As you know, if you’ve been reading, for quite some time, I’ve occasionally been presenting installments called “Mama’s K.I.S.S.” This is number 34 of a list of one hundred ways we train our kids (today our girls, particularly) to have servant hearts. K.I.S.S. is an acronym for “Kids In Service Suggestions”.
Perhaps this service suggestion is more to the women-at-large in our congregations than to individual moms. I want to implore you to keep having ladies’ days, women’s conferences, sisters’ seminars, ladies retreats and women’s sessions at lectureships and I want to tell you that I have personally seen the lasting benefits of involving our young girls in the execution of these events. I have traveled to speak at both kinds of events—those events in which there were no young women on the program and those where fresh young faces were before us leading us in songs and prayers and reading scripture. After having participated in these programs for over thirty years now, I can tell you that typically the congregations whose teen members (and even younger girls) were included in the ladies events are the ones which are, still today, enjoying a more vibrant, working local sisterhood. I have watched teen girls who gave short devotionals at women’s events or ladies’-nights-out develop into excellent ladies day speakers, who are now holding the line in sound teaching for women and faithful women’s service areas—the ones we read about in Titus 2.
I’m very excited that, this past weekend, I sang with a large group of women led by two teen girls. Young women lead the prayers and introduced me to the audience. I’m even more excited that, in a couple of weeks, I’ll attend our own West Huntsville ladies retreat where about a fifth of the women in attendance will be high school and college girls. I’ve watched them grow up. I love them, in some ways like they are my own. I’m thankful they are plugged into the work of the West Huntsville family. But that kind of zeal and that sense of inclusion doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years of offered opportunities and encouragement following successful participation. But you want it in your congregation. It makes for great mothers and wives and zealous workers in the kingdom. It makes for great people raising our future elders and preachers! So use those girls in your ladies’ activities and when they finish the job, give them big hugs, write them notes of encouragement and then look for ways to use them again.
Just yesterday I planned a fall ladies’ weekend with ladies in the coastal area of Virginia. They have elderly ladies who are comfortable driving to activities in the daytime only, so they entitled the Friday night session “Planning your Happy Home,” a “prevent-disaster” type of lesson for women who are not yet married or are young wives and mothers. This kind of planning is wise on the part of the older ladies who are “teachers of good things” as Titus 2 instructs. The younger women who are able to come will not only benefit from leading women in worship, but they will get a full dose of practical home-making tips from the Scriptures. And when I say home-making tips, I mean the wisdom from the Father that makes homes strong enough to get to the golden shore intact, with all family members in the spiritual boat. I know there are no guarantees, sisters, but there are spiritual life preservers and inflatable life boats if we plan ahead and know how to use them.
Getting to heaven is a family affair… in your little unit and in the family of God. We need each other. I’m glad God bought the church. It was expensive to purchase the worldwide family unit I needed so much (Acts 20:28). I’m glad for the security of that large purchase.