Adapted from an LT welcome speech given by Susan Phillis, who served as WASC Chairman from 2005-2007.
When was the last time you planned an event? Do you remember starting with the basic questions?
- Who should come?
- When should we have it?
- Where will we meet?
- What will we serve?
- How will we spend our time?
That’s what your Women’s Advisory Sub-Committee (WASC) members have done in regard to this year’s Leadership Training.
The WASC chose, intentionally, to invite you to this event:
- PresWIC leadership
- Bible study leaders
- Local church women’s ministry leaders
- Directors of Women’s Ministry
- PCA staff members
They made a conscious decision to invite you, because, as you will hear over and over again, we are one body, one church, one team, with one common purpose: to serve God’s church in ministering to people.
Some come as old friends, much like the TV show Cheers, “where everybody knows your name.” Some of you will come for the very first time, wondering why you ever agreed to do this, feeling frightened, isolated, and overwhelmed. Rest assured-everyone in the room has been in your shoes! And the feeling doesn’t last long.
I want you to know: GOD wants you here! You have been prayed for by name and chosen by Him to come and be encouraged and equipped for service.
Our purpose is simple: to train you so you can train others. We’re going to sharpen your skills, challenge your comfort zone, and connect you with other women in ministry. Our hope is as you sit under the teaching of our conference faculty, as you attend various workshops, as you hear testimonies from your sisters, as you gather in regional meetings, and as you meet the coordinators of PCA agencies and committees-through all of this-you will be encouraged and challenged to “fight the good fight of faith.”
Adapted from a welcome speech given by Jane Wiggins who currently serves as WASC chairman.
On behalf of the Women’s Advisory Sub-Committee (or WASC, as you will hear us called), I would like to welcome you to our Women’s Leadership Training Conference. We look forward to our time with you over the three days we will be together during the conference! We usually have many first-time attendees. (Last year the Mid-South, my region, had 20 of our 32 attending for the first time). As the PCA website states, the goal of the annual Leadership Training is to help equip and train you as leaders so that you, in turn, can take back to your women important foundational biblical truths to undergird your ministries as well as resources and ideas to enrich your ministries.
Our challenge each year is to be reminded of our purpose for women’s ministry. The purpose statement for women’s ministry as written by the PCA founding fathers in 1973 is one that you may know by heart: That every woman know Christ personally and be committed to extending His kingdom in her life, home, church, community, and throughout the world. I would ask you to consider these questions as you anticipate coming to the conference:
- What IS the goal of your ministry? Is it a calendar filled with events, programs, Bible studies, and retreats…all good, mind you…but simply there because you “think” that this is what ministry is all about? (After all, you were handed a notebook, and this is what has been done year after year). Have you and your ministry team been in prayer as to what the over-all purpose should be? Then, is this purpose reflected in each of your ministry events, studies, and service projects for the year?
- Is your ministry based upon biblical foundations and what God’s Word teaches about His design for women? Or has today’s culture painted its own picture of what a modern woman should be and this stamp is slowly being seen upon the lives of your women?
- Does your ministry encourage women to love Christ, to love His Word, His people, and those outside the church? The gospel of Jesus Christ is not only the basis for coming to Christ but also must be what drives us in our daily lives. As one WASC member said, “Our discipleship must be gospel-driven or it simply becomes just another program and not the transforming power of Christ in our lives.”
- The last question I have is one that is more personal. Does the love of Christ compel us? Is the love of Christ the driving force in our own lives? Do we spend time in His Word each day, a Word that has the power to new our minds? Do we seek His will in our lives and for the ministry to which He has called us? We know because scripture tells us that God’s Word has the power to transform. So I would ask, are our hearts being changed through the power of His Holy Spirit? Is so, and only then, can we as leaders hope to be used by Him in our ministries, in our families, and in our communities.
Lastly I want to encourage each of you to make the most of the three days together. Try to meet and engage in conversation with the many women at the conference that you do not know. I know…it’s hard sometimes to begin a conversation with a total stranger…it calls us to get out of our comfort zone, doesn’t it? Just remember that all of us will be in the same boat! Remember that because Christ has transformed our hearts, we will actually be meeting women who, although at the present may live in a distant state, we will one day live side-by-side in our eternal home!