A note from Kelly King: Each month, we will feature a leader who ministers to women, either through the local church, a non-profit organization, or in the marketplace. In today’s Q&A, we’re featuring Cynthia Hopkins. Cynthia is a new LifeWay Women trainer, but she has been involved in ministry for many years. You can hear Cynthia at You Lead on February 22 in Long Beach, California. For more information, click here.
Who has been most influential in your ministry leadership and how did they influence you?
There have been so many, but I will say Alta Lynn Gerlach, whose husband pastored the church where my husband Clay served as student/activities minister and then education. She taught me the art and joy of giving because she loves to give gifts and meet needs in a super fun way. She taught me to be generous in my relationships with other people by inviting them over for meals and going above and beyond expectations in such events. This wasn’t in terms of “fanciness.” Rather, it was a thinking of everything to help other people have fun and feel extra special, loved, and welcome. There is nothing Alta Lynn doesn’t think can be accomplished; no idea is too big. She helped me think outside the box and always have fun with others while doing it!
How do you practically spend time with the Lord each day? What is your normal practice?
My practice is unusual, since I write Bible study materials all day. So spending time with the Lord is built in to my daily work. To make sure that’s personal to me and not simply thinking about how to help other people spend time with the Lord, I treat those assignments first as my own personal study. One thing I’m beginning to do is to journal from those experiences after I’ve finished the work day. For instance, I just created discussion guides for two entire Bible studies (six weeks of material each) in one week! They were so rich and relevant to me that I don’t want to jump past them quickly, so I am taking some time to pray and write about what God taught me in those video messages and workbooks. Outside of my daily work, I’m usually preparing to teach a class or speak at a women’s event. So I set aside certain days to spend time with the Lord where I am not working on anything else, but I’m able to spend time with Him and listen as He speaks to me. I always want what I write and teach to be an overflow of what God is doing in my own life.
What is your best piece of leadership advice to another women’s ministry leader?
God was at work in the people you’re ministering to before you came along. He’s working in them now, and He’ll be working in them after you’ve stepped back from that role. So step into the process and join Him in it because it’s not up to you and it’s not about you.
What is your current leadership struggle?
Getting women to form real connections in the church with people outside their usual groups of two or three. Or maybe just having the patience to see that culture develop.
What “new” thing are you trying this year that is requiring faith?
Leading back-to-back trips to Toronto and Vancouver for women’s conferences there. I’m leading one team to Toronto then meeting a second team in Vancouver the following week to lead there. It involves a lot of administration, but at the same time, a lot of letting go and trusting God will use the teams in the ways He is equipping them because there’s no possible way I can manage all of it on my own.
Cynthia Hopkins is a writer, speaker, and the founder of Platform 320, a nonprofit ministry for women. Cynthia has been writing articles, Bible studies, and devotions for LifeWay for almost 20 years. She is the author of “What Now?” a 30-day book of devotions to help teenagers own their faith after the spiritual high of a camp or retreat experience. Through Platform 320, she leads multi-church women’s retreats, ministry wives retreats, and women’s mission endeavors. Her husband Clay is the associate pastor at their church, FBC College Station, TX. They have two young adult children, Brandon and Abby.