Editor’s Note: Today, we are starting a series about women involved in the ministry of biblical counseling. Our heart is that this equipping series will encourage more churches and more individual women to embrace the impact they can make for Christ through learning and engaging in effective biblical counseling.
During this series, you will hear from the women counselors of BCC, about their stories and how they have learned to effectively counsel women.
In recent months, many arguments about the roles of women in ministry have been widely debated on the internet and have distracted our attention from the ministry that God has called us all to do.
Do we realize that even if women aren’t permitted to preach in your church, they must still disciple? Even if women can preach at your church, they must still disciple!
Why are so many churches ignoring the biblical mandate to equip women to shoulder real world ministry?
What if churches stopped arguing about women like Beth Moore preaching and started equipping all the women of their church to be effective in ministry?
Since the pulpit only contains the ministry opportunity for one person per week anyway, should we not focus most intently on how to equip the larger portion of the church body for the ministry they are called to on any given week?
Despite the amount of ink that has been spilled in recent months about whether women belong in the pulpit of conservative churches (I won’t solve that dilemma here) there is one obvious concern that is being ignored, whether you embrace women in the pulpit or not.
If both sides of that debate really believe (I know they both do) that women are called by God to embrace ministry opportunities where they shepherd, disciple, influence, comfort, care, steward, exhort, and nurture, how is your church equipping them to provide life-changing impact?
Rather than focusing our discussions about the validity of the restrictions that many women face in ministry, why are we not focusing more time, energy, and ink on how to equip the greatest amount of women for the ministry that we are certain the women of our churches are called to do? We can do better.
The Need for “Great Commission” Called Women
Equipping all of the women of the body to disciple others will result in ministry that will impact your church deeply. Women must disciple effectively and shepherd compassionately throughout the week for a church to be healthy, and women are very effective engaging in this type of ministry. I hope your church leadership sees the Great Commission as integral to the calling of every member, both men and women and the way for all of us to have the greatest impact for Christ.
Unfortunately, many women in our churches are unclear as to how they can best fulfill that calling and mandate of the Great Commission. Biblical counseling provides a critical pivot point from the Great Commission in idea to the Great Commission in practice.
What if you equipped the women in your church to have discipleship conversations about the real struggles that women face every day? These conversations are crucial to having a healthy church discipleship culture. Issues like anxiety, parenting, marriage struggles, depression, family unity and spiritual disciplines are all areas where godly and mature women can share wisdom and experience for good. This is the heart of biblical counseling.
The Great Commission mandate is about evangelism, but also about teaching practical obedience and spiritual vitality. Many women in our evangelical churches long to be discipled, but many have not experienced this life-giving experience. Many others long to teach what they have learned, they just don’t know where or how.
Biblical Examples of Women who spoke up with wisdom
Not only are the discipleship conversations crucial to the health of your church, they are modeled by women of faith all throughout scripture. As you read, you find bold conversations from women like Abigail, the Shunammite Woman, Hannah, Ruth, Esther, and others. These women knew that God was with them and they had the opportunity to make an impact in a way that pleased God and blessed his people. Do your women share this same boldness and heart to make a difference? If not, why not?
Diagnostic Questions to assess the health of your equipping strategy for women
- Does the topic of equipping women ever become enough of a priority to enter into your leadership discussions?
- Do the women at your church feel like they are responsible to disciple the next generation of believers at their church?
- Do the women at your church dream big dreams about kingdom impact?
- Do the women at your church feel like they have the support of the leaders?
- Do the women of your church know who they can talk to about personal struggles they are facing? Is anyone equipped to walk with them?
A Simple Plan for Equipping Women in Your Church to have bold Conversations
I have often heard from leaders in our partner churches that one of the best pathways to equip their women for ministry was to train them to utilize biblical counseling principles in their everyday relationships. You can equip women who are prepared to facilitate conversations with hurting women who desire to talk through their struggles with someone who cares enough to share wisdom and their own life experience walking with God.
Churches, large and small, urban or suburban, healthy or unhealthy, can grow their women in ministry skills to make an impact. Pastor and Church Leaders, what is your vision for how the women within your church will make the greatest impact?
An Important Opportunity for your Women
This month, the women counselors of BCC will be sharing wisdom and experience about how God called them into the ministry of biblical counseling and how God is using them in this role. We will be sharing redemptive stories of God’s grace and resources that can equip women from your church to better fulfill the task of discipleship.
Pastors and church leaders, even if you don’t think women are to preach from your pulpit, can they use your office to care for hurting women? Will you invest yourself and your church leaders in equipping women to stand on the frontlines of discipleship in your church and care for those seeking help and hope? Your whole church will benefit if you do.