A note from Kelly King: One of my favorite leadership development opportunities is LifeWay’s Essentials Conference. Offered twice a year, it is for new ministry leaders in the local church. We provide two and a half days of training and resources for 25 leaders. Michelle attended one of our Essentials Conferences, and her perspective as a leader is something I believe many can relate to. While ministry can be hard, it can also be your greatest joy when you are leading in your calling.
When I felt God calling me into women’s ministry, I was not so sure I was hearing Him correctly. In fact, I even argued with God because I was not equipped to take on this task. After I succumbed to His calling, I got so excited and became high on the Holy Spirit. So, I jumped in with both feet and had no clue what I was doing or the obstacles I would face. There was no one there leading or guiding me into this adventure, and there was certainly no one there to tell me how hard this was going to be. It’s probably a good thing there wasn’t because I might have backed out!
I love women’s ministry, and I know without a doubt that God has called me to this. I love serving other women and being part of something that is so much bigger than me. There are a lot of rewards in women’s ministry, but it’s hard too!
You spend so much time and effort planning and preparing, and then, here she comes. You know the one. That lady who is not happy. Either she would prefer you to hold your event at a different time or on a different day or maybe change the event all together. Oh how you try to please these women, but there always seems to be someone with an opinion. Someone who is not happy. And when you make a change to an event for that unhappy person, they are the very one who doesn’t even show up! Lord, help me!
These opinionated ladies in my life have made me realize just how much I need to seek Jesus for His guidance and the direction that He wants me to take this women’s ministry. Seek Him and be obedient to Him. Plan according to His will. When His hand is in the planning, He will send the women who need to be there. The exact ones. You don’t have to worry or stress over how many will attend the event. God will send who needs to be there. He is in the business of changing lives. He is not trying to win a popularity contest.
Women’s ministry can also be lonely. You have to make those hard choices to live a holy life. I’m not saying that you have to be perfect because you aren’t and you never will be. But we have to make sure that our reputations are kept clean and not tarnished. This means that we will sometimes not get to do some of the things we want to do or go to some of the places we want to go. When we are trying to live righteous lives for God, we must be set apart (Hebrews 10:10; Leviticus 20:26). This is why it is so important to have other women who are in the ministry and/or women who just love the Lord and are on your side. We are to build each other up and support each other so we can do the will of our Father. If you don’t have ladies like this in your circle, pray and ask God to send them to. He will. He sent them to me.
Women’s ministry is hard and it can be lonely, but it is so fulfilling! There are days that I am tired, worn down, or just don’t feel appreciated at all, and God will let me see something so wonderful. He allows me to see transformations. Lives changing, souls being saved, families healing, ladies walking deeper with Him—all because of His love for us. All because of our obedience. These transformations make it all worth it.
Our obedience never goes unnoticed. Our heavenly Father sees. He knows our hard work. He knows the hours spent in planning and preparing. He knows our hearts. He will bless our work and equip us to do His will.
“Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.” —Galatians 6:9
Michelle is the women’s ministry leader at First Baptist Flora, Mississippi. She is passionate about women’s ministry, and her heart’s desire is to see other women have a relationship with Jesus. Michelle and her husband, Derek, teach a young couples Sunday School class, and they are both very involved with their church. They live in Flora and have two girls, Abby and Hannah.