When Donna Paulk began her role as the Women’s Ministry strategist for the SBC of Virginia, she confessed that she was overwhelmed with the task of supporting Women’s Ministry for over 600 churches. Donna was excited, but said she wondered if she could do the job. Within months, however, God sent a mature Christian woman whose experience, insight, and emotional support greatly encouraged her as she began this new chapter in her life.
Mentoring Provides Support
This mature Christian woman was Lisa Bryant, former Women’s Ministry director for Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, and her support was critical and timely. Lisa prayed for Donna and gave her invaluable counsel for her new role. God used Lisa to equip Donna to fulfill her calling as a Women’s Ministry strategist.
Essential for Growth
The goal in sanctification—becoming progressively more and more like Christ—is the same for every Christian. However, the road of sanctification is not the same. Donna said that her road has been a mixture of joy and pain. She has experienced the joys of marriage and parenting and has faced the devastation of the death of a child. Donna has experienced times when money was not really a problem and times of financial stress. Throughout it all, one thing remained constant: God has sent older godly women as messengers of hope to stand with her through the good times and difficult times. During each season of her life, they reminded Donna of God’s truth. The Holy Spirit used the truths these ladies shared with her to grow her in the likeness of Christ.
Titus 2:3-5 makes this abundantly clear:
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
In light of this passage, we must pray for God to give us younger women to mentor in the faith. This has been a constant prayer of Donna’s for 20 years, and God has always answered this prayer. Donna has watched young women grow in their relationship with Christ and then go on to help other women grow in their relationship with Christ. First, we start as a spiritual mother to one. Then our influence grows as that one becomes a spiritual mother to another. When this happens, we become spiritual grandmothers and great-grandmothers. If Women’s Ministries are to thrive in the future, mentoring/discipleship must continue to be the primary task of the ministry. In this way, we can build future leaders who will shape ministries and missions while they live out the love of God in the world.
For All Ages
“During my last several years of college, I attended an all-women’s Bible study. The leader, an incredible, godly woman, mentored me throughout those years. She would invite me over on weekdays, and we would drink coffee and talk. Her main goal was to serve me, so she listened, prayed, and offered advice and encouragement.
“Now, as a leader at Aletheia Norfolk, I continue to receive mentorship and mentor other women through discipleship (Matthew 22:36-40; 28:18-20). These relationships are intentional, filled with prayer, accountability, learning, and encouragement, and a time to grow in Christ together through the power of the Holy Spirit.
“As a young leader of women, I would like to encourage all women to approach these intentional relationships with a disciple’s heart, free of judgment and filled with love. It’s important to avoid the mindset of wanting to ‘fix’ a fellow sister—we can’t ‘fix’ people. But you can be bold and let the Lord work through you, with the power of the Holy Spirit, as you disciple other women by intentionally serving, listening, praying, and learning together.”
Amy Henderson Harris has a deep love for teaching, learning, music, and creativity. She currently gets paid to live out one of her passions—teach elementary-aged students! Amy serves alongside her brothers and sisters in Christ at Aletheia Norfolk, where she has the blessing of co-leading the Music Ministry with her husband, Jackson. By faithfully using her gifts, Amy encourages and empowers women to seek Christ, to be grounded in His truth and Word, and to live a bold life, obedient to His calling.