So, I have one more book to review this year. It’s been put off because, well, it’s a book about women’s ministry and I’m not a women. There’s always a conundrum for me examining resources like this, because I may sound condescending or out-of-touch. But, such is life. I wanted the book because I’m out of touch with women’s ministry and needed some help.
So, I turned to a reliable publisher: Kregel Ministry. And to a pair of trustworthy authors: Kelley Matthews I have seen a little bit from, and Sue Edwards who writes excellent Bible studies (Discover Together Series) and teaches at the second-best seminary in the Dallas metro area. (Dallas Theological Seminary) (I teach at the best, sorry.)
The first thing that should be noted: Organic Ministry to Women is a rebuild of 2003’s New Doors in Ministry for Women. I say “rebuild,” because a great deal of cultural and church change has hit since that work provided guidance on women’s ministry at the beginning of the century. The past 16-17 years have also brought new examples of women leading well in ministry to be noted as “Women of Influence” throughout the work.
Next, one should note that Edwards and Matthews have a specific form of ministry in mind as they examine women’s ministry. The first couple of chapters lay this groundwork: the purpose will not be to expand the numerical footprint of a ministry or to have a social impact. The purpose advanced by Edwards/Matthews is a ministry which sees the lives of those involved transformed to be more like Jesus.
That is, the impact can be measured in differences, although it will also be measurable in numbers as others are invited and involved in the ministry.
Edwards and Matthews then go on to provide practical concepts of how to build this type of women’s ministry from scratch within an evangelical church.
What do I make of it as a church pastor?
If someone within the church I lead wanted to see a strong women’s ministry, I would hand her this book as the blueprint. It’s sound, looks like it should work, and addresses the various needs depending on age, life stage, and resources.
Note: I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for the review.