When I think of Women's Ministry, I think of craft nights, bake sales, and Beth Moore only Bible Studies. It's sad, but it's true. Even at the seminary I attended, its women's connecting points were similar. Is there anything wrong with learning about cooking, sewing, parenting, and how to be a good gift wrapper? No. I love crafts - hello, I'm semi-obsessed with sewing and am warming up to my new glue gun. BUT I think there is something wrong when we put women's ministry in the box of having children, making crafts, and only studying women's Bible study curriculums. When we do this, we minimize the gifts that God has given us and we hide behind gender norms instead of pursuing loving Jesus and each other better. I previously wrote on this issue a while ago (see "Where my girls at?: Female Theologians & the Church"), but I think Sarah hits the nail on the head in her letter to Women's Ministry. Here is a portion of her letter. She says,
"You know what I would have liked tonight instead of decorating tips or a new recipe? I would have liked to pray together. I would have liked for the women of the church to share their stories or wisdom with one another, no more celebrity speakers, please just hand the microphone to that lady over there that brought the apples. I would love to wrestle with some questions that don't have a one-paragraph answer in your study guide. I would like to do a Bible study that does not have pink or flowers on the cover. I would have liked to sign up to bring a meal for our elderly or drop off some clothes for a new baby or be informed about issues in our city where we can make space for God. I would like to organize and prioritize, to rabble-rouse and disturb the peace of the rest of the world on behalf of justice, truth, beauty and love. I'd love to hear the prophetic voice of women in our church...
...We are smart. We are brave. We want to change the world. We run marathons for our sisters, not so that we can lose weight. We have more to offer to the church than our mad decorating skills. I look around and I can see that these women can offer strategic leadership, wisdom, counsel and even, yes, teaching. We want to give and serve and make a difference. We want to be challenged. We want to read books and talk politics, theology and current events. We want to wrestle through our theology. We want to listen to each other. We want to worship, we want to intercede for our sisters and weep with those who weep, rejoice with those that rejoice, to create life and art and justice with intention.
Let's be a community of women, gathered together to live more whole-hearted, to sharpen, challenge, love and inspire one another to then scatter back out to our worlds bearing the mandate that my friend Idelette wrote, we are women who love. (<---You'll want to read that, I imagine.)
Let us RISE to the questions of our time. Let us SPEAK to the injustices in our world. Let us MOVE the mountains of fear and intimidation. Let us SHOUT down the walls that separate and divide. Let us FILL the earth with the fragrance of Love. Let us be women who Love."
I highly encourage you to read the rest of her blog post on this topic - especially if you're involved in women's ministry in your local church. Even if you disagree with it, it'll give you a glance at how some ladies in your church might feel about women's ministry.
Just some food for thought on this Wednesday.