I have recently returned from a women’s leadership training, and I was amazed at the level of professionalism and the many resources offered. I can’t help but think that it reminds me of the years of PWOC ministry and how resources have been sent out across the globe through websites and various other means. I wonder how many people in post-PWOCI years are plugging in to not only their local chapels and PWOC groups but also the churches that surround them. I wonder what resources they have access to and what difference it is making in their communities.

Throughout the weekend, I had many PWOC friends and ministry partners on my mind as I listened to workshops and general sessions on communication, small groups, racial diversity, team-building, leadership styles, passing down our legacy, character of leaders, and above all, the life-giving message of the Gospel as we are transformed into the nature of Jesus Christ. I have decades of good memories working with PWOCs on three continents with this same timeless, true message of the love of God through the death and resurrection of His Son.

The weekend included networking with publishers, writers, and speakers; connecting with podcasts, social media, and print publications; meeting ladies from urban, suburban, and rural churches; knowing that small, mid-size, and large congregations were present; meeting bookstore representatives and local authors; connecting with missionaries from local and overseas programs; befriending military representatives and liaisons; being surrounded by current friends, friends of friends, and new friends. I’m thankful for the filling of my mind and heart as God continues to lead His church through ministries across the globe.

I’m currently reading the book, No Little Women (Equipping All Women in the Household of God), by Aimee Byrd, and some of the opening words caught my eye. Passing them along to you and thinking about how PWOC groups have impacted communities around the world, both military and civilian:

…The usual scenario involves a group of well-intentioned women studying a popular book that is marketed for women’s ministry groups, and it is full of bad doctrine…there seems to be a pattern that has gone on from the beginning of time…”Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.” And what is the very next line after we have been given this information? “He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say…’” And it goes on: “False teachers are a serious threat to God’s church.” Be aware of those false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15) and also heed a warning about those who are in the church that deny God and His power (II Timothy 3:2-5). The gist of this book is to stay grounded in God’s Word and that that is the foundation of our ministry. This is what I heard this week as well: Staying in the Word and believing the Bible to be our authority as well investing in relationships with those around you. Our women’s ministries continue to commit to these values: Bible teaching, leadership training, authentic relationships, good doctrine, and continuous prayer. I heard it over and over this week: our beliefs about God, Jesus, sin, salvation, the Bible, and those necessary basics will influence our women’s ministries and how we relate to others.

I send you greetings as a recent military retiree and one who is not currently in a PWOC but continuing to seek out her place in the worldwide and local body of Christ.

With love,
Melinda Hemphill
Sharpsburg, Georgia