January 25, 2008

Developing Young Women for Work

We all (hopefully) are familiar with the cultural mandate (creation mandate) as it is termed by theologians. The command to have dominion over the earth...to fill it, subdue it, etc....this is an important place to develop ministry to young women.

In this first command, the inhabitants of the earth were called to labor in the garden. Genesis 2:15 states The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it (ESV). Take note that this command is pre-Fall. Labor--work--has always been a component of our existence. Work is good and is a reflection of God's work. As Creator of everything, He labored to create. As image bearers, we reflect this through the business of cultivating the earth.

Today, young women have many opportunities before them--though we ought not forget the challenges women face in the workforce. But as a matter of spiritual care--because everything, including our work, belongs to God--we can play a part in their vocational journey by providing various mechanisms that serve to counsel her in career decisions. Here are some ways to bring this to a reality in your church's women's ministry:

1. Who on your women's ministry team is already geared toward ministry to young women? She will likely be a key player in this new component to women's ministry.

2. Discussions with men and women in various professions--develop a monthly meeting that will feature a Christian speaker (does not have to be a woman) who represents a select focation. Publicize the talk to the church and in the community. Your community may be pleasantly surprised that your church cares anything at all about career development!

3. Make it known that someone is available to guide and discuss vocation/career decisions, and that doing so is simply a piece of our work as believers.

4. Teach a solid Christian worldview study regularly, one that emphasizes clearly that a Christian vocation need not necessarily be vocational ministry.

5. After your young women begin to make their decisions, you need to nurture them so that they understand that work is labor for the Lord. Connect them with likeminded, mature believers and/or small groups if you know of any.

6. There may be other women in your congregation who are older and might be struggling with re-entry into the work force. Talk with them about their gifts and talents and how those might fit well with particular job or career choices.

7. For all of your women, infest in their development, preparing them to do the same for the young women she encounters in her future.

Further reading on this topic:
Heaven is a Place on Earth by Dr. Michael Wittmer
Total Truth by Dr. Nancy Pearcey
Are Women Human? by Dorothy Sayers
Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers

1 comment:

Berke said...

There are many more carreer opportunities for young women today more than ever. They have unique skills and traits that make them in demand in many workplaces. Have you came across the Young Entrepreneur Society from the www.YoungEntrepreneurSociety.com it could be a useful resource for carreer women.