FIRST-PERSON: Women in ministry
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- Women have been created in the image of God and can do anything they have been gifted and called to do within the guidelines that God has given.
We serve a loving, creative God who is using women to impact this world for Him in a thousand different ways. Hundreds of women, for example, have passed through the halls of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary who are serving to their fullest for Christ and the church.
One of the most frequent questions people ask me about Southwestern's women's programs is, "What do women do with their degrees after they graduate?" The truth is the careers and ministries are as varied as the women themselves.
Here are just a few examples:
Ashley leads the women's ministry for a Baptist state convention.
Meghan is the director of women's ministry at a large theological seminary.
Sarah is the dean of women at a Bible institute in Florida.
Vanessa serves as assistant academic dean and director of institutional research at a college in Houston.
Michelle is a pastor's wife who has built a home fitness business that is faith-based and built on biblical principles. Part of her mission is to teach other women how to do the same so they can stay home with their children.
Spring is married to Charles, who is living with muscular dystrophy, and they're serving in a full-time speaking ministry together.
Diane serves as a missionary in Mexico.
Laura is using her home in Zambia to reach Zambian women.
Amanda is the wife of a college minister and mother of two who also leads Bible studies on biblical womanhood and works with her Baptist association in organizing their associational women's events.
Ashley is a Christian voice in the marketplace who also serves as assistant minister to women at her church.
Claire is performing with a major Christian theater group.
Alanna serves as a girls' minister.
Many others are wives and mothers who are ministering to women and sharing their faith through their homes, churches and everyday lives. Women, both married and single, are serving in churches, para-church organizations, on the mission field and in the marketplace. Some are pastors' wives, some are women's, girls' or children's ministers, some are serving in music ministry and some are missionaries, church planters and educators serving in places near and far.
All of these women, serving as women of influence, have one thing in common.
Each and every one is being used by God to make a difference in the lives of others, leading them to Christ and helping them to grow in their faith. They are making a difference, and they are doing it the way God has designed them.
We have a world full of women who need to know the redemptive message of Jesus Christ and how to receive the gift of life. These same women need to know how to grow in their faith and become fully developing followers of Christ. And for many, they will never hear unless a woman tells them and teaches them.
There are lives to be changed, women to influence and families to impact. Let's go to work, my strong, saved, gifted and called sisters in Christ. There is much to be done!
Terri Stovall is dean of women's programs at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, one of six seminaries supported by Southern Baptists' Cooperative Program to support state, national and international missions. Stovall is the co-author of the book "Women Leading Women." This column first appeared at BiblicalWoman.org, a blog of Southwestern Seminary. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).