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Women’s ministry requires loving mentors

Women need strong relationships with other women. But many of us struggle with figuring out how to go about developing them. 

Joneal Kirby, founder of the Christian Counseling and Resource Center at White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, La., believes that God’s command in Titus 2:3-5 for older women to teach the younger women is one of the best ways to meet that need. 
In Print | Serena B. Miller
“One of the great untapped treasures within our churches lies within the minds and hearts of our older women,” she contends in “Heartfelt: A Woman’s Guide to Creating Meaningful Friendships .”  
Kirby is an expert on the subject of women’s need for meaningful friendship. In addition to the resource center, which provides services for a broad swath of northern Louisiana and southern Arkansas, she produces the “Heart to Home” radio program that focuses on strengthening faith and families. She has also hosted the Legacy Network’s Christian talk show “Girlfriends” and has authored two books on parenting. 
The specific method she outlines for implementing a Titus 2 ministry is neither overwhelming nor complicated, and it has already proven successful in hundreds of churches. 
Instead of a formal church class for women, Kirby describes a scenario where two or three women who have already raised their children — or who are of the age to have done so — partner to welcome a group of younger women into their homes like “mothers welcoming much-loved daughters.”  
The purpose of this once-a-month get-together is to create a safe and loving environment in which women’s friendships can be strengthened and encouraged. Kirby’s model calls for the older women teaching the younger women by getting to know one another informally, leading a hands-on lesson on a domestic craft, sharing a meal and having a short Bible study. 
The bulk of the book is made up of testimonies of the effectiveness of this method written by women, both young and old, whose lives have been changed by becoming part of a Titus 2 ministry. Many readers will enjoy all of these personal stories, while others might find some superfluous or redundant, skipping instead to the imminently practical and encouraging last two chapters, which contain the how-to details about implementing and sustaining a Titus 2 