Don Carson on the Need for Word-Filled Women’s Ministry

Of the various components that make up the ministry of The Gospel Coalition, one of the most vibrant is the National Women’s Conference. This has served, among other things, to bring together a remarkable group of women who have studied Scripture and shared their experiences and then branched out into a growing list of shared projects. Not a few of these have been tied to writing and publishing.

In Word-Filled Women’s Ministry: Loving and Serving the Church [download excerpt], 10 of these women attractively encourage a broad range of ministries—ministries that are grounded in Scripture but that never forget there are real people out there. The title and subtitle hold up their twin foci: Word-filled ministry and the centrality of the local church.

But what is most attractive about these essays is that they are wonderfully outward-looking. They are thoughtful, but there is no trace of the kind of introspection that is essentially self-consuming. Out of both biblical conviction and years of experience, these women think seriously about discipleship, evangelism, inter-generational mentoring, and compassion. Their strength is evident; their commitment to Scripture robust; their joy in the gospel intoxicating; their anticipation of the consummation providing a lodestar to their lives and service.

Although this is a book by women to foster Word-filled women’s ministry, much of it will be read with equal profit by men. I hope that some of those men will be pastors who, in consequence, reflect on what they can do to encourage such ministry in their own churches. 


Endorsements

“Women’s ministry is ultimately not about women. Nor is it about programs. It’s about the glory of God and the health of his church. Word-Filled Women’s Ministry is a much-needed resource for both men and women to consider the necessity of ministry among women as well as the centrality of the Word for cultivating a church in which women flourish.” 
Melissa Kruger, Women’s Ministry Coordinator, Uptown Church; author, The Envy of Eve

“There is no question that the women in your churches will be discipled. The only question is whether they will be discipled by the world or the Word. That’s why I’m so excited about Word-Filled Women’s Ministry. It’s more than a book. These contributors represent a movement of teachers guiding women to find hope and freedom and salvation in the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in his Word. I couldn’t more highly esteem these writers, and I pray that you will take up their charge to take up the Word.”
Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; author, Blind Spots

“Here is a book that focuses on the possibilities and not just the problems of ministry among women. It is written by women from a wide range of ministry contexts, but all with hearts that beat with a common gospel rhythm. Every chapter is grounded in Scripture and wonderfully practical. Women and men of the Word, read it and be encouraged by all the gospel possibilities.”
Jenny Salt, Dean of Students, Sydney Missionary and Bible College

“This is a significant subject that I have long been interested in, and the voices of my sisters in this book are as edifying as they are encouraging. Pastors, teachers, elders, and women’s ministry leaders alike will benefit from this Bible-based, gospel-centered, local church–focused work. I so resonate with their central thesis—“Profitable ministry among women is grounded in God’s Word, grows in the context of God’s people, and aims for the glory of Christ”—that I anticipate with joy the flourishing of this vision in the churches.”
J. Ligon Duncan, Chancellor and CEO, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi

“Word-Filled Women’s Ministry is written for the bustling daughters of Christ, who need God’s Word to train and sustain them in their various labors. It acknowledges the vast diversity of women’s ministries in different churches while calling them to a unified commitment to God’s Word. Women grow best as they learn from Scripture, first as it is preached to the gathered church and then as it is explored and explained in the company of other godly women. This book is an incentive to the latter, casting a vision for what can and ought to happen when the Bible takes its rightful place at the center of women’s ministry.” 
Megan Hill, pastor’s wife; author, Praying Together; blogger, Sunday Women

“A marvelous resource for thoughtful Christians, male and female, who long to see the power of the gospel unleashed in their own lives, in the church, and throughout world.” 
Colin S. Smith, Senior Pastor, The Orchard, Arlington Heights, Illinois

“Full of careful biblical teaching and many helpful applications, this book is an invaluable aid for all Christian women to think through their own ministry possibilities. But it is also a highly useful tool for pastors and elders to understand and then activate much-needed biblical opportunities for every ministry in the local church. I hope it will be on the must-read list of every church leader.”
David Jackman, Former President, Proclamation Trust, London, England

“Gloria Furman and Kathleen Nielson, along with a host of other talented writers, help us explore a vision-guided practice of our theology. Too often in church ministry, gender is received as a problem to be solved rather than as a beautiful gift from God to be explored. This book is a marvelous map to enjoy God, lead in God’s church, and explore God’s world, whether a woman is stepping into ministry for the first time or is a seasoned veteran.”
Daniel Montgomery, Pastor, Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, Kentucky; Founder, Sojourn Network; author, Faithmapping and Proof


Table of Contents

Part 1: The Heart of Women’s Ministry

1. The Word at the Center: Hearing God Speak
    Kathleen Nielson
2. The Word on Women: Enjoying Distinction
    Claire Smith
3. The Word Passed On: Training New Leaders
    Carrie Sandom

Part 2: Contexts for Women’s Ministry

4. The Local Church: Finding Where We Fit
    Cindy Cochrum
5. The World around Us: Practicing Evangelism
    Gloria Furman
6. The Ends of the Earth: Thinking Global
    Keri Folmar

Part 3: Issues in Women’s Ministry

7. Older and Younger: Taking Titus Seriously
    Susan Hunt and Kristie Anyabwile
8. Sexual Wholeness: Affirming Truth with Compassion
    Ellen Dykas
9. Gifts and Giftedness: Finding the Place to Serve
    Kathleen Nielson and Gloria Furman

Part 4: The End of Women’s Ministry

10. Ultimate Goals: Heading for That Day
     Nancy Guthrie


Editors’ note: Pastors and women’s ministry leaders, for information about exploring Word-Filled Women’s Ministry Training in your context, please contact Mallie Taylor, coordinator for women’s initiatives: mallie.taylor [at] thegospelcoalition.org.

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