I opened my church bulletin to find an announcement for the yearly Holiday Shopping Extravaganza hosted by one of our women’s ministry groups and noticed the lady next to me groaning as she read the flyer. Was it because Thanksgiving hadn’t even arrived and we were starting to talk about Christmas shopping? Perhaps she knew she’d be guilted into buying items and accessories she really didn’t need. Or was it because she, like so many women in the blogosphere, was frustrated with what it seems women’s ministry only focuses on: shopping, baking, crafting, socializing, and self-help retreats.
These perceptions are often “deal breakers” for women who feel their desire to live out the gospel does not include frosting cupcakes. Resentful, these Spirit-filled women go it alone or even hide their gifts, leaving a gap only they can fill. If you know a dynamic woman who has resisted women’s ministry, or if you yourself have felt frustrated, there are several reasons to reconsider why women’s ministry needs you.
I Don’t Really Like Women (and They Don’t Like Me)
Same here. I always found most women difficult to know, trust, and enjoy. While it’s gotten easier as an adult, it’s still not easy to be the new girl and try to make friends. But women’s ministry is more than girlfriends getting together. It’s even more than friendship—it’s camaraderie.
Although reluctant at first, I now treasure the time I have in fellowship with other women. Through Bible studies, Sunday school preparations, small group discussions, and volunteer projects, women have helped me learn my value in Christ. For instance, this year in our small group, I revealed how I am finally ready—although incredibly terrified—to see what is behind my disorderly eating. I am not pursuing a diet or boot camp, but taking a long walk in the deep woods with just my fears, feelings, and fat. I hated admitting that to a room of super-cute, CrossFit-ing women, but what choice did I have? I can either nod politely and talk about God’s love for me, or I can sniffle and choke back tears and intimately seek God’s love for me.
Afterwards, one of the women invited me to coffee so she and I could visit more, as she admitted this topic struck a personal chord with her. But you’re so thin and rich, I thought, how do you know what suffering is? You can add that hideous thought to the long list of misjudgments I’ve made about women because of my own insecurities.