifting up one’s mood.  Who doesn’t feel better after a good shower?  In addition, it allows these residents of our community to be presentable for job interviews as they try to stabilize their lives.  Please visit CareBag’s site to learn more about how you can help with the fundraising project, volunteer when CareBag serves out in the field, or other ways you can support the good work being done in our community.

Partner with CareBag as a Women’s Ministry by:

  • Follow CareBag’s Facebook Page for any immediate needs that can be met.
  • Host a collection drive for supplies that can go into CareBag’s that are delivered to the community.
  • Hold a fundraiser at your next Women’s Ministry event toward the Mobile Shower Unit.
  • Talk with your Pastor about financially supporting CareBag.
  • Volunteer in the community with CareBag as a ministry team.

4Kids Treasure Coast serves our foster community by connecting children with foster parents, support for those who are fostering, and those who move from fostering to adoption.  As they partner with churches, they are also able to create a network of support within the church as families open their homes to foster children.  Frankly, we need more Foster Families in the Treasure Coast.  4Kids is raising awareness on how we can all support this need.  You can become a Foster Family, donate toward building and equipping Foster Homes and Facilities, and also by supporting the Foster Families in your church (or encouraging more families to consider fostering).  For more information on becoming a Foster Family, or how to introduce fostering to your church… please visit 4Kids Treasure Coast’s site.

Partner with 4Kids Treasure Coast as a Women’s Ministry by:

  • Volunteering at the 4Kids offices stuffing information folders, mailers, and general needs.
  • Host a collection drive for items that foster children/families may need.
  • Fundraise toward the costs of building and equipping 4Kids Homes.
  • Create a stack of prayer cards for 4Kids to pass on to the children, foster parents.
  • Become a liaison in your church coordinating support for your foster family needs.  What a great position to add to your Women’s Ministry Team!

We’d like to thank Kregel Publications for donating copies of Letitia Suk’s book, Getaways with God, for our drawing prizes.  

Tomorrow, Tuesday, come back to the site for a recap on the remained of our “Rest & Retreat” event and information on how you too could win a copy of Getaways with God!

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Before the Conversation

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In the past, the Monday after our Women’s Ministry Council meeting, we will usually publish to the site a recap of the events.  This particular meeting was probably one of our hardest subjects to date, and a conversation we know that we are not done with.  Before we even attempt to put into words what happened at our Diversity and Unification meeting, I would like to thank those who contributed to the success of equipping women leaders on an important subject.

Thank you to Moody Publishers, who donated a copy of Trillia Newbell’s book UNITED:  Captured By God’s Vision for Diversity for each of the women in attendance.    We pray that each leader is able to use this resource not only for her own benefit but also to share with her team and church.

Thank you to International Missions Board, who donated their Limitless material and the Gospel in Henna Tattoo and Explanation Card sets.  To be diversified in the church requires a diversity in how we reach out to other cultures.

Thank you to MOPS International for the donation of these awesome tote bags, MOPS groups are a great way to open our church doors to the community at large and bring many different people to the table.

Thank you to Be the Bridge, who created the Bridge to Racial Unity Bible Study materials.  Also thank you to the donors from the community who provided the funds to print the study, allowing each woman to take home a physical copy.

Please pray with us that all of these materials will be a blessing to the churches in which they make their way back to.

Additionally we announced a few exciting pieces of news:

  • 2018 We will begin to roll out WMC groups in other cities!
  • 2018 the WMC will offer our first full day event for women leading in the church, LeadHer Conference.  The 2018 theme is: LeadHer with Wisdom

Please pray along with us over these next steps, as we remain faithful and obedient to do as God asks us in HIS timing not our own.

Over the next several articles, we will begin to break down the content from the training, point our readers to resources, and share the ways we are going to keep this conversation going.

Be Still and Know

BeStillHe says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  

– Psalm 46:10 NIV

Quite often in leadership we find ourselves always on the go, moving forward, advance our Kingdom work.  We can spend hours scouring the internet tracking the trends of Women’s Ministries across the country.  We can invest our time and money in books to better ourselves as leaders.  We can even meet quarterly with Women’s Ministry leaders in our community to create a council of leaders who share their wisdom and experience.  Movement, growth, and study is a beautiful thing.  It’s not always the best thing.  There are times, even we as leaders, need to find stillness and listen to the voice of God.

We may need to stop the online searches, put down the books, and pick up the Word and let it speak life into our personal walk, families, and our ministry.  What if the Lord doesn’t want your ministry to follow the ministry trends but instead innovate a new way to minister to women?  Have you considered that the Lord may be trying to take your ministry focus off solely serving the women in your church and instead opening the doors to the women in your community?  Or, has your ministry taken priority in your life over your family commitments and relationships; and it’s time to add more people to the team or reevaluate your ministry goals?

If we are too busy listening to other voices, we can disrupt our ability to hear the Holy Spirit speaking.  There is a season to work and toil, but there is also a season to be still and listen. A time to be still and know that He is God, and He will order our steps.

Sex, God, & You – Feb 10

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Special Ladies Night Event this weekend, for our S. FL Friends!

Click on Register Today and watch a short video about event or to purchase tickets.