Women's Ministry in the Local Church. Next week we will wrap up our discussion with a conclusion post and after that we'll have a few new announcements to make.
In the meantime, I really hope that you have come to see a least a little value in discussing this book. I want to turn this chapter's discussion back to our main theme around these parts - hospitality.
In Chapter 9 of Women's Ministry in the Local Church, the focus again returns to scripture as the argument as to why it is important to have a women's ministry within the church. I would say that this chapter also has a heavy emphasis on the idea of discipleship, which is a subject that Stephanie discussed and highlighted last week.
Boiled down, the main idea is that in order for women to have a proper Biblical view of their position and roles within their homes and their churches (i.e., the Body of Christ) their worldview needs to be Biblically and scripturally accurate. A women's ministry needs to primarily focus on the Titus 2 model given in scripture.
"You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." Titus 2:1-5Women need to be taught sound doctrine so that they will not be weakened by the culture or the world around them. The church leadership should be concerned about making sure the women are taught and instructed the Bible in an accurate manner. The older women should disciple the younger in both truth and practical application. In this way, the younger women are learning how to be keepers of their home, support systems to their husbands, pillars of strength to their family and to their church. In other words, life begets life and an older woman living out these principles before a younger women, and taking the time to invest in a younger women's life does so for the glory of God and the mutual benefit of believers.
Taking this to hospitality, we must learn how to practice it in a scripturally accurate manner. First, tending to our homes. As women, submitting to our authority figures (i.e., husbands and church leadership.) We should be seeking to bring life to the Body of Christ, to build it up and not tear it apart through slander, laziness or passivity. We have a unique role to play and it behooves us to apply ourselves to learning sound doctrine and living that out within the Body. And yes, one of those ways is by offering and extending hospitality to others, which is a Biblical command.
I'm going to end with a quote and exhortation from Hunt on this topic and would be curious to hear what you have to say and share from there.
"Churches are filled with women who have traded their birthright as corner pillars to engage in a prideful pursuit of knowledge. They have stopped short of true discipleship that moves from knowledge to wisdom - the application of truth into life. They have perfected some Bible study skills, but they do not know how to live as godly, chaste single women, or love their husbands, or care for the sick and oppressed, or support the male leadership of the church. They are often critical of the men in the church. They have selfish hearts rather than servant hearts. They have not been taught all that Jesus commanded in His Word about their design and calling. They need to grow up. They desperately need an apprenticeship with mature Christian women who will train them in the craft of womanhood." (page 140-141)We can do better. We must do better if we long to be all that God designed and meant for us to be - both in the area of hospitality and in our daily spiritual walk.