Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Casting a vision for the sisterhood and the glory of God

I was asked by Mt. Zion Pastor of Discipleship Jason Roberts, to pray about being this year's women ministry leader. I prayed. I really prayed. I knew it was a huge responsibility and a blessing at the same time. I love encouraging women and pointing them to Christ!

I knew God was providentially preparing me for years with a growing, burning fire in my heart to encourage women to live for Jesus. I knew how much I needed Him-- 24/7-- and His amazing grace was continuing to fuel me. So I told Jason, "Yes."

The passion to rally the women into a united, deeper walk with Jesus was like fireworks in my soul. After I said, "yes" I was compelled to write down a vision and then I asked our faithful leadership if I could share it with the ladies in a congregational gathering. 

I told my sweet hubs Don, "I have to literally write this down because if I don't stay on track with what I want to say my heart will begin to gush and I'll take everyone on rabbit trails. I don't need to take up too much time."

So last month I stood before my church family at both worship services. A microphone was put in my hand and I poured my heart out. The following is what I shared.  

A Vision for Mt Zion Women
September 21, 2014

I was asked by our leadership if I would pray about being this year’s women’s ministry leader. Apparently they knew I've served women by hosting Bible studies in our neighborhood for nine years, which led me to host devotional gatherings in the marketplace: at Southeast Restoration Group Corporate office in Holly Springs, Yawn's Bookstore and The Soul Food Market in Downtown Canton and at the IHOP in Canton Marketplace.  I have been a guest speaker and emcee at women’s events. They knew me as an empty nester, wife to my wonderful soul mate Don and Mom to two grown daughters (Grace and Mary) who are on-fire for the glory of God.

I prayed and asked God to let me know how to respond. As you can see me in front of you, you know "yes" was my answer. So here I am in front of you ladies (and gentlemen) desiring to cast a vision for the women of Mt. Zion.


So here I go:
Who of you have seen the movie, "Son of God?" In the first 30 seconds of the movie trailer [the actor playing] Jesus says to Peter, "Come with me [Follow Me]" and Peter says, "What are we going to do?"Jesus said, "We are going to change the world." The film producers have take this from Matthew 4:19-20 and it's not the literal language -- Jesus' actual words were: "I will make you fishers of men. At once they left their nets and followed Him."

Then in Luke 9:22 Jesus says, "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and follow Me."

Over and over we read Scripture is clearly and boldly teaching us Jesus wants us to follow Him.I believe that means to imitate Jesus. Walk behind Him in His footsteps. Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45 says, "...just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many."

So what does this have to do with the women of our church? I don't know! Just kidding.

Our church bulletin is full of opportunities to serve. And we can serve with our hearts, hands and feet -- as well as on our knees in prayer for those listed in the prayer requests.

I believe it's Scriptural that when we are denying ourselves and serving others we are most like Jesus. Serving others eventually and sometimes instantly brings healing from :
  • self-centered attitude
  • negative thinking
  • loneliness
  • despair
  • despondency
  • unbelief
  • and it brings glory to God.
Serving others in need is like becoming a fountain of living water--for the servant and the ones being served! We become refreshed when we are refreshing others.(See Proverbs 11:25.)

And serving together, ladies, creates new relationships and makes us stronger. God designed it that way! And serving together usually includes sharing a meal together, too, which also builds community.

So what do WE do? 

  • The SALT Ministry here at Mt. Zion meets the needs of the lost, broken, poor and needy people in our community. There are loads of opportunities to serve in the SALT/Living Bread Ministry: organize the food pantry, help prepare the monthly meal in our commercial kitchen as we feed the community, help serve the meal, invite your own neighbors to come and eat, donate groceries, give financial donations.
  • I saw in the bulletin The Mission Minded Crafters are starting up their ministry.
  • The Mt Zion Church Fall Festival is October 31 and Director Marion Tims is praying and even personally asking for volunteers! This is an evangelical tool to bring lost souls into the Kingdom of God. If you can't attend will you bring huge bags of candy and put them in the basket in the foyer?
  • The HOPE Center in Woodstock is a pro-life crisis pregancy/counseling center reaching lost women and saving unborn babies, too. Deborah Rey is the on staff there. The needs there are huge. If you can't volunteer in the Baby Store will you donate diapers and baby wipes? Will you PRAY for the needs of the growing ministry?
If you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior then I know He is telling you to follow Him. If you don't know Him He may be calling your name right now as I am speaking...calling you to deny yourself, ask Him to forgive you of your sins, take up your cross and start following Him...become His light and His life to a lost and dying community.

The vision for the Mt. Zion Women's ministry I am casting is to SERVE our community with the love of Christ that is in us.

Do you realize the most powerful way we can start is by praying to our mountain moving God?
  • The prayer list in our weekly bulletin has a growing list of our church family members who  need our prayers.
  • For months I've been meeting a couple of ladies in Historic Downtown Canton on Fridays at lunchtime to PRAY for our city and our world.We are praying for a revival of hearts in our city!
  • Are you willing to commit to praying for a revival in our city and our county on Fridays at lunch hour -- wherever you are will you stop and pray?
  • Our leadership has opened the church doors every Wednesday at 6:30 for the entire Mt. Zion family to come and pray together. What a wonderful opportunity to gather and develop new relationships while we se God do amazing things through our prayers! Will you be there? The highest attendance so far is 20 people.
  • Scripture says our God "owns the cattle on a thousand hills" and "every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father above!" HE HAS WHAT WE NEED HE HAS MORE THAN WE NEED. He is an abundant God! I can testify! I'm a mess and He blesses my socks off because He knows I'm broken and He knows I deeply love Him. He watches me struggle every day!
My passion is to:
The big vision is to unite women from all the churches in our community--to gather and serve side-by-side. We -- at Mt. Zion -- could be the trailblazers but we have to commit to rolling up our sleeves and focus on serving and praying here and now, inside the church walls first.

We have to start inside the church walls as a Spirit-filled force of women. Look, we were created to be caretakers of the broken, lost women of our community. But to be effective we have to act as one. The goal and purpose is the same--all for the glory of God. 

How we fulfill that goal and purpose will be for every woman ---from college age to empty nester -- to plug into a ministry service that fits your gifts, talents and abilities.

In Luke 5 Jesus was at the Sea of Galilee preaching the Word. Jesus knew Peter had been fishing for several hours and did not catch any fish. He told him to go back out onto the lake and put the nets into the water. Peter said to Jesus, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything But because you said so, I will do it." 

What is God telling you to do, my precious sisters?

And this passage continues, "When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full they began to sink." That's Luke 5:5-6. That's awesome! Wow!

Jesus knows where the fish are, Ladies. He can and will do the same thing for us today if we say to Him, "Because you say so I will do it."

Ladies,we have a new logo to encourage us to gather "in the trenches" for the glory of God by serving the poor, needy, orphan, widow, lost and broken in our community!

      Mt. Zion has purchased a license to use this American Iconic illustration of "Rosie the Riveter" 

This blog post is also an invitation for women's ministry leaders and their women throughout our community of churches to join us as we seek to create community for the glory of God.

"Glorify the Lord with [us] me; let us exalt His name together!" 
Psalm 34:3

Your Sister,
Polly Balint
Mt. Zion Women's Ministry