• In their book, Organic Mentoring: A Mentor’s Guide to Relationships with Next Generation Women, Dallas Theological Seminary professors Sue Edwards and Barbara Neumann encourage older women in Christ to continue to pursue and invest in “postmodern” women despite the generation gulf between them. Based on Neumann’s dissertation research on the mentoring needs of postermodern women,… [Continue Reading]

    Organic Mentoring (& new women’s ministry resources)
  • This post is part of the series Seeing the Story of the Scriptures outlining the four basic plot moves in the Bible, God’s story for the world. The first plot move in God’s story for the world is creation, which reveals that a good King created a good world. But in plot move 2, something… [Continue Reading]

    Plot move 2 in God’s story (how evil came to be)
  • Looking for a way to give your kids global-gospel eyes? Then check out this massive resource – Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation. A RESEARCH TOOL Operation World is a reference book containing information about each of the world’s countries. Each country is profiled outlining geography, people, economy, politics, and a breakdown of religions.… [Continue Reading]

    Operation World: how to give your kids global eyes
  • So, it’s been pretty quiet around here. Not because I haven’t been thinking about you, lovely readers, but because God has been showing me some new ways to invest in the women God has placed directly in my life. Like these cuties! A few weeks ago, we hosted a fall kick-off event at our church,… [Continue Reading]

    Kicking off fall with a women’s ministry event

Organic Mentoring (& new women’s ministry resources)

Ministry Monday Women's Ministry {Hive Resources}

Organic Mentoring {Womens Ministry Resources at Hive Resources}In their book, Organic Mentoring: A Mentor’s Guide to Relationships with Next Generation Women, Dallas Theological Seminary professors Sue Edwards and Barbara Neumann encourage older women in Christ to continue to pursue and invest in “postmodern” women despite the generation gulf between them.

Based on Neumann’s dissertation research on the mentoring needs of postermodern women, the book outlines how existing women’s ministries can incorporate a new and more “organic” model of discipleship through mentoring.

In her research, Barbara uncovered that nearly 80% of young women abandon their mentoring relationships in the first six months. Yet, despite busy schedules and unfettered access to information, the authors believe younger women today (Gen Xers and Millennials) are crying out for mentors.

What is Organic Mentoring {Hive Resources Womens Ministry Resources}But with fewer churches seeing success in their traditional mentoring models, the author believes the problem lies in church’s “worn-out” mentoring models. Instead of teacher or role model, younger women want a mentor who is simply “an honest woman with whom they can process life.”

Here’s what I liked about the book:

–The authors sound the call for the church to return to the Titus 2 mandate and intentionally cultivate inter-generational communities.

–The book offers positive helps for women of the “modern” generation (born before 1965) to better reach younger women by looking at the cultural disconnects between generations in the pew.

–Based on Barbara’s research, the book offers a clear breakdown of postmodern values and what kind of ministry they respond to.

–The book offers practical ideas for tweaking existing mentoring models such as putting the mentee in the driver’s seat and having the mentor act as a life guide instead of wisdom dispenser.

–The book emphasizes building life-on-life relationships through sharing stories as a means for discipleship. That means mentors must strive to be more than a role model who seems to have it all together, but transparent, authentic pictures of God’s grace.

–The book gives ideas for ensuring time spent together is more than simply “hang-out” time by listening with a purpose and developing deeper conversations.

Here’s what I didn’t like about the book:

–Call me a modern woman in a postmodern body, but I though the book over-advocated accommodating to the postermodern generation. Simply put, the book didn’t call postmodern women to the same cost of discipleship as their disciplers.

If women’s ministries are ever going to successfully create fully-formed, replicating disciples, we must shake postmodern women out of this ‘me-centered’ funk that often dominates my generation and our approach to faith.

–By the book’s end, I wasn’t fully convinced that organic mentoring model is intentional enough for developing a fully formed, replicating disciple. Although, if I had a mentor, I’d want her to be all the things Sue and Barbara advocate in their book.

