A Women’s Ministry Leadership Interview with Betsy Langmade
A note from Chris: Today we have an interview with women’s ministry leader, Betsy Langmade. She is a co-worker of mine although we first met through one of the first training events I led after coming to LifeWay Christian Resources 20 years ago. Betsy was then leading women in her church in Florida.
Betsy is an event coordinator for Adult Ministry at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee. She has enjoyed working with women in varied ministry settings for almost 30 years. Currently, she serves as the Women’s Ministry Coordinator at The Church at Grace Park in White House, Tennessee.
Chris: Tell us how God led and prepared you to the place you serve?
Betsy: He gently led me step by step. Saying, “yes” to one thing opened the door to the next. And by providing sweet, mature women affirming me and mentoring me along the way. I wouldn’t be what I am or where I am without them.
Chris: It’s so important that we have those encouragers to help us see strengths we might miss and to push us beyond what we think we can do to serve. Betsy, we all face tough ministry issues at times. What is your greatest challenge currently?
Betsy: Being under-resourced in a small church. Not just in financial resources but in people and the level of commitments they are able to make. Women are just busy and adding one more commitment can feel like overload. However, you can’t have ministry to women without a core group that’s willing and able to guide it.
Chris: I bet many leaders can identify with that, Betsy. Tell us how you balance full-time work in ministry as well as volunteering in your church, home, and relationships.
Betsy: I don’t. But I ask God to help me every day. I try to take care of the relationships in the order God gave them to me — husband, children, and ministry — in that order. Oh, and work … that happens every day.
Chris: I always say husband and children (and work) are also part of ministry. They are our first ministry most often. And I agree. There is no such thing as total balance. Only God can direct us. Where are you seeing the greatest transformation in the lives of women you serve?
Betsy: To be honest, I’m not. This new ministry God has called me to in my church is somewhat light on Bible study and that is what I’m praying about changing. Our women have done a great job of planning fellowship and social events and that definitely meets a need for the women in our church. But I long for everything we do to be rooted first in Bible study and then bring the other activities alongside that.
Chris: What is your No. 1 leadership tip you would share with other women in leadership?
Betsy: Don’t ever think that your ministry will be any deeper than your own relationship with God. Keep it first, real, and fresh.
Chris: Amen! That’s the key thing I want leaders to walk away from any of our leadership trainings with. What do you wish you’d known when you first began leading women?
Betsy: The importance of loving individuals. I prayed to love the group and somehow missed the perspective that it happens in one woman’s heart and life at a time.
Chris: And Betsy, since I know you, I would think that like me, because we are both very task oriented, that this is as big of a challenge for you as it is for me. But it’s absolutely essential in serving Christ in ministry. Betsy, you have been in leadership a long time. What are your dreams for the future of ministry to and with women?
Betsy: It’s my hope that women would be hungry for the Word and be willing to make the sacrifice and commitment to it. There will always be ministry to women because it’s simply what we do. What makes it unique in the church is that we are driving toward engagement with God through His Word. Really defending the truth of it and not being swayed by cultural waves of influence.
Chris: Thank you so much for sharing from your experiences. How can we pray for you?
Betsy: Pray for strength to continue to move ahead when discouraged and just plain tired. Courage to continue to follow the plan God has given me and wait for God’s timing to bring others alongside that vision. I always ask for prayer for wisdom and discernment to know where God is working and join Him there.