Mrs. Susan Hunt serves as a member of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. She and her husband make their home in Marietta, Georgia.
At a recent conference sponsored by the Presbyterian Church of America, Susan Hunt spoke on Titus 2 and developed the theme "Establishing a Healthy Women's Ministry in the Local Church." Her main session highlighted the importance of covenant-aware, biblically-informed women's ministry. Her thematic sentence captures her message well, "The content of the gospel must be taught in the context of relationships that validate the gospel."
From a strong covenant theology rooted in the promise-keeping faithfulness of the sovereign God, Hunt outlined a plan of discipleship that weaves every promise of God with the red thread of the blood of Jesus – the blood of the eternal covenant. This Christ-centered approach to discipleship avoids mere moralism that so often plagues well-intentioned, but theologically-indifferent programs. Practically she urged, "Don't leave off from any passage of Scripture, until you've seen Jesus."
Hunt offers nine imperatives that must be observed in order to establish a strong women's ministry in your local church.
She begins with a charge to examine one's own heart. Yield your attitude to Christ each day such that at every age, in all circumstances you will be useful to him in sacrificial service to the kingdom of God.
Next, she speaks of living covenantally in our marriages. Relationship poison seeps into any marriage when its partners drift away from a God-forged covenant in Christ.
We must be in a relationship with the local church. Her church family speaks of new members ‘marrying' themselves to the local church, the Bride of Christ. Imperfect as it is, the local church is vital to God's plan on the earth. God loves an imperfect Bride, we must as well.
Fourth, worship as a family and corporately, must be a priority. Fruitful women's ministry leaders cannot overlook their own private, family and community adoration of God in Christ.
Fifth, pray covenantally and generationally. Jeremiah 24:7 speaks of God's initiative to give his people hearts to know and return to him with all their might. Even disinterested teens in the local congregation are not too far from God's reach through our prayers (Philippians 1:19).
Sixth, she emphasized Scripture and Catechism memorization. Scripture, being the Word of God, must be present in the heart of children for the Holy Spirit to draw upon it at opportune times. Catechisms combine and interpret Scripture in words and ideas we all can remember such that we are led to understand and obey the Word of God more fully.
Seventh, teach children the language of the covenant. By this Hunt means use and define covenant vocabulary in the every-day events of life. Say to your little ones "You are a covenant child!" "We live according to the covenant in this home – that means we honor and love each other as God does us."
Eighth, demonstrate the generational principle of the kingdom. She urged grandparents to take very seriously their role as spiritual models to their children and grandchildren. To be freed from daily tasks of parenting, allows grandparents to focus on the spiritual needs of their grandchildren. Tell stories of faith to them. Sing old and new songs with them. Hold inter-generational events for extended family and also in the local church. Let one generation teach and model Christ to the next (Psalm 78:1-8).
Finally, live covenantally and take your children with you. Take your children to weddings. Take them with you as you visit the sick in hospitals. Ask an elder from your church to visit and see the children's ministry in action. Connect one generation to the next.
These precious imperatives, for Hunt, help to found a strong, weather-worthy, women's ministry in the local church. As you reflect on these truths you may realize, they found an excellent ministry for the entire body! We urge you to listen to both sessions. In the workshop seminar the next day, Susan drew upon her rich history in ministry to give some very practical ideas for how to implement the above imperatives. What a wealth of good ideas to launch or renew your ministry to women in the local church.
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