Overall, this book is a must-read for any women’s ministry leader who is trying to incorporate a Titus 2 model of mentoring into her women’s ministry strategy. The practical insight and wealth of research on ministering to the postermodern woman is worth the purchase price alone.

Organic Mentoring is a book to navigate the do’s and don’ts of ministry to postmodern women.

New resources for women's ministry leaders {Hive Resources}

Also, I’ve very excited to announce that I recently teamed up with a new group of ladies who share my desire to equip women leaders in the church!

The brains behind this resource are author and blogger Gina Duke and Cyndee Ownbey of Women’s Ministry Toolbox. Be sure to follow our collaborative Pinterest Board for access to helpful ideas for discipling and engaging the women in your church.

Must Follow Women's Ministry Leaders {Hive Resources}

This post contains affiliate links. For more info, click here.

Plot move 2 in God’s story (how evil came to be)

Seeing the Story of the Scriptures {A Hive Resources Series}

This post is part of the series Seeing the Story of the Scriptures outlining the four basic plot moves in the Bible, God’s story for the world.

The first plot move in God’s story for the world is creation, which reveals that a good King created a good world.

But in plot move 2, something is going to happen in the story to change all that.

In Gen. 2:16-17, we are told that there was a law in the kingdom.

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

The author is making an important point: God alone knows what is good for man and what is not good for him.[i] What is best for him and what will be disastrous. The good King who created this good world knows what is good for his subjects.

What are the four plot moves of the Bible? {Hive Resources}Some might wonder why God gave this law in the first place. If the Garden was such a great place, why was a law needed? Is God some cosmic-kill joy?

Gen. 2:16-17 gives us the answer: the law of the kingdom is set up to enable man to stay in the kingdom and enjoy and serve the King.

A little further in the story, we have what history calls the Fall – the moment when sin and evil entered into God’s good world. This is the second plot move in God’s story; Adam and Eve choose to break the King’s law.

Gen. 3:6 summarizes what happened: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate….”

There’s that word “good” again. The author is pulling our attention to the goodness of creation.

Only, instead of God defining what is “good,” now we see Eve is determining the “good” on her own.

Eve put herself in God’s position when she ate the forbidden fruit, acting as the judge of what is “good” and how she would enjoy that “good” apart from the King’s provision. And as the King’s sub-regent, this is the mightiest act of rebellion. The sub-regent is casting off the authority of the King and acting in her own name instead.[ii]

Ironically, the first couple’s quest to determine what constituted both good and evil apart from their King left them unable to enjoy the ‘good’ at all!

CONSEQUENCES OF the Fall

In the rest of Gen. 3, we see some major consequences of sin. Spiritually, all of the King’s warnings come true. The first couple experiences a death in all the major areas of their lives.

Adam and Eve’s sin means they are exiled from the kingdom. Not only are they driven from the land, but they are also driven from God’s presence. This separation from God is a spiritual death.

Gen. 3:23-24 says: “Therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”

Evil entered the world through Adam and Eve. The result? God’s sub-regents are no longer able to dwell in this good kingdom and dwell in the presence of their King.

WHAT THE FALL MEANS FOR MY STORY

Sin tarnishes every area of our life. It makes it impossible to love God perfectly, love each other perfectly, and love and serve God’s kingdom perfectly.

It’s why terrible things happen around us despite our attempts to “be” good or “do” good. It’s why betrayal exists in our marriages, family relationships are broken, and our world is full of hurting people.

So, what does the fall mean for my story? Our Good King designed us to enjoy the good gifts He provides by mirroring His goodness in our daily lives. Internally, however, sin corrupts the image of God in us. And although we still bear it and are still tasked with being God’s sub-regents, this corrupted image within us now makes it impossible to obey God perfectly and reflect His goodness to the rest of creation.

