LCN Article
“What Can I Do?”

March / April 2024
Woman To Woman

Janth B. English

As Christian women, we are watching what is happening in the world and we see prophetic events taking place. We are well aware of the Great Commission that Christ gave the Church—to preach the Gospel to the world and make disciples of all nations. We pray, “Your kingdom come,” yet we know this will not happen until the Gospel is preached in all the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14).

We follow the examples of other women who have gone before us by diligently supporting God’s work financially as our circumstances allow (Luke 8:1–3). We understand that it is not God’s will for Christian women to be the ones who are the public face of the Work, proclaiming to the world the message that Christ has given His Church; our most important service is with our families and in our congregations. Yet we feel the urgency and the need for God’s kingdom on this earth, so we may feel compelled to do something to help bring it about. We may ask ourselves, “What can I do to help fulfill the Great Commission and remain within the roles that God has ordained for women?” This article will suggest a few points for you to consider.

Meet Them at the Door

If we look at preaching the Gospel as only a one-way communication going out to the world via those God has chosen to be the faces and voices of His work, we have missed a vital part of our job and minimized the role of local congregations, including the women in them. Christ instructed His followers to make disciples of all nations and to teach them (Matthew 28:18–20). The Father calls people through the Church’s efforts to preach the Gospel, and then He sends them to the local congregations. Mr. Dan Hall, my pastor, inspired me to think of it in a helpful way, stating that we, the local congregation, are the pièce de résistance; we are the selling point that shows how God’s way works! So, one way we can help fulfill the Great Commission is to be welcoming to those God calls.

When God sends future brothers and sisters to our congregations, He expects us to nurture them and provide a safe place for them to grow. We should try to meet every new person we see, and to get their names; using people’s names while you converse with them will help them feel more comfortable and help you to associate the name with the face. 

If your congregation provides snacks, be sure to invite guests to join in. It can be good if you sit with them for a while to help them feel more at ease. Try not to make the same mistake that I made, however, of being overly enthusiastic. A friend confided to me that I had overwhelmed her when she first started attending; I was trying to be friendly, but I went overboard. You can avoid this mistake by trying to sense how a person is responding to your overtures. 

God is calling people out of a dark and hostile world, so, it’s not unusual for someone to feel skeptical and a little anxious upon encountering positive, friendly people. It may at first seem too good to be true, but as you continue to be a light, week after week, new people will come to accept your actions as normal for the people of God. Your warm welcome helps fulfill the Great Commission by encouraging our future brethren to come again so they can learn God’s way of life more perfectly.

Widen the Circle

Once we have made a welcoming introduction, we should not abandon those God is calling, nor risk letting them feel like “outsiders.” I have heard from different people on several occasions that they have felt isolated and lonely even at Sabbath services. Of course, we do not do this deliberately, but it happens. A person who is feeling alone may be inclined to stop attending services with us. An important means of fulfilling the Great Commission is to be inclusive and not to show partiality; being inclusive creates human-to-human connections and helps everyone to feel like part of the team. 

Many of us get to see our friends only on the Sabbath, so we understandably want to spend time catching up with them about the week’s activities. But if we are not careful, we can find ourselves fellowshipping with the same people every week, and voilà—we have become part of a clique. It is part of human nature to be drawn to those who are more like us, but this can lead to our showing partiality, something Christian women ought to avoid (James 2:8–9). A remedy for this natural tendency is to fellowship intentionally with those who may be newer or who may be feeling left out. If you are talking with friends, it may prove interesting to invite a new voice into your discussion. If you see someone standing alone, strike up a conversation. You may be just the encouragement that person needs.

We can also use hospitality to build bonds and foster friendships. When we are hosting friends in our homes—which we should try to do often—we have the opportunity to include brethren who may not get invited often, especially the new people God is sending us to nurture (Luke 14:12–14). Sharing hospitality does not need to be an elaborate adventure that takes a week of cleaning and cooking to prepare; I decided long ago that my home did not have to be “company clean” to invite brethren over. “Family clean” is clean enough. And the occasion need not be a big dinner party; board games with popcorn can offer just as much fun and interaction. The bonds that we build through intentional fellowship will help those God is sending us to stay the course, thus helping us to fulfill our mission.

Quiet—Not Silent—Examples

This brings us to another way Christian women can nurture new brethren and do our part in making disciples of those God is calling. We can be an example by our conduct and our dress. Let’s be honest—the world has practically no clue about how women should conduct themselves, present themselves, or be treated. Society also has a distorted view of Christian women, portraying them as preachers or at least proselytizers trying to “win souls for Jesus.” 

So, when people come to our congregation, they will see a very different picture. It is up to us to show them true Christian womanhood by how we conduct ourselves. Notice—we are to show, not to tell. Our example is a very effective means to teach what Christ has ordained for women. This is a big responsibility, because it may be the only way they learn how God expects women to carry themselves. We are fulfilling our mission to make disciples of those God sends to us by teaching them godly principles through our examples.

As we fellowship with newer brethren, questions will naturally arise. Many of us who have been a part of the Church for some time can probably answer most questions. However, the way we answer can be very important. To be asked a biblical question that you know the answer to can be flattering, and the temptation may be to start expounding all you know on the topic. This is usually not the right thing to do. While we may know the answer, the truth is that it may not always be wise to “jump right in” with it. It is best to refer people with doctrinal or controversial questions to the ministry, and, when appropriate, give them a reference to Church literature. If you are not sure of the answer, do not hesitate to admit it. We are all learning, and this will help the inquirer to see that none of us knows it all. We are all growing in grace and knowledge.

Of course, there are questions that Christian women are uniquely qualified to answer, and these answers should be shared freely. For example, a woman may ask how you juggle your family and a job outside the home. A young mother may ask how to engage her children on the Sabbath, and some may find getting the entire family prepared for the Sabbath a daunting task. 

A Purpose for All

God is calling women out of society to be part of His Church. When they come, they will see how Christian women differ from women in the world. They will see the contentment we have, and they will ask questions about how it is achieved. As godly women, we can share our stories and our wisdom with other women as God sends them to our congregations. We are fulfilling the Great Commission by teaching others through our example and by answering questions they may ask about being a Christian woman.

God is using His women. Our role in carrying out the Great Commission is very important. We are not called to sit back and do nothing; we are helping to make disciples from all nations. How we nurture the new brethren God is calling can be instrumental in helping them to “stick with it”—to stay the course. I have touched on a few ways we can do this; I’m sure you can think of more. It is interesting that, as the bride of Christ, we will help bring many sons and daughters into the Kingdom, and we as Christian women can have a special part in doing that now by being welcoming, being inclusive, setting a godly example, and being ready to give an appropriate answer to those whom God is calling. Let’s thank God for our part in His plan and do what we can do.