Have you been blessed to be around a person who is a true giver? Someone who really excels at the spiritual gift of giving or service? What words come to mind when you think of that person? Words like generous, kind, and faithful perhaps? Think of the feelings you experience being around that person for a moment.
She Gives is one of the five components that make up the She Stands Women’s Ministry Model that has recently been made available for free on the SBTC website as a help to local churches statewide. The She Gives portion encourages women’s ministries to recognize the fact that God is a giver, and as the recipients of his gracious gifts—love, life, mercy, forgiveness, and salvation, just to name a few—we should respond by being givers as well. Jesus ultimately gave his life to save us, but he was also an example of serving. In John 13:15–17, Jesus said, “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” Jesus himself set the example of serving others by washing the disciples’ feet and gave the promise that we are blessed if we follow that example and serve others.
I think about the first examples of giving and serving that I learned from my mom and dad. My dad, Tex Paris, taught my sisters and me the vital importance of giving beyond tithing, extravagant giving of his resources. He always said, “God doesn’t need your money, but you need God’s blessings that come when you’re obedient.” He lived a life of abundance even though his school salary never made him a rich man. He was super generous to the church, various ministries, and his family. He proved Malachi 3:10, where God opened the windows of heaven and poured down so many blessings that they could not be contained. I have tried to follow in my father’s footsteps and give generously. My mom, Dinah Paris, was an example of faithful service to others, both in and outside the church. She used her talents and spiritual gifts to minister to youth and ladies at the church. She used her business to minister to people who needed a chance or a fresh start.
Both of my parents are now with Jesus, but I continue to be inspired by their examples of faithfulness. One of my spiritual gifts is teaching, and I have been privileged to share God’s Word in children’s church and teaching children on Wednesday evenings. A few years ago, I saw the need for a young women’s Sunday School class and have enjoyed being a part of the lives of college and career-aged girls. Aside from giving to our local church, my husband and I have been blessed to directly help support a young man doing ministry in Oregon. My husband helps with monthly food distribution efforts that help families in our little town of Waskom.
There are so many opportunities to serve and help in every church and community. As women’s ministry leaders, one of our goals should be to inspire our ladies to serve and give of their time, resources, and spiritual gifts. Sometimes it can be as simple as being observant and seeing where one of your ladies excels and pointing that out to her or giving her an opportunity to serve in that area. I think so often women may be willing, but they need to be asked specifically to serve in a particular area in the church. Instead of just having a fellowship that is focused inwardly only, perhaps plan something that would minister to your community. Enlist the “creatives” of your group to think big, to think outside the box. Provide opportunities for women to give to support specific ministries in your church, your community, and around the world. I think as you implement She Gives in your life and women’s ministry, you will be filled with joy, and Jesus himself promised that you will experience blessing. All the components of She Stands—She Glorifies, She Grows, She Gives, She Gathers, and She Goes are vital to a healthy women’s ministry. I would encourage every church to download the resource. After COVID, our women’s ministry is in need of some serious revamping and an infusion of fresh vision, so I have been excited to get this information in the hands of some of our ladies.
Laura Taylor is the women’s and pastor’s wives associate at the SBTC. It is her heart’s desire to see women thrive in their walk with the Lord and all the areas where they have influence—including the home and family, the church, and their work. She and the regional reps worked to craft a comprehensive model that will be helpful to churches both large and small, urban and rural. She Stands is a wonderful resource to encourage your ladies to be well rounded in their private and public walk with the Lord.
Take some time today to download and share the She Stands Women’s Ministry Model. You will be blessed and encouraged and challenged as you explore the five core components to effectively reach women.
If this past year has taught me anything, it is that community in the body of Christ is a precious gift. As the world continues to open up, what better way to encourage ourselves and our ladies than to be givers? She Gives—Where has God placed you to serve? What resources has he entrusted you with to bless your church, your family, your community and the world? Let’s strive to be women filled with joy and gratitude and let that overflow into acts of service and giving.