by Joycelyn Seybold, executive director, Entrust women’s ministry training
Why train women? The simple answer is because God said so. God values women and created them to work in tandem with men for his kingdom purposes, to glorify God.
“Adam” means humankind
Women and men are made in the image of God. “God said, ‘Let Us make man [Hebrew ‘ādām, meaning humankind or human being] in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over ... all the earth ...’ And God created ‘ādām in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)
“Ezer” is a powerful helper
God created woman to work in tandem with man. Genesis 2:18 states, “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper [Hebrew ‘ēzer].’” Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words explains that “two-thirds of the uses of this noun have God as the designated helper.” Two examples are Psalm 121:1-2, “I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my ‘ēzer come from? My ‘ēzer comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth,” and Psalm 115:9, “Trust in the Lord—he is their ‘ēzer and shield.”
Mounce writes, “With so many references to God as our helper, it is obvious that an ‘ēzer is in no way inferior to the one who receives help ... According to God’s design, therefore, the man and the woman, the husband and the wife, have been designed by God to stand together and help each other fight the battles of life. And God is there as the divine ‘ēzer to fight with them.”
God calls men and women
Women and men are called to be God’s witnesses. In Isaiah 43:10, God calls the nation Israel to witness that he is the only God. In the gospels, women are the first ones to find the empty tomb. Then the resurrected Jesus appears first to them. They run back to the disciples to tell them what they have seen. In Acts 1:8, Jesus says, “...You shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
In Titus 2, we see Paul telling Titus to teach the women and young men respectively, so that the word of God may not be dishonored (v. 2:5) and to have speech beyond reproach (v. 2:8). In Colossians 1:28, Paul writes, “And we proclaim Him [Christ], admonishing every [hu]man and teaching every [hu]man with all wisdom, that we may present every [hu]man complete in Christ.” (Here, the Greek meaning of man is rendered as “human being.”)
In 2 Timothy 2:2, we observe Paul telling Timothy, “And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men [humans], who will be able to teach others also.”
Women have great impact
In Entrust’s women’s ministry training, we follow these instructions given by Paul, to train reliable (faithful) people who can teach others. We equip women in the local and global church to nurture, develop and mobilize women for kingdom impact. We start with intentionality, identifying faithful women and letting them know that the training is a commitment. Not only will they be trained, but they are expected to use what they have learned to train others in their local churches. What we entrust to them, they are to entrust to other faithful women who will then entrust it on to others.
This pattern continues, multiplying the number of women who are equipped to mobilize others for kingdom work. Also, women have impact on their families, children and communities. As women invest in women, this investment has a far-reaching ripple effect into the lives of the people each of them touches.
We also train women because in many areas of the world women do not have access to biblical training or even biblical resources. Many times, the priority is to train men. The priority of our women’s ministry training is to train women. Even in many well-resourced areas, discipleship of both men and women is lacking in the local church. As we train women, they are equipped and empowered by the Holy Spirit to develop biblically equipped leaders within their local churches.
So why does Entrust have an intentional ministry focused on training women? Women are God’s image-bearers, co-laborers in Christ and witnesses for our triune God. We train women because God tells us to. We train women so that God’s word is not dishonored. We train women so they can be witnesses for Christ near and far, to the ends of the earth. We entrust this training to women so that they can train other women who will continue this pattern of training, entrusting it to other faithful women, multiplying the number of biblically equipped leaders worldwide.
Ultimately, we teach women so that we may present every woman complete in Christ. We do this in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. We “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17). To God be the glory.