Women make an important impact on their ministries in a variety of ways. They’ve been recognized since the early days of the Church, when the Apostle Paul introduced Phoebe to the Romans:
I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. —Romans 16:1-2, KJV
The above verse is from the King James Version, but depending on the Biblical translation you read, it’s likely Phoebe was a deacon, or even a minister, in the early Church. She started the tradition of service, and nowadays, it’s common for women to be in leadership roles and accomplishing amazing things within their ministries.
There are several ways to support women who are visibly putting their faith to work in the community and beyond. Here are a few suggestions:
1) Support Their Ministries
Volunteer to be part of their projects, whether it’s something as simple as a local food drive or as far-reaching as a mission trip. Many women take leadership roles in projects to help the local community and areas far beyond it. Their strength is buoyed by knowing that their church families are behind them and will help support their good works.
2) Encourage Them to Involve Other Women
Those who make a direct impact in their ministries are excellent role models for other women of faith. Some women may not be sure how to get involved in their churches or feel uncomfortable at stepping up to a leadership role, even if they have valuable talents. If they see that women get support from the congregation and church leaders, they’re more likely to step forward, too. Involving women in active roles opens up a huge pool of talent.
3) Make It Easy for Women to Share Their Talents in Your Church
Accomplish this through women’s groups and projects that open up a variety of opportunities. Christian women lead busy lives, often juggling home/family, work and church, yet many are eager to donate time and talent when there are ways to do so.
Offer both long- and short-term opportunities so even those with limited time can still feel like they’re making a contribution. Ask your church leaders to salute their work in the weekly bulletin and send press releases out to local papers. Not only does it act as a salute to the women, but also as something positive for the entire church.
4) Hold a Recognition Event
Obviously, women who are active in their ministries are not doing it to receive acclaim. They’re fulfilling the admonishment that Jesus made to His Disciples:
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. —John 15:12, KJV
Still, it feels good to know that your hard work is appreciated, and a recognition event may inspire other women to do similar works. The salute doesn’t have to be a major production. It can simply be a recognition luncheon after church one weekend, a picnic or a breakfast gathering in honor of the women who’ve made the most significant contributions over the past year.
We see a precedent for honoring a job well done in the Parable of the Talents in Matthew:
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. —Matthew 25:21, KJV
Just as the servants who invested the money well were honored by their master, so too can you honor women for making a positive impact.