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Thanks Zach!  I totally agree with you, and I probably should have used a different title.  Dwelling in the text really is about sitting with the text and waiting on the Holy Spirit to speak to us.   

I was writing this from the perspective of my work with Coffee Break (CB).  While CB is evangelistic in nature, many women come with varied experience in Bible study.  Some have never opened the Bible; others may have great familiarity but gloss over the richness of scripture.  Questions really help us to dig into the text, to look at things in a fresh way, and to begin to apply the truths we are learning to our own journeys.  The Holy Spirit also often speaks to us through what others express in a group; groups are so helpful in the journey of discovering what the Bible says and means.  

Thanks for sharing with us your practice of printing out the scripture, which is another truly meaningful way to engage the text!  Blessings to you as you continue in the Word!

The Goodness of God - Bethel Music (I am moved by this song every time we sing it.)

Who You Say I Am - Hillsong Worship

Living Hope - Phil Wickham

Mentoring provides blessing for both the mentor and the mentee.  In answer to your question about whose responsibility it is to maintain the relationship, many mentoring/coaching resources recommend that the initiative must be with the mentee.  While I agree with this in leadership development, I believe that walking alongside our youth might require a slightly different approach.  

In my opinion, the most natural kind of relationship would involve initiative that comes from both parties.  As a mentor, especially within a church family, we have the opportunity to invest in someone spontaneously and freely.  Particularly in the case of youth mentees, it would be wonderful if the mentor would bless and pour into a life through encouragement, cards, prayer, invitations etc. unsolicited.  I believe a mentor in these situations can be proactive, rather than simply waiting for youth to initiate.  

Imagine how blessed we would be if more of us would just choose to be a mentor to someone else in our church settings.  Perhaps a young mom, or a young family needs to be encouraged in the challenges of parenting, in the absence of extended family that is far away.  Perhaps a young urban professional needs a seasoned, Christian business man to walk along side him, just to offer support and a listening ear.  Or maybe a young teacher in your midst would welcome the support of a mature person or a family home.  

The blessing of mentoring - an opportunity waiting to be embraced!

Thanks Ruth, 

I have observed this somewhat in my  Coffee Break group.  We have a growing number of women who are finding us through various avenues.  I have learned that it is a gift to others if you come into their space, particularly those who are from another country and culture.  I've learned to eat new foods, and learn about other cultures.  Hospitality goes both ways - offering and receiving.  Thanks for sharing your learning!!

Marian Lensink on May 26, 2010

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Thanks Freda, for sharing about your Coffee Break ~ it sounds like things are going very well. Thanks for the renewed call to prayer, to God's Word, to the practice of meeting together, and to being open to God's Mission! May we all be encouraged to follow God's leading as Coffee Break continues to embrace the greater mission of God!

Posted in: Surprises

Emptying ourselves ~ its really what we do when we come to Christ.  And its the manner in which we do ministry, as we recognize that its not what we bring, but its what God can do.  I believe this is a constant battle, to not be driven by our own agenda.   The challenge is to be open to the 'surprise' of God, and also to help others to be open to this as well.  It's about listening to God, in the midst of the busy agenda.

Hi Michelle,

Yes, you should definately be posting these questions - that's the idea!  We want this to be a place to share ideas and resources.

I connected with a Coffee Break group today, who shared a "giving" idea for Christmas.  In a couple of weeks, they will draw names for Christmas for a secret gift, but the gift is meant to be a gift of self.  They are not encouraging purchased gifts, but rather a gift of your talent or time.  Some suggestions shared were to make a gift (cards, knitting, baking, etc.) or to give the gift of time - offer babysitting, take someone out for coffee, visit someone.  Women were challenged to give a gift that flows out of who you are, rather than feeling the need to purchase a gift.  On their special Christmas celebration, they will give these gifts, and share together over coffee and treats.

Another thought might be to involve your women in a service project, for half the morning; finish with your brunch and social time.  Serving others will grow your heart! 
You might consider some of these ideas:
     - have everyone bring some personal care items for the homeless, and put them together in packages for a shelter
     - everyone can bring items for a baby shower for a local women's shelter - package them up and deliver
     - everyone is asked to bring home baking --> prepare packages wrapped in cellophane and deliver to the neighbours around your church
      - ask a community agency what they might need - see how you might assit them
      - sing carols in a nursing home

I'd love to hear more ideas from others!


Thanks Marianne,

It sounds like we share the same heart, recognizing that there is value in having ministry for women.  And yet, we need to embrace our changing culture in fresh ways.  In this new day, we see people less committed to programs or institutions, while hungering for relationship.  How do we do ministry in a new way, in these days?  We need to wrestle with this question, in our Women's ministry.

Regarding the workshop that I led at the Day of Encouragement, I think we just began to scratch the surface.  We talked about the need for all of us as leaders to be wholistic in our ministry - that God's Word needs to inform and shape us, as we engage community, while walking in the fellowship of believers.  We also talked about the need to be pouring into the next generation.

Perhaps the greatest thing that came out of the workshop was the recognition that we need to pour into the life of another.  For many women, there are opportunities to mentor other women, perhaps even somewhat informally.  We can identify someone who could be encouraged in their leadership, and simply offer to pray for them, and walk alongside them in their journey. Or we might intentionally walk alongside someone who is far from God - pray for them, initiate conversations that might go to spiritual things, etc.

Too often we have rested in the 'programs' of church, of which Coffee Break is one.  While I believe programs can be so helpful in discipleship, I also believe that if we're not doing this on a personal level, the programs begin to fall flat.  Jesus poured into the lives of his 12 disciples (his small group) and more intentionally into the life of 3.  So, who are your 12, and who are your 3? 

2 Tim. 2:2 demonstrates the need to continually pour into the life of others, through teaching.  It speaks for 4 generatioons of Christians.  Each one of us can read the passage, and see where we fit into the picture.  Am I passing on the faith, through my life rubbing onto the life of another?  Am I salt and light in my church, and my community? 

I have thought about having a forum as Marianne describes - gathering people together to wrestle through the question of women's ministry in today's changing culture. 

Please let me know - What are your thoughts about Women's Ministry in the current culture?

I hope to hear from you!




Thanks so much for this post, helping us to focus on transformation!  I like the questions you've listed here.  I really like that some of the questions are focused on the application of what we're learning.  Sometimes there is a danger in thinking that we only need to change our hearts; but real transformation is lived out in our obedience.  And, as we obey, we begin to experience even greater transformation.  Our obedience fuels a heart change, which fuels our obedience, etc.  It's like a dance!

Here are a couple of additional questions we might consider:

     * What is God asking you to do?

     * Where do you see God at work, and how can you join Him?

     * Who else needs to know?  Who can you share with about what you've learned today?  

 Thanks for your work!

Hi Kate, 

I'm not sure if you're asking about having partners within or outside the group.  Sometimes we can invite women who can't come to the group (perhaps because they're working or otherwise unavailable), to be partners with people in the group, or to pray for the group as the group is meeting. 

However, I suspect you are asking about pairing up, or partnering within the group.  Here are some suggestions:

1.  Invite women to pair up, in the group, share one prayer request with each other, and pray .  (Women will often share more freely with one other person, rather than aloud in the group.)

2.  Suggest that women can pray silently or aloud - God hears all of our prayers. 

3.   Suggest that they  pray in response to a statement or question such as "What are you thankful for this week?" or "Who can I pray for that you are concerned about?"  or "What do you want to ask God for this week?"

4.  Give everyone a blank recipe card and ask them to write down their name and a prayer request.  Then trade with a partner, and pray for each other during the week. 

5.  Or....Each woman brings a mug, and places the above card with name and prayer request in the mug.  Trade with a partner, and you are reminded to pray for your partner whenever you have a cup of tea/coffee at home.  Alternatively, these mugs can be exchanged secretly, so that no one knows who is praying for them - like a secret sister.  Pray for your one person throughout the season, and reveal your prayer partner at the end of the year.

6.  This year, we made prayer journals, and are encouraging women to bring the journals each week, and record the things that we are praying for.  Each woman can also pray throughout the week for the needs expressed.  (send me a note if you want more info... [email protected])

I'd love to hear ideas from others as well! 


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