We all can, in some sense, identify with Eve who wanted to discern the good in life apart from her Good Provider. As Christian women, we must be careful to ensure that our hearts affections center solely on the King and not the good gifts He gives. We must dwell with the reminder that because He is our Good Creator, He alone knows what is best for us, including how God’s good gifts are best enjoyed.

But thankfully, sin is not the end of our story – or of God’s story. Because in the next plot move, we’ll see that our Good Creator has an answer to the evil that has corrupted His creation.

[i] John Sailhamer, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Vol. 2 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990), 45.

[ii] Ibid., 51.

Operation World: how to give your kids global eyes

Ministry Monday MISSIONAL MOTHERHOOD {Hive Resources} #missionalmotherhood

Looking for a way to give your kids global-gospel eyes? Then check out this massive resource – Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation.

How to introduce your kids to world cultures {Hive Resources}

A RESEARCH TOOL

Operation World is a reference book containing information about each of the world’s countries. Each country is profiled outlining geography, people, economy, politics, and a breakdown of religions.

How to give your kids global-gospel eyes {Missional Motherhood at Hive Resource}

A PRAYER BOOK

Far from being a dry database of facts about the world, Operation World chronicles the evangelization of the world, noting missions emphasis and victories among peoplegroups considered unreached – with little to no access to the gospel.

Nearly 2.84 billion of the world’s population are still considered unreached or among the world’s least reached.

Teaching your kids to pray for world missions {Hive Resources}

The book opens with a great challenge for prayer in Christians to complete this task and includes specific prayer points for world missions. Each country includes answers to prayer as well as challenges to prayer including the physical needs specific that country, how to pray for the population, and missionary personnel on the ground.

Although this could be a great reference book to keep on hand for research papers or missions projects, it is best used as a prayer guide.

Here are some ideas for using this book in your home:

–Pick a country during family devotions and take turns reading about it.

–Bring a globe into your reading time for fun. Let smaller children spin the globe to pick the country you learn about or let older children find the country on a globe after it’s been selected.

–Spend a week praying for a specific country during meal time, following the prayer points outlined in the book.

–Let your children make a poster about your country with facts from the book.

–Have your child write notes to missionary personnel living and working among people they’ve read about and prayed for.

–Turn your reading into a hands-on missions project.  Look for refugees from countries you’ve read about who have relocated to your area. As a family, pray about ways to minister to them. Let your kids lead the way as God calls ideas to their minds and hearts.

For more information about Operation World, check out their website. From their Facebook page, you can receive daily prayer reminders in your newsfeed about pressing concerns in specifics countries. You can also follow them on twitter.

This post contains affiliate links. For more info, click here.

Kicking off fall with a women’s ministry event

Fall Womens Ministry Idea {Hive Resources}

So, it’s been pretty quiet around here. Not because I haven’t been thinking about you, lovely readers, but because God has been showing me some new ways to invest in the women God has placed directly in my life.

Womens Ministry Ideas {Hive Resources}

Like these cuties!

A few weeks ago, we hosted a fall kick-off event at our church, and I thought you might like to see some of our ideas.

Here’s the skinny:

Photo by Sami Beard

Photo by Sami Beard

Making your Kick-off an Entry Event

You’ve heard me say it before: our church is new (technically called a church plant). That means we are small, but gradually, the Lord is bringing new women to us.

During the past year, we’ve discovered one of two things about some of these women: they have a limited biblical background and/or a desire to make disciples but don’t know where to start.

Either way, our church has been presented with an pressing opportunity to pour into the lives of these women and train them to be reproducing disciples.

A fun fall kickoff womens event {Hive Resources}

So, our fall kick-off event wasn’t just a time of fun, food & fellowship. Although, there was cake there (see glorious exhibit A in the photos above), this women’s ministry event was part of a greater strategy we’re implementing to disciple women.

We used the fall kick-off as an “entry event,” where we outlined the various discipleship opportunities we’re offering this year (I’ll be sharing more about those on the blog later).

Then we asked the women to respond or register for the opportunities using this cute Ball Jar response card (see photo above). The response was overwhelming! Almost every woman in attendance expressed a desire to be a part of our discipleship emphasis.

