Women’s Ministry in CGs -- Part 2
Last week, we shared an article on the role of women in ministry. In this second part of the two-part article, we examine what are the practical ways to care for the women in CGs.
In GBC, we treasure the diversity among God’s people, and so our care groups (CGs) are not only intergenerational ones, but also comprise both genders. In our CGs, how can we better care for the women in our community? Why is it important that we do so? Adapted from the sharing by our sister and ministry worker Carrie Chong during a recent session of Centralised Leading of Bible Studies (CLOBS), the first part of this article examines the role of women in ministry and this second part suggests some practical ways we can minister to the women in GBC.
If around half of the church comprises women, then we should not just think of women’s ministry as a separate work, but also as a part of our church life, and even part of our CG life. In CGs, male leaders could enlist the help of their spouses or mature sisters in the group to minister to other women, and in this way take up the responsibility of caring for our sisters.
Here are some ways that we (especially the brothers) can build a culture of caring for and involving the women in our church:
1. Men, be attentive to how we may be unintentionally gender-blind or insensitive. Sometimes we only know of women as “someone’s wife” or “someone’s mother”, but not as a person. In our bias, we may also think that women have nothing to add to our discussions.
2. All of us can also learn to cultivate healthy conversation by better listening to one another, and especially to sisters whom we tend to overlook or ignore. At the CG level, invite the sisters to share to hear how God’s Word speaks to their lives.
3. Gather for occasional or regular gender-specific small groups for discussion and/or prayer. This allows not only the women to disciple and encourage each other, but opportunities for the men to do so for each other.
4. Gently encourage the sisters in the church, and in the CG, to read the Bible one-to-one with one another (both within or beyond CG). For some this may be daunting, or new, or stressful, so we should be gentle in our encouragement.
5. Pray regularly for the needs of our sisters, mothers, daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters.
6. Reach out to the elders for or those in charge of specialised ministry to women with specific needs (i.e. Carrie for women's ministry including Moms’ Connect for new moms, Elder Jonathan for ministry to young marrieds, Elder Chuan Xin for children’s ministry).
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it provides some ideas on how we can start caring for and loving the women in our church. We are thankful for the women in our church, who are loving God and serving Him faithfully. Let us help them to continue to do so, and also encourage more women to do so!