Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Women's issues - wow!

Wow! Wow! Wow!

Thank you for all your thoughts on the subject of women's ministry! Keep them coming, and if you do a post detailing your deep surmisings, let me know so I can glean from your experience. I´ll link you gladly.

Here's what I hear you saying (a partial listing...I could go on!):

  • I need to know my Savior through Bible study and prayer with other believers.
  • I need instruction and coaching in being a Godly woman, wife and mother.
  • I need relationships that go beyond "How are you?"
  • I need to know I am not alone.
  • I need to be heard.
  • I need others’ help and support.
  • I need something that allows me to participate within the limits of my season of life.
  • I need opportunities to help and support others.
Personally, maybe because I'm a bit of a rebel, or maybe because it's been the season of my life, I am not a big "programs" gal. I love one-on-one or small groups because I want to connect more than just on the surface level. I participate, but I´d rather go out for coffee and talk!

However, I know there is a place for programs. If nothing else, they are a springboard for developing relationships outside the walls of the church, and are a platform for inviting someone who might not otherwise come (the walls are really not the church anyway - we are!) . As Chris so aptly said, my heart is to find a need and ask God to help us meet it, not create a program and see who shows up!

As far as mentoring goes, I so hear you! We need others who have walked the path before us, telling us we´re going to make it!

I´m not sure where we will head with that. I had an older sister who was a mentor to me (still is!) - she has weathered every storm with me from the time we were toddlers. In God´s original plan, I´m sure He had mothers and sisters in mind when He said the older women were to teach the younger women. In our crazy, disjointed society, we do have a sisterhood in God´s family that transcends family ties and location. We just need to catch and spread a vision for living outside of ourselves to help someone else following behind us on the path. As one of my nursing professors loved to say, "Each one teach one."

Funny, I wonder how many of the needs expressed in these comments are expressing needs for blogging topics? Hmm. You´ve given me more food for thought than you realize!

I´m trying to visit all of you who´ve commented here - be patient...I´ll get to you! To those of you who de-lurked anonymously, send me a quick email so I can get to know you more!


Anonymous said...

How do I find your email address so I can delurk by email?

Katherine@Raising Five said...

Sorry - it's on my profile now - guess it got taken off when I switched to the new blogger.

It's raisingfive (at) Looking forward to meeting you!

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm a day late and always a dollar short, but I wanted to put my two cents in! :) I am in need of a program/small group where I am not feeling ashamed of my past. A place where I can go and heal. A place where there are other mothers who can help me along the path. A place where I can give and get support in my walk with the Lord. A place that will help me be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. A place for direction when it comes to my husband being on a different page than me spiritually. And helping me understand what I can do as a mother to lead my children to God. All of this I need and I need it when I can find a babysitter! ;) Sorry I didn't get to you yesterday about this, but I felt I needed to share what I am in need of. And, maybe someone in your area is in need of, too!!! Thanks for asking for our opinions.

Beck said...

My church is so tiny that there aren't any women's groups - although there is a Bible Study. Luckily, I have good Christian friends to help me out.

Anonymous said...

I am 41 with 8 children, medium-sized church. What really bugged me when I was a younger, needy mother, was that the older women were not physically available. It seems when they enter that golden season, they go to work, then rarely participate in women's get-togethers because they're so busy. I usually don't have specific questions in mind to ask a mentor, where I would call a woman on the phone to ask her. What works for me is regular, planned get-togethers that are conducive to issues being talked about informally. This means coffee at a restaurant or home, in the evenings or weekend. "Mentoring" may not happen the first or second time, but if you do it regularly, it WILL happen. This is in addition to formal studies. Some other things that have bugged me:
Women so involved in the community BSF that they are not involved with any of their fellow church women, husbands who discourage their wives from getting out because they don't feel like taking care of the kids, the mindset that if a meeting doesn't have Bible study or prayer in it then it isn't or can't be spiritual, women who own large beautiful homes whose focus on material posessions keep them from hosting events or making you feel comfortable when you're there. I know that is a mouthful of complaint. I DO understand the other side to every complaint I gave...I know, I know. I think the thing that is lacking these days is depth in relationships, and this only happens through time and availability.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, 41 with 8 children again. Our church went through "Spiritual Mothering" (book) once and assigned mentoring pairs. I could not relate to my mentor. We had almost nothing in common. She called me several times, came over for dinner once, and sent me cards for holidays. I would not recommend assigning. This summer I was in a Bible study and ended up really connecting with a women who I didn't like much before the Bible study. I think these things have to develop on their own, but they WON'T if women don't spend time with one another. Some things we've done at church that I liked:
A Titus 2 luncheon where 3 older women were hand-selected beforehand to share with the group "3 things I wish I knew now that I didn't know when I was younger".
Planned times of women sharing their testimony (ha! So simple but not often done)
A planned event where there is a pre-selected panel of older women answering questions from the audience - we did "Raising Teenagers" but the possible subjects are many.