(A Ministry of the Mabelvale Church)
On March 11, 2013, seventeen ladies from the Mabelvale congregation met at a local Applebee’s to discuss ways to enhance the benevolent program at Mabelvale, and to utilize their skills to become more involved in the work of the church. After three hours of dinner and discussion, several ideas were presented, which include the following:
OBJECTIVE: To involve as many women as would like to participate in service to those in the congregation and the community who have physical and spiritual needs. “Sisters in Service” is an avenue for women (young and older) of the Mabelvale congregation to become more involved in the work of the church by utilizing their individual talents and expertise; thus, enhancing the benevolent program already in place. It involves many ladies with the heart of Phoebe, who want to serve the congregation at Mabelvale.
IDEAS & SUGGESTIONS:
- Search for opportunities to serve and assist those in need.
- Bible study.
- Assess needs as opportunities develop via application and interview.
- Work with local fire stations and families after a fire by providing blankets. We have a fire station close by and a lady who can make blankets. These blankets would be accompanied with gospel tracts and literature. They will try to do follow-ups on these distributions.
- Coordinate efforts to provide classes on cooking, menu planning, buying groceries, sewing, cleaning, couponing, money, money management and general organizational skills.
- Placement in jobs and classes on interviews, employment applications, dressing for success and job performance.
- School supplies: members contribute; buy wholesale; attach church literature, scarves, hats, etc.
- Summer reading program; members’ children reading program.
- Summer tutoring.
FUNDING: This ministry is funded through the church’s treasury and member’s donations, such as school supplies, furniture, clothes, etc.
OVERSIGHT: This ministry (as are all works of the Mabelvale church) is under the oversight of the eldership, with the assistance of Ray Bryan, our deacon in charge of benevolence. Every dollar that is spent and all the work that is done is with the oversight and direction of the elders.
This work has been in place for a few years now, and it is a very effective ministry. Appreciation goes to each of the helping hands that are involved. Glory goes to God for all that is done! If anything, we need more programs like this that involve women working with women. We are guilty of underusing our women in the church in those areas where they can Scripturally and effectively serve. I conclude with this insightful and astute statement from brother Everett Ferguson, who wrote, “Christians must confess that churches have not always utilized women as fully as…they were involved in apostolic days…In reflecting cultural norms of the past the church through history has sometimes not only failed to put women to work fully but has even allowed their repression. Under the pressure of different cultural norms in the present, the church should not abandon scriptural standards concerning male and female roles. Both reactions are wrong. Cultural practices and societal preferences should not lead the church into either error, either placing undue restrictions on women’s work or not respecting Biblical limitations” (Women in the Church, pgs. 9-10).
by Dennis Gulledge