Gather, Discover, Scatter: For the Sake of the World

February 1st, 2017

Women want true community in church, a place to feel safe—not entirely comfortable, but accepted, valued, and recognized. Women hope to leave as different people than the ones who arrived, in order to be an influence for good in our world. Gather, discover, scatter—this is the refrain of meaningful ministry for and on behalf of women.

Gather women in settings that offer the chance to get to know each other. Try fun and simple ice breakers that help women become aware of similarities, coincidences, and parallels. This levels the playing field for everyone attending and makes newcomers feel less like strangers. Make the gathering inviting, and then move it along toward establishing relationship by encouraging deeper connection with more intentional conversation prompts or open-ended discussion questions.

A woman joined our moms’ ministry worried that everyone would soon find out about her struggles with her college-aged son. She timidly began to get to know other moms and eventually found herself relaxing after realizing she had several things in common with them. As the group continued, speakers prompted discussion that led her to reveal the struggles she was experiencing; to her surprise, other moms had gone through similar difficulties. She said this about her group: “It has made me more vulnerable and helped me kick ‘perfection’ to the curb. All of this allows me to hear God’s whispers and the purpose in my role as wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.”

Discovering who we are as created beings of a holy God is awe-inspiring as well as overwhelming. Women are seeking deep spirituality, a divine intersection of truth and wisdom, a sense of thy kingdom come, here and now, in this life today. Learning about God’s grace and goodness, Jesus’s life and teachings, and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit empowers us to absorb the hope of our faith.

Offer Bible studies that explore the character of God, the life of Christ, and the fruit of the Spirit. Interject nuggets of truth into other programs or events with an opening prayer, personal story, or biblical narrative. Remind, rephrase, and repeat the good news to encourage women toward a firm faith—not to mention the joy, hope, and peace that comes with invincible trust in a sovereign God. In one woman’s words, “I now know that God has a great, tender love for me. After all, even during the flood of Noah, he reached down to close the ark’s door.”

Additionally, help women discover who they are in Christ by exploring, identifying, and trying on spiritual giftedness. Matching leadership skills with manageable roles helps to organize women’s groups and allows for groups to grow, multiply, and flourish.

Because God is a sending God, women are meant to scatter into the world. In Isaiah 61, the prophet gives several redemptive deeds stemming from the verb sent. Jesus applies this passage to his own ministry in Luke 4:18 (CEB): “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me. He has sent me to preach good news.” The Gospel of John uses send or sent almost sixty times and ends with Jesus making it clear that he is not only sent by the Father but now is the sender: “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21 CEB).

The great part of this idea of sending is that women are designed to put their faith into action. If shown an expressed need and given direction, women’s groups quickly band together to meet the need with grace and love. While working together, they bond as sisters in Christ’s mission of being sent as ambassadors of goodness and mercy.

Partner with local agencies to learn how to best support them through relationship and sustainable efforts. Plan an event that brings awareness to others about an issue, and include action steps toward healing. Encourage each group in women’s ministry to be part of the sending nature of God—pledge funds, write notes, go visit, sort and deliver, donate necessities, serve meals, read books—for the sake of the world.

Women’s groups that are designed to gather, discover, and scatter to bring forth God’s kingdom in today’s world. From these groups come women who love well and embody Jesus in their homes, families, communities, and spheres of influence for thy kingdom to come.

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