As He said good-bye to His disciples in Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus chose to say what was most important to leave with believers, those words that capture His hope for us. Regardless of who we are or what we do, we are to make disciples. And this is what we, as women’s ministry leaders, must lead women to faithfully live out right now.
He does not tell His disciples to wait until they’re spiritually mature, of a certain age, or have certain life experiences before making disciples. His direction and hope for us is that we go—now. Why the urgency? Perhaps He recognized that going and being a part of missions not only enlarges God’s kingdom but also serves as a catalyst to spiritual growth. Missions is not just something we do for others, it is God’s reciprocal process for transforming us.
Missions is more than the act of doing. Simply doing makes us no different from those who engage in social services and community projects. Missions is a discipleship process. It is understanding our call to faith involves commitment to ushering in God’s kingdom outside our comfort zones. It is the discipline of reading Scripture and recognizing God has created each of us with a purpose, uniquely designing us to participate in His love for the nations. It is enlarging our personal sense of call to spiritual growth and ministry to include our part in God’s desire for the world.
Missions discipleship involves six specific areas of focus:
- Pray for missions. Devote specific prayer time for how God is moving in the world, for those who have devoted their lives to service, and for opportunities to personally impact the world for Christ (Eph. 6:18).
- Learn about missions. Learn through Scripture that we have been created for a purpose and that God actively seeks out nonbelievers. This includes learning new and exciting ways God is moving and identifying ways we can be on mission in our communities (Luke 1:1-4).
- Support missions. Uphold, maintain, and encourage missions work through the time, skills, talents, and resources of women in your church (2 Cor. 8:10-13).
- Engage in mission action and witnessing. Provide redemptive, loving service outside the church. Develop active, participatory faith in the women you lead (Matt. 18:19-20).
- Develop spiritually toward a missions lifestyle that carries out God’s mission call (Heb. 5:13–6:3).
- Participate in the church and denomination’s work, contributing to the vitality of a local church or faith community. This includes providing missions opportunities for women in the church (Rom. 12:4-8).
Each area strengthens believers in a unique way, moving us, holistically, into a more mature and active faith lifestyle. These stimulate the woman’s prayer life, scriptural understanding, daily life, and participation in the community of faith. As she grows, she can better set an example for her children, friends, and the younger women in the church and faith community.
How are you engaging women in missions in your church?
This article is excerpted from Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level compiled by Chris Adams.
Jean Roberson is a ministry consultant for Woman’s Missionary Union, auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention. In her position, Roberson serves as the director of Christian Women’s Job Corps and International InitiativesSM. She also serves as team leader for the adult team, including Women on Mission and Adults on Mission. Jean’s role includes planning and communication in the international arena as well as denominational networking and state WMU relations. You may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.