Bern, Switzerland [D. Hochstrasser, CD EUDNews]. February 16, 2015.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a rapidly-growing denomination, yet much work remains for all to do. Because women make up 70% of church membership, their participation in the church’s mission to prepare people for Jesus’ second advent is vital.
Women’s Ministries has three main emphases: nurture – empower – outreach.
On nurturing we concentrated for many years, offering retreats and meetings for women to help them find a closer relationship with Jesus. Women’s Ministries offered small islands of spiritual wellness, and built a network between women to encourage and help each other.
Since 2010 Women’s Ministries in the Inter-European Division started to emphasize empowering and promoted leadership training for women in 3 levels, with one additional level for leaders. At the end participants could apply for a certificate from Griggs University, valid for 30 credit points. This very much encouraged women to start a ministry inside their home church and to become active in all departments of the church.
We need all three emphases all the time, but starting with the first Inter-European Congress in 2014 the main emphasis switched to outreach. The Congress was a training seminar and the different workshops and presentations offered many tools for women to engage in different kinds of outreach.
This year we celebrate 20 years since the establishment of Women’s Ministries as a full department. But women’s ministries already existed during the turn of the previous century when Mrs. S.M.I. Henry saw the need to nurture and encourage women to reach their full potential, which was also encouraged by Ellen White, who wanted women to work side by side with men in the church, fulfilling an important task.
“When a great and decisive work is to be done, God chooses men and women to do this work, and it will feel the loss if the talents of both are not combined.” Evangelism, p 469
When Elder N.C. Wilson realized in 1995 that women with their own and special gifts are needed inside the Church, the department was established.
What exactly do women do under Women’s Ministries?
Friendship Evangelism, Small Group ministry, enditnow Abuse prevention with the different campaigns, training seminars, Plant a Seed Ministry, Prayer Ministry, Homes of Hope and Healing Ministry, Discipleship Ministry, Community Outreach Ministry, B=B (Bible = Baptism) Ministry, Prison Ministry, Visitation Ministry, Girls4Christ (reaching out to young women), Nurture Ministry which focuses on enriching the spiritual lives of women
But women are also active also in all other areas of Church life. To empower women is to encourage and teach them how to be involved and to be God’s Instrument in this world.
God is interested in people, in men and women equally. This was made clear from the very beginning of the world, as recorded in the first chapters of the Bible. And it is our wish and goal, that women, as well as men can hear when God calls them, and that they respond to this calling and are allowed to engage in a ministry to the church and community in all areas and at all levels equally.
In 2015 we are celebrating our 20th anniversary. But it is no reason to sit down and rest. We will continue to engage in all three main areas, with a special emphasis on outreach.
Why do we need Women’s Ministries in 2015 and until Jesus returns? A quote from President Barack Obama gives a good answer: ‘If we empower women, the whole world is better off.’
I would like to say: If we empower women, the whole church is better off.
Therefore Women’s Ministries is important for the church. Women support all departments of the church. We all benefit from it. Come and see, and you will understand why Women’s Ministries helps men and women equally.
All the materials are available on our Website http://www.women.eud.adventist.org/
The Women’s Ministries Calendar you can find here http://www.women.eud.adventist.org/
..and you can connect with us on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/pages/Women-in-action/634611833226119