3 Major Ways the Church Can Affirm Women's Gifts

Shakia Clark

iBelieve Contributing Writer
Updated May 26, 2021
3 Major Ways the Church Can Affirm Women's Gifts

The church is an important part of a believer’s walk. It is a house of prayer, a place of refuge and a place for community. It is also a place where one’s giftings can be discovered, nurtured and steered in a direction to advance the kingdom.

At my local church, I have heard many stories of people serving in the areas of media or outreach with no prior experience and have now entered into full time employment within those areas. People took notice of them due to their consistency and heart to serve. For some, they didn’t even realize how much of the skill sets they displayed or how they had gifts to lead people within those areas, but through their faithful serving, others saw their gifts and encouraged them to steward well the gifts they had been given.

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senior woman wondering gazing

Created in His Image

A woman’s role has been a controversial topic, whether it is women in leadership roles within a local church, or working moms advancing their careers in other sectors. People have different opinions on what it should look like; however it is important to understand what the Bible tells us from the beginning.

In Genesis 1:27, it states “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” This verse is a reminder of how we have all been made in the image of God. He thought enough of both male and female to make us into His image. He didn’t create one better than the other. With His creation, He made things good and to serve a purpose.

Some women associate their identity with their family life, careers or marital status.  I think it is important for women to find their identity in Christ and allow everything else to fall into its rightful place. Throughout life’s journey, I believe the church has an opportunity to play a major role in affirming the gifts within women. An opportunity to cultivate their talents in a way that honors the Lord either inside or outside of the walls of the church. If God created all of us in His image then we are to steward our gifts wherever they lead us. As Christ’s ambassadors (See 2 Corinthians 5:20), we should consistently present ourselves in a way that honors Him and brings others back to Him.

We are all called to do great things to advance the kingdom of God. He created us with gifts and talents. And although many people may share a spiritual gift, we all have a unique assignment. 1 Corinthians 12:4 –11 reminds us how

“there are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.  To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.”

God has given you gifts to use for His glory. All of our gifts are for the purpose of glorifying Him and bringing others to Him. If we sit on our gifts, then it will be wasteful and robs others who are waiting for you to obedient with what He has given you.

Romans 12:6- 8 says, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Whatever gift God has blessed us with, we are to use it for a greater purpose.

Here are a few ways the church can affirm women’s gifts:

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1. Keep Watch

1. Keep Watch

Everyone has a specific gift. Something that comes naturally to them as well as things that you may see which they don’t recognize quite yet. Keep watch over those within your church. Take notice of those who speak up boldly and those who quietly serve with gladness. There’s something special about the different personalities within your church. Be willing to observe their talents and seek the Lord for guidance on how to cultivate them.

If they serve on a specific team, talk to their team leaders and begin to work together on developing their gifts.

2. Encourage Women to Steward Their Gifts

As you begin to take notice of their talents, help steward their gifts. If a woman has a natural gift of encouraging others, motivate her to lead a small group or a team. This will help put her in a position to encourage others. Some women are natural leaders, whether they see it within themselves or not; help them gain the confidence to lead others well and begin to see their gifts as a useful tool within the kingdom of God.

3. Intentionally Disciple Them

Having someone to walk and guide you through various seasons of life is important. It is where community is built and we were all created for community. Encourage women in the church to seek discipleship and help steer them towards this based on the season of life they are in. Women need to be reminded how their gifts can be beneficial regardless of the season they find themselves in. Some members may be singles who are stepping into entrepreneurship, others may be new moms looking for ways to use their gifts without taking away from their home life. No matter the season, ensure there is intentional discipleship happening within the women of the church.

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Bringing Gifts into the Open

Bringing Gifts into the Open

The role of the church is to be the church within the four walls as well as outside of it. One way to accomplish this is by being attentive to the people in the church, and encouraging people to use their gifts in ways that honor God and His people. No gift should be kept hidden, but God wants each of us to bless others out of how He blessed us.

Can you imagine if your favorite worship leader never sang? If the songwriter never wrote your favorite worship song? And the musicians never played the tunes? We would never experience the music God placed on their hearts as a blessing to us. Their gifts and talents would be hidden, keeping each of us from benefiting off the Spirit-breathed songs that penetrate our hearts today.

The same can happen here. If women who are gifted — and we all are — never pick up the mantle to lead, never pick up the pen to write, or never begin to advocate for the lost, someone will be missing out on an opportunity to benefit from what God has given them to steward.

The church can’t waste this moment by overlooking the women in the congregation. Remember that women were an important part of Jesus’ ministry. It was Jesus who entrusted women to be the first to tell the gospel message ( See Matthew 28).

Women were created to do amazing work in helping spread the Good News about Jesus. They’ve been gifted with skills and talents specifically for His glory. The church can play an important role in developing these gifts. There’s no telling the gifts in your congregation that are waiting to be revealed.

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Shakia Clark Author HeadshotShakia Clark is a writer, marketer, and servant leader who is passionate about encouraging women to experience God’s best for their lives. She has a heart for women to see themselves the way that God sees them. She finds joy in coming alongside them in their journey. When she isn’t writing, you can find her spending time with friends and family, traveling, reading, trying new recipes, or actively serving her community. She blogs at www.shakiaclark.com.

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Originally published Wednesday, 26 May 2021.