Beyond Ordinary Women Ministries has a new member of our speaking and leadership development teams, Virginia Grounds. I have known Virginia for many years, and I have watched her grow as a believer and a leader. It is thrilling to have her as a team member. Last week I interviewed Virginia so that you would know more about her heart for this ministry. You can read her bio on our teams page here.
Q. Virginia, why did you want to be involved in this ministry, Beyond Ordinary Women?
A. I love women’s ministry! From the very first Bible Study I participated in at church, I have loved being with other women who have faith in God and want to know more about Him and His Word. God placed a desire in my heart early on to study and to share what I learn through writing, teaching and speaking. Even though I didn’t realize it in my early Christian years, I now recognize this as God’s calling on my life. I am thrilled about the opportunity to be able to do so through Beyond Ordinary Women.
Q. If you wrote an open letter to women who follow Christ, what would you tell them?
A. I would say to them… press on precious women of God. We are living in a day and time when difficulty surrounds us – a time when the enemy would love to see us give up on faith and turn to the world for advice and entertainment. But, be encouraged. Jesus has overcome the world! He is our source of strength and we must never forget that. Thank you for following Jesus. Rejoice in the moment, and know that many other women are following Christ right alongside you. My heart is full in this moment as I think about all of you even though we may never meet. But it thrills me to know there are other women serving in this world to make a difference in the lives of those who have a need.
Q. How has your background prepared you for ministering to other women?
A. I would say that in 95% of my adult years, I have worked outside the home; both in corporate and in full-time ministry. During these years, I have been a wife, mom and grandmother. Therefore I have experienced many walks of life that women are experiencing today. My family has experienced joys as well as sorrow and difficult circumstances. I know the emotions that we as women struggle with as we go through different seasons of life. But I also know that in every season and responsibility, God has taught me and prepared me for the next season and purpose He has for me at that time. I am so thankful for His guiding hand through my faith journey.
Q. What would you say that a church misses if it doesn’t provide any kind of women’s ministry?
A. As a woman who came to know the Lord in my late 20’s, I know the value of women’s ministry in church. It is through women’s ministry that I learned how to study the Bible for myself during the week. Of course I was learning from the Pastor on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s, but I learned my daily walk from women’s ministry Bible Studies. If a church does not provide women’s ministry, I believe they miss out on growing their women in faith and service. The encouragement given by women to women through women’s ministry activities, opportunities to serve and to develop new friends is greatly needed in every woman’s life. If we as women are not experiencing a daily walk with Christ, it impacts every aspect of our lives; home, family, work and church. But when women of the church are growing and serving, it greatly adds to the health and vitality of the church as we learn how to serve others, beginning in our own homes.
Q. What advice and encouragement would you give to a woman in a church without a ministry to women who sees a need for it?
A. Last year, I taught the book of Nehemiah to some women in our church. There was a question asked in that study that I have not forgotten because it made such impact on me. The statement made by Kelly Minter was “What it is that God has laid on your heart to do?”
If God has laid on your heart that your church needs a women’s ministry, then you have a responsibility to take the necessary steps forward with it until God opens or closes the door. The first course of action is, of course, prayer. Ask God to clear the way for you to have a conversation with the Pastor and to lead you to other women with the same desire. Then make that appointment and share with him what God has laid on your heart. It may be that God is using you to get the ball rolling by planting the seed in the heart of the Pastor. But, be prepared. He may ask you to take the lead on getting women’s ministry started. Continually ask the Lord, “What is it that you have laid on my heart to do? What is my role in this to be?”
Nehemiah was one man in a place far away from what God laid on his heart. But he took the necessary steps to complete the task and was faithful to the end. What a privilege to be called by God for a purpose in leadership. Fear not, the Lord is with you. If He has called you to the task, He will provide the people, resources and strength to enable you to complete it.
Q. Thank you, Virginia, for taking the time for this interview. All of us associated with BOW look forward to seeing how God uses your gifts and experience with under-resourced churches and with women who want to grow their influence.