Church life

Women’s Ministry in the Local Church – Chapter 1

“We ought to have an intentional, deliberate approach to female discipleship because men and women are different, and these differences need to be recognized, taken into account, and addressed in the course of Christian discipleship.”

I am working my way through the book Women’s Ministry in the Local Church by, J. Ligon Duncan & Susan Hunt.  The book was written to answer the question: “Why should a church have a women’s ministry?”

I am trying to devour this book quickly in my quest to learn and gain a philosophy of ministry in regards to women.  I will highlight some topics discussed in the book that resonate with what I believe God is leading us to in ministry and discipleship of women.

CHAPTER 1

WOMANHOOD EMBRACED
The need for a biblical apologetic for womanhood is the foundation of this book and the ministry of it’s authors.  Women need to have an understanding of what their specific God created role is in the church and home. The book is founded on a series of books on womanhood and on this document:
THE DANVERS STATEMENT ON BIBLICAL MANHOOD AND WOMANHOOD

DISCIPLESHIP FOCUSED
The intention and goal of women’s ministry is to teach, support and equip women to carry out their God given call in the church and their homes.

MENTORSHIP FOCUSED
Women’s ministry is to be life on life, passing the torch from one generation of women to the other. Young women should grow up in women’s ministry being mentored and guided by older women in the call of womanhood.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
(Titus 2:3-5 ESV)

ELDER INVESTED
The pastors should equip the women’s ministry leadership in theology and doctrine that falls in line with the vision and belief of the church leadership of elders.

ELDER SUBMITTED
The women’s ministry should conduct itself in submission to the leadership of the elder board.  The goal of the women’s ministry leadership should be to carry out the vision of the elders for the church as a whole, with the emphasis being how that vision pertains to godly womanhood.

KINGDOM ORIENTED
The heart of women’s ministry should not be self focused, but kingdom focused.  Activities, studies, events and the mission of the ministry revolve around this kingdom orientation.

“How can we invest in women in a way that equips them as disciples, for their own spiritual maturation, for the good of the marriages and families of the church, for the betterment of the total ministry of the church, for their life in the world?”

Church For The City

“You are the light of the world. 

A city set on a hill cannot be hidden”

~ Jesus, Mat 5:14

Thinking Lately

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of church and the city the church is in, and the more I think and pray about it, the more I think of the unique impacts the gospel made upon distinct cities in the book of Acts – from Jerusalem to Samaria to Corinth to Ephesus to Rome to many others. Each city was changed in different ways by the gospel and those preaching and living the gospel.

I wonder what God has for us in Claremont. I wonder what the needs are in Claremont. I wonder what the Lord will embed in our hearts and our DNA as a church that is specifically needed for Claremont and from Claremont, the San Gabriel Valley; and from there, our part in spreading the gospel to the uttermost parts of the world (btw – i deeply believe in global missions!)

In the City, Of the City, Against the City – or FOR THE CITY?

I was reading this preview of Darrin Patrick’s book “For the City, Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel”. It is well worth 10 minutes of reading because it so captures where my heart is at. This is the type of church I want to pour the next 30 years of my life into!

http://www.wtsbooks.com/pdf_files/9780310330073.pdf

I don’t want to be a church just “in the city” of Claremont, and I have no desire to a church that is “of the city” of Claremont (as Lot was of Sodom), nor do I ever ever want to be a church “against the city” of Claremont (jesus said – “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”).

I want to be a part of a church that is deeply and practically and intentionally “for the city” of Claremont and it’s people. I want to love them and relieve them of their deepest hurts and pains and sufferings – first and foremost the eternal suffering of being separated from God – but then also the secondary sufferings of living in a fallen world that is shattered by sin and it’s consequences.

(more…)

Lead & Inspire By Transparency (as a church)

Having served as an elder for a handful of years now, my observation is that church transparency is not an easy topic. How much drama and hurt does open transparency stir up and how much distrust and questions does non transparency foster? In my opinion, there is no one-size-fit-all solution.

Recently I ran across this post by Reality LA:

http://yir.realityla.com/

It reminds me a lot of John Piper’s annual report about his ministry:

http://www.desiringgod.org/about/john-piper/annual-reports/2009

and the annual report from his church:

http://www.hopeingod.org/document/annual-report-2011

For me, these reports convey intention and purpose and direction and inspires in my heart a desire towards cooperation with what the Lord is doing. I am sure some will scrutinize it for their own purpose, but in the end, I think those people will ultimately find something to scrutinize anyways.

So in the end, I think more transparency is better than less transparency. There is wisdom to be sought on how much transparency a church should have, but I lean on more than less with the hopes that it will lead and inspire God’s people.