Making discipleship missional

Photo by Sami Beard

Photo by Sami Beard

As a first step toward learning how to disciple, we decorated our tables in meaningful ways. My friend, Julie, helped me assemble these lovely little tree centerpieces using this tutorial (on pinterest, of course).

We called them our Prayer Trees.

When the ladies arrived, the trees were bare, but they sprouted lovely fall colors as we asked the women to write various prayer requests (including their contact info) on paper tags and then hang them on the tree. Each centerpiece included instructions and ideas for what to write down.

Photo by Sami Beard

Photo by Sami Beard

Before the women left, we asked them to pick up our version of a Jar of Clay and to select several prayer tags from the tree. The jar would act as a prayer jar to be put in a visible and accessible spot in the home, where the women could pray over the requests.

To make the tags, I used this Ball jar free clipart and added our theme verse from 2 Cor. 4:7. Next, I printed it out on craft paper and tied a tag to each jar using twine.

Photo by Sami Beard

Photo by Sami Beard

It was such a joy to see the women fill their little jars with requests from our prayer trees. And because many of the prayer requests included the petitioners’ contact info, the women were able to contact those for whom they prayed to encourage them. Since our event, I’ve heard reports of ladies receiving texts, phone calls, and handwritten notes of encouragement from those who are praying for them.

What a sweet testimony to Spirit-led fellowship, modeled for us by the early church in Acts 2:42. As the early believers prayed for each other (among other things), they were granted favor in their community and God added to their number daily. A true picture of what it means to be a Jar of Clay!

Photo by Sami Beard

Photo by Sami Beard

It is our hope that the women who come through our doors will be equipped to become intentional Jars of Clay. We don’t want pretty decorative teapots filled with lots of knowledge about the Bible or sitting pretty on church pews, but rather, women who are filled with the treasure of the gospel and stand ready to pour out their lives for others in Spirit-led ministry.

We’ve seen glimmers of this the past few weeks and it is encouraging! To God be the Glory!

What role does women’s ministry play in your church’s discipleship strategy? How can you make your women’s ministry more missional? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments as we continue to develop our own strategy.

A missionary, mom shares how to raise missional kids

Ministry Monday MISSIONAL MOTHERHOOD {Hive Resources} #missionalmotherhood

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of interviewing Lori McDaniel – former missionary to Zambia and current global mission catalyst for the International Mission Board – about raising missional kids.

The article, which appeared recently in the TEXAN newspaper, was of great personal interest to me as I try to keep my own two guys on the right track. I was eager to hear Lori’s insight into how her own three children – now ages 21, 20, and 15 – felt about living on the mission field and how it impacted their walk with Christ and perspective on the world.

Photo provided by Lori McDaniel. Then 14-yr-old Caleb McDaniel shares the story of the Prodigal Son with a West African village chief. This photo originally appeared in the TEXAN online.

Photo provided by Lori McDaniel. Then 14-yr-old Caleb McDaniel shares the story of the Prodigal Son with a West African village chief. This photo originally appeared in the TEXAN online.

Her counsel didn’t disappoint. It was full of everything I needed to hear:

1) I don’t need to be professional missionary to raise missional kids.

2) Being missional starts with me.

and most importantly,

3) how I can start to raise missional kids right now.

Click here to see the full interview, and be sure to share it to encourage other missional mothers you know.

How to get more out of your personal devotions

3 reasons to read 1 book of the Bible at a time {Guest Post at Missional Women}

 

There is no one way to have a quiet time. But there is a way to get more out of your personal devotions.

Depending on my schedule, my quiet time will look different from season to season. But regardless of how much time I have allotted for personal devotions or what’s going on in my life, I try to follow this strategy. I like to read through one book of the Bible at a time.

Here’s 3 reasons you should read through one book of the Bible at a time – and how they can help you get more out of your personal devotions!

Click here to read the rest of this post over at Missional Women.