A note from Kelly King: Living life and leading with purpose are often topics around the leadership table. Yet, God’s Word provides simple and clear directions through the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. In today’s article, Stephanie Edge breaks down both of these “greats” as you explore your true sacred calling.
In our culture, we are bombarded with things and activities competing for our time and attention. And, if we are not careful, we can get caught up, side-tracked, and swept away by the unimportant and non-essential. Society’s perspective and the opinions of others should not dictate what we do and what we value. Our values and life direction should be established by the priorities outlined in God’s Word.
In Matthew 22, the Pharisees gathered and an expert in the law asked Jesus about the greatest commandment. He responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command” (vv. 37-38, emphasis mine). According to Jesus, loving God should be our priority. Most Christians would affirm the importance of the great commandment. However, sometimes there is a gap between our mental assent and our manifest actions. What we believe is demonstrated by what we do. What does it mean to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind? Loving God means loving Him with a passion and purpose. Pleasing and honoring Him should be our top priority and focus. Loving Him means spending time with Him in prayer, reading His Word, and worshiping with fellow believers. As a women’s leader, are these practices manifest in your life? We cannot effectively lead others to do what we simply say. But, rather by observing our lives, we should reflect a desire and a drive to love God. Are you loving God well? Are you leading women to love God?
Unsolicited, Jesus went on to add, “The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” (v. 39, emphasis mine). We are commanded to love others as we go about our daily lives, errands, tasks, and jobs. We live in an individualistic society and the idea of preferring others is not intuitive. Unfortunately, honoring others is often far from the forefronts of our minds. Do women see you as a leader demonstrating a love for others? We can love others through our prayers (Jas. 5:16), words (Prov. 16:24), comfort (2 Cor. 1:4), and encouragement (1 Thess. 5:11). Are we leading and teaching other women to follow Christ’s example of loving people?
Another passage of Scripture is often referred to as “great.” That is the great commission. In Matthew 28:18-20, “Jesus came near and said to them, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” Jesus commissioned and sent out the disciples as He sends out all believers today. We are called to makes disciples of all nations. Sharing the gospel and teaching others about Jesus’ commands is to be of great importance. Is making disciples a focus for you as a women’s leader? Are you teaching women to share the gospel message with others?
Often, we seek to find our purpose. However, this purpose may be closer than we think. We have one sacred calling: the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. We should love God, love people, and make disciples. Is this the focus of your life? Is this mission of your women’s ministry?
Stephanie Edge has a passion for teaching God’s Word and ministering to women. She served in Women’s Ministry in the local church for sixteen years and worked in College Ministry for ten years. Stephanie graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity. She also completed a Masters of Theology and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Stephanie currently is an Associate Professor at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee and teaches adjunct for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.