Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. I John 4:7
Our leadership topic in March for the Women's Ministry Cluster was two-fold, using this article as a starter for our conversation. “Reclaiming our Identity as the Beloved and Reaching the Next Generation.”
- We are beloved. What does that mean for us and how we relate to others?
- Love is unconditional: it doesn’t depend on our accomplishments
- Love is authentic: who is better to love than the church that has been loved by God?
- Love listens without judging
- Love reaches across all generations
- Love says you are enough
- Love comes from God, fills us, allows us to reach out to others
- Love does not shame
- Love stands with others
- Love overcomes perfectionism
- Love drives out fear
As Christian leaders, self-care is important. Take care of yourself. If you aren’t experiencing this love, how will you be able to give it to someone else? We must free ourselves from a culture of shame. While shame affects women greatly, it affects the men, too. We need to face this authentically.
Some millennials and younger generations experience love and the church differently than older generations. They are aware of differences in their lives and what they see on social media, and are acutely aware of hypocrisy. Millennials see hypocrisy in churches and in their communities. They value community and authenticity.
God reminds us that he loves us with a perfect love that bridges all generations. When we think we are not enough, remember God’s love completes us. We see God’s perfect love in Jesus and this perfect love lives in us through the Spirit.
UPCOMING! Our next Women’s Ministry Cluster meets Tuesday, April 21, at 1 p.m. EST. We will learn from individuals who experience difficult situations in life. Pastor Emily Scott of a Luthern (ELCA) church shares insights from her experience during Hurricane Sandy in New York City. We will read and share reflections from her blog titled Your Brain Won’t Work as Well, Tips for Spiritual Leaders during COVID-19 here. We will start promptly at 1 p.m. with introductions and then share our own experiences based on Emily’s tips.
Our desire is to create a safe space for vulnerability, acceptance, sharing, and learning. If you haven’t joined a Women’s Ministry Cluster group yet, sign up here.