September 26, 2007

Out of the Box: My Vision for Women's Ministry

When I began to blog at Intellectuelle a while back, I introduced myself by way of sharing my vision, what's been driving my passion for women. I'm glad to look at it again as nothing has changed, it's just good to go back and remember some of the details as a way of avoiding some of the distrations. So I share this with you so you know that I'm on a mission from God and what it looks like.

I just don't fit in the box...and I never really have. I've always cringed at the activities of the typical church women's ministry because what I saw seemed either to focus on a single group of women or lacked the quality and depth of books and studies not intended specifically for women. If you say I'm making broad sweeping comments about women's ministry, you might be right. But the fact is, in many churches, women with more intellectual tendencies are looked upon to nurture others - as they should - but usually are expected to keep their intellectualism to themselves. Women's bible studies are often very poorly written...with the exception of some great materials by Elizabeth George, Elyse Fitzpatrick, Kay Arthur, Jill Briscoe, and a few others.

When I entered into seminary studies in 2002, I promised myself that women's ministry was the LAST thing I would ever participate in. That promise was reminiscent of the one I made when I was 18 - that I would never work in the fast food industry. So far, I haven't flipped a burger, but God seemed to have other plans for me with regards to women's ministry.

I came to the conclusion during one of my graduate courses in bioethics that women's ministry is, indeed, in need of a face lift (but please do not confuse that for some unnecessary nontherapeutic physical enhancement) and that I am called to this work. Born from this was The Foundation for Women of Faith in Culture, its primary mission being to support the spiritual maturation of women through biblical, theological, and worldview education. I'm excited to say that people are finding this ministry on the internet and are responding.

My hope for Intellectuelle is that it is a place for men and women to reflect on faith and living, but I hope especially that it brings together a community of women who will continue the discussion of what it means to be a thinking Christian woman - and that the Church will take notice of our discussion and our existence.


Bonnie said...

That's my hope too, Sarah. Thanks for being a part of Intellectuelle.

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