WOMEN’S MINISTRIES is one area within the church where women are making great strides.
This is whether they run departments within their congregations or lead voluntary organisations/charities/CICs which meet sum human need.
However, women’s ministries must move from just being spiritual and also play a major role in empowering women to exert greater influence on wider society, as well as bring about social change.
When I became a Christian as a teenager, over two decades ago, women’s ministries weren’t in vogue. Women learnt about their faith alongside other church members. They existed but weren’t prominent.
I do recall, however, that in the late 1990s women’s ministries started to come to the fore in black Pentecostal churches. This was partly because the church was then overrun by confident professional women, and also because women needed a forum where they could meet with other women, talk candidly about real-life issues and receive spiritual support and prayer.
It was during this time I attended a women’s meeting that in my view was a game changer and helped to spearhead the change that was occurring.
The event, hosted by the Women’s Department of Rhema Christian Ministries (RCM) in Norwood, south London, was led by Carol Johnson.
The meeting attracted hundreds of women, and it was the first time I attended an event where a woman shared so openly about her marriage breakdown – her husband left her while she was pregnant and she hadn’t seen him since.
He also left her in thousands of pounds of debt. The testimony was an eye opener for me, because, like many at the time, I thought Christian marriages were solid and happy.
The woman’s story moved me so much I interviewed her for The Voice, using a pseudonym. Fast forward to 2019 and women’s ministries are everywhere and no subject or area of life is off limits.
Issues they deal with include prayer, spiritual development, public speaking, business, domestic violence, mental health, community outreach, counselling, supporting lone parents – and the list could go on and on.
In this new era, Women’s Ministries need to ‘up the ante’ again, and not only encourage women to be active role in the church and excel in their career and business ambitions.
They need to encourage Christian women to network with each other more and play an active role in civic society.
Christian women are needed to serve as school governors, charity trustees, local councillors, MPs and on public bodies so they can bring their transformational influence in these arenas.