Having a Heart for Minds of Women Article_Flashing

Having a Heart for the Minds of Women

By Sarah Flashing

Times have changed significantly such that we can no longer focus on the long-term strategy of equipping our children for the world they will encounter when they leave home. As early as kindergarten, they are facing some of the great cultural debates of our time—homosexuality and gay marriage, evolutionary theory, and religious pluralism. Their worldview is being influenced and shaped by a culture that views tolerance as the greatest Good while having a complete lack of tolerance for Christian doctrine and ethics. This is bad enough, but what might be worse is that parents are often ill-equipped to prepare their families for these confrontations.

In response to the cultural conflict faced by today’s youth, church youth ministries will generally integrate apologetics materials into their curriculum. But if we are also equipping parents to develop a Christian worldview and learn to defend the faith, the trickle-down effect into families can prove to be an invaluable investment in advancing God’s Kingdom.

For those of us already involved in apologetics, we are accustomed to seeking new venues to integrate worldview and apologetics training, and sometimes it is incredibly frustrating because the discipline goes unappreciated by even church leadership. But there is a new movement in women’s ministry, fueled I believe by the intelligent, Christian women writers in the blogosphere, that is ripe for developing robust Christian education in the local church that would include apologetics and worldview training.

Time after time, I interact with women in the church who want more for themselves than the traditional event-driven women’s ministry. Many of these women have retreated from those areas of ministry in search of something deeper that will bring them into a closer relationship with God. Still, there are others in this area of leadership who tell me they are veering away from the plug-n-play video method of Bible study and are taking women deeper through a more hands-on approach to theological and biblical studies. Women not only want to learn, they want to be equipped to teach!

It’s easy to be discouraged when I meet young women in Christian colleges or seminaries who are avoiding women’s ministry at all costs because they want to contribute to the life of the mind in the church, perceiving that not to be possible in the realm of women’s ministry. But the door is open a crack and women who have a heart for the minds of other women have an opportunity to train and equip other women to be capable defenders of the faith.

Here’s the thing—women’s lives reflect a variety of life circumstances that require that they be better equipped as followers of Jesus. Single moms raising teen boys, for instance, need to be equipped as Eunice was for Timothy. She needs to be able to distinguish between godliness and forms of godliness. She needs to see how Evolutionary theory is finding its way into her children’s textbooks, and she needs to be able to teach them how to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. The same goes for women in the secular workplace who for whatever reason are forced to defend their Judeo-Christian outlook as it may manifest in various ways on the job. Women who are teachers in a pluralistic setting need to know the Bible as special revelation and its position as one view among many, not the singled-out and silenced, so as to free students to be openly Christian in the classroom.

Women’s lives impact the lives of others and of future generations in so many ways, the last paragraph simply does not do justice to her many roles in family and society. But one this is true: she needs to be prepared. As women in apologetics, I challenge you to venture forward into the realm of women’s ministry. This may mean challenging the way things have been for a long time, but there is a tremendous hunger among women to not only grow closer to God but to know how to be defenders of the faith in their sphere of influence. 

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