No Little Women: A Model
If you have not listened to Aimee Byrd's podcast at the head of this Theology on the Go series, take the seventeen minutes out of your day and do it - especially if you are a pastor. It is worth the time. After listening, I started to reflect on the women in the congregation that I serve and I need to tell you that they are a godly bunch of women! As their pastor, I have known all that they do and I think I have tried to be supportive of what they do - but the ministry happens because they engage in it. It's low key, vigorous, and the things that they do seamlessly "fit" into the ebb and flow of the church's life. Let me tell you about some of the things they do for two reasons. First, you would not hear about it from these quiet unassuming women who value steady faithfulness. Second, because it might just influence and encourage other godly woman to do similar things in their own congregations. So, let me tell you about some of the things they do.
First, they are active in the ministries that support the saints as you might expect from women who manage their homes well. These women take food to the sick, help with watching children, and celebrate the milestones of marriage and birth with other young ladies. But these celebrations are anything but typical wedding or baby showers. These women take the opportunity to teach other women how to love their husbands and care for their children (Titus 2).
Second, these women do not confine their support to the women of the congregation. A group of ladies gather in my office every Lord's Day morning about thirty minutes prior to the service and pray for the ministry of the Word. As a minister, there is not a single Lord's Day that goes by that I am not thankful for this group of godly women.
But this group arose from another ministry in the church. Several years ago, two or three women decided that they wanted to read good reformed books (the staple of their reading is the Puritans!) and it wasn't long before others followed their lead. So, these ladies pick a book and then gather once per month to discuss what they have read. It was after reading one of these books that several ladies who felt a burden to pray approached me about the Lord's Day morning prayer time. And they have been praying Lord's Day by Lord's Day ever since!
But the women in the congregation are not only concerned with ministry within the four walls of the church. Another group of woman called the Graceful Stitchers emerged. These women are active in aiding the local pregnancy care center. They help expecting mothers make the right choice with regard to their unborn children. I think of them as the Dorcas Society of the congregation (Acts 9:36) and their signature move is to quilt blankets and give them to these expecting mothers along with the gospel and other help provided by the care center.
Now, I haven't told you about the mentoring that goes on or the ministry of prayer that one woman started for the younger moms in the congregation. Nor have I told you about the difficulties that come along with being a growing congregation. But that wasn't my point. My point was to show you some of the "tunics and garments" of the godly women in the congregation (Acts 9:39) so that other women might be encouraged to see in them a model of encouragement and a way forward in serving the Lord within the body of which they are an important part. Soli Deo Gloria!
Jeffrey A. Stivason has been serving the Lord as a minister of the gospel since 1995. He was church planter and now pastor of Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gibsonia, PA. He also holds a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. Jeff is the Managing Editor for Place for Truth. Jeff's book, From Inscrutability to Concursus: Benjamin B. Warfield's Theological Construction of Revelation's Mode from 1880-1915 (P&R Publishing), is to be released in February 2017.