A note from Kelly King: Too often, ministry to women seems self-focused or about meeting the immediate needs that each of us have. But, a ministry leader must also create margin in her schedule to look for opportunities to serve. Dawn Stephens encourages you and I to do just that in today’s article.
Recently my son and I took an afternoon to serve together at one of our local mission partners, and I had to put it on my calendar weeks in advance! With my full-time work schedule and my son’s summer activities and band camp approaching, we had a small window of time that worked with this ministry’s needs that I felt my son would enjoy fulfilling that day. Serving should not be that hard, that orchestrated, or that scheduled…but in our busy worlds it has to be if we are going to be obedient to “give a cup of cold water in His name.”
I’m always looking for ways I can encourage my son to serve other people and get the focus off of him, but I did not expect to experience a focus shift myself that day.
As leaders, we are used to taking charge, making plans, coaching volunteers and “knowing the plan” for the day. But on this summer afternoon, I walked into a place I did not know, met welcoming volunteers I’d never met before, and listened to three women who could have been me.
I could have an unexpected medical issue, need unplanned surgery, have a job with no sick pay, lose my job or be reduced to part-time status, get behind on my bills, need groceries for my children, and be sitting in the chair across from someone like me.
And like these women I believed in God, knew Christ as Savior, and believed He would sustain me through this time, but they needed help that day. They needed hope that day. They needed someone that day. And that someone was me.
This local ministry needed me and my son that day, and the ones in your city need you too! Let me encourage you to make it a goal to learn about one or two new local ministries in your city each year and schedule an afternoon to “go” in Jesus’ name. And be sure to take someone with you.
Dawn has been involved in women’s ministry in both volunteer and staff positions for many years. She is the Women’s Minister at The Church at Brook Hills, in Birmingham, Alabama. Her desire is 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 Women’s Trainer. She is a contributing author to Transformed Lives Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level. She is married to Greg and has one son, Tyler. They make their home in Birmingham, Alabama.