Women’s Ministry Leadership Interview with Dawn Stephens
Dawn Stephens is the local disciple-making associate minister/minister to women at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala. Dawn has been involved in women’s ministry in both volunteer and staff positions for many years. She desires to train, equip and encourage women to use their God-given gifts and abilities to show Christ’s love and grace to our world. She graduated from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Women’s Ministry certificate program, has served on the Alabama Baptist State Women’s Ministry leadership team, and serves as a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier.
Chris Adams: Dawn, tell us how God led and prepared you to the place you serve?
Dawn Stephens: He prepared me by putting me in volunteer roles for three years as special events coordinator for an established women’s ministry. Then He moved me to a church that didn’t have a women’s ministry and opened a door for me to help create a leadership team and ministry — from volunteer to part-time to full-time staff in the spring of 1998.
Chris: Often those who are in women’s ministry staff positions started that same way. That certainly was my story. What do you see as your greatest challenge currently?
Dawn: The need to grow more leaders and start more women’s small groups.
Chris: You know we’ve been seeking to help churches grow their groups for a while now. This year we launched Groups Matter to assist. Dawn, how do you balance full-time ministry, home, and family?
Dawn: I try to truly take my off day with no electronics, and not bring work home. I have quiet days at a local park or library to think, pray, mediate, and refuel.
Chris: I’ve been trying to do the same, so I know it’s not always easy, but so important to help us continue to serve Christ effectively. Where are you seeing the greatest transformation in the lives of women you serve?
Dawn: I am seeing women truly desire to study God’s Word for themselves.
Chris: Without that the rest of the ministry just isn’t the same! What is your No. 1 leadership tip you would share with other women in leadership?
Dawn: Staff in your weaknesses and lead in your strengths.
Chris: Isn’t it great when you come to the place you where realize you aren’t supposed to be good at everything? Seems Scripture speaks to this when it talks about the make up of the body of Christ with so many different gifts and strengths (Romans 4: 4-8). What do you wish you’d known when you first began leading women?
Dawn: To take a risk on using people in ministry; don’t play it too safe.
Chris: Great words of encouragement to leaders. Sometimes we want to make sure it’s done the “right” way when we really mean our way. When we do that we miss opportunities to raise up future leaders, and inadvertently communicate that we don’t trust their abilities to serve and lead. What are your dreams for the future of ministry to and with women?
Dawn: For more women to use their gifts and experiences to minister to other women.
Chris: Thank you so much for sharing from your experiences and wisdom, Dawn. How can we pray for you?
Dawn: For mental strength and endurance, and for wisdom in deciding where and in what degree program to finish my master’s degree in the coming years.
Chris: We are so grateful to you, Dawn, for what you are doing to impact women’s lives for Christ!