The promise of spring is upon us! On a recent trip to the store for light bulbs, I found myself walking through newly stocked garden aisles. Visions of colorful flowers, thriving green plants and fresh herbs flourishing under my daily care began to take shape.
Donned with new garden gloves and spade in hand, I will soon be on my knees in the back yard planting all things green and flowering. As I work, thoughts of how I might stunt their growth or kill the plants off completely never enter my mind. If that was the case, I would never make the effort to plant at all. The goal from the very beginning is that they would flourish. I find just the right sunny (or shady) spot, prepare the soil, carefully plant the seeds, then fertilize, water and dream of the day they burst into colorful, fragrant blossoms and draw me away from a busy world to enjoy the peace and quiet of a lovely garden.
God has a dream for us to flourish, which is this year’s theme for the IMN Spring Women’s Conference (March 30 and 31). Much like we would prepare the soil for a beautiful garden, we have prayed and prepared an event to help you flourish in your spiritual life. Dr. Beth Grant and her daughter, Rebecca, will open the conference on Friday evening with the topic “Flourish in Every Season.” On Saturday, Judy Anderson will present ways to “Flourish in your Community.” We will have the opportunity to observe local artist, Amy Thomas (“Flourish in your Creativity”), and our session, “Flourish on a Dime” will hold some fun surprises. For more details on the conference or to register online, click here.
I look forward to our time together!
“Not Yet.” As parents, this two-word answer was sometimes a frustration to our children. Every adult has probably relayed these disappointing words to their kids who anxiously question from the back seat of a car, “Are we there?”
As we look back over 2011, it is a good thing to review events and ministries geared to the women in our local churches and our communities. As we ask the question, Are we there? we may hear these same two words—“Not Yet.” Rather than looking at this though the eyes of frustration, however, I encourage you to make a commitment to seek God in renewing your vision of ministry to women, connecting them to one another through healthy relationships and helping them apply the truth of God’s word to their lives.
Prayerfully assemble a team of women if you have not done so. The best team to help you are those who care, dream, believe and think. Then sit down together over coffee or a meal in someone’s home and ask the following questions:
1. What is our vision? It should be a short, simple statement that will get in the heart of women–even those at the farthest end of leadership.
2. What would we like to see women in our church/community become?
3. To fulfill our vision, what must our priorities be?
4. What steps will we take to fulfill our vision?
5. What should we continue doing?
6. What should we do differently?
7. What should we stop doing? (Do not ask this question first.)
8. When will we implement this plan?
I pray for God’s wisdom and guidance as we look toward 2012–that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:10 NIV)
For more help starting or re-starting your ministry to women, click here to download a helpful guide.
Encouraging and equipping is the theme for the annual e2 conference which will be next Monday and Tuesday! All women in ministry are encouraged to attend the Monday sessions with Mike Clarensau. On Tuesday, we will enjoy a great technology lab and then at 10:30, we will enjoy a lab specifically designed for women in ministry led by Gay Hunsberger, followed by a delicious luncheon at Echo Valley Country Club (this lunch is free for all women who register for e2, or $20 for the luncheon only).
Our time together will include great door prizes, a free resource table, a time to connect and encourage one another, exciting news of upcoming events and ideas for ministry to women.
I’ll also have news about a great opportunity to stay connected and grow together as we begin to understand God’s love revealed to us. Starting on October 3rd, we will begin a study together, continuing the conversation on our social media outlets!
Can’t wait to see you there!