Thriving Together is a newsletter for women serving in or preparing for ministerial leadership in The Wesleyan Church. Each month, we want to embody 1 Thessalonians 5:11:
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
Encouraging One Another
Sister, your story matters.
Why? Because your story has power. Your story will resonate with someone who sees herself or her situation in yours. It will give them courage, hope, or strength to do something, say something, or stay the course.
Stories are birthed out of success or adversity. Some are born of failure. When stories are shared, others see how God shows up in real ways to give you the strength or encouragement to soldier ahead.
The woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:25-34) is identified only by her condition but is an example of tenacity, courage, and bravery. Quarantined because of her condition, she had the tenacity to leave isolation, the courage to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, and the boldness to let Jesus know it was her who was healed. Her story of moving from the shadow to the spotlight is a reminder of what happens when you are more concerned about what Jesus can do than what people have to say.
Tell your story and listen to those around you. Be intentional about convening women who are different from you to share their experiences. Validate their stories and empathize with them, even if you cannot relate. Woven together, our stories empower and encourage other sisters when they need strength, boldness, or courage.
Your story matters.
Rev. Karen L. Bates is a Wesleyan pastor, conference speaker, and author based in Bowie, MD. She attends Healing Place Church in Waldorf, MD.
Building Each Other Up
This picture hangs above my desk.
It is my favorite piece of artwork in my office because it is a reminder that my ministry is not just about what I do, it is about how I can help those coming after me. As a woman in ministry, and especially as a woman of color in ministry, it was not easy to find mentors. First, I was in an area where the Wesleyan denomination did not have a huge presence. And the presence we did have was largely male. And, while I did have an excellent mentor, there were spaces he simply could not speak into because of his gender (and ethnicity). I knew I needed someone who could relate to the journey I was on, so I was intentional about seeking out someone who could walk alongside me. I am now passionate about making sure I am seeking out those who may need me. This picture reminds me not to become so busy with doing ministry that I forget to pour into the next generation of women. They need me. They need us. And we need them. We have to be available for each other. We have to support each other. We all need someone who has been where we are going and will let us learn from their journey. We are better together!
Tara Klein is passionate about helping others grow deeper in their relationship with Christ. When she is not writing or working on her DMin, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and serving her community. She is a licensed pastor in the Mountain Plains District.
Several speakers at The Gathering noted not only the decline in church attendance but the decline in affiliation with any religion. This is becoming more obvious with each generation. Barna just released research on the Black Church that shows this decrease. Click for more research on the State of the Black Church.
1 Thessalonians 5:12 continues, “. . . acknowledge those who work hard among you.”
This month’s newsletter celebrates Black History Month by featuring articles written by women ministers of color.
Rejoicing, Praying, Giving Thanks
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 encourages us to “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Dr. Debbye Bell Turner preached at The Gathering and encouraged us to fix our gaze on the things unseen, which will last forever. Holy Spirit, enter in to our hearts and strengthen us in the grace that is from Christ Jesus.
We rejoice in the voices of women being lifted up from pulpits throughout The Wesleyan Church. We are encouraging all churches in TWC to feature women in the pulpit throughout the month of September. You can show your support by purchasing PreacHer Sunday apparel. A new design and an exceptionally low promotional price will be unveiled March 13, so mark your calendars and bookmark the PreacHer Sunday shop! All profits from the sale of PreacHer merchandise go to scholarships for development opportunities for women in ministry in The Wesleyan Church. Want to give directly to the fund? Click here!
We are grateful for you! We want to be a blessing to you and to pray over you as God sends you out. If you have a prayer request, please click the prayer icon below to email us your prayer request. We commit to praying for you as you encourage one another, build each other up, and as you do the ministry God has called you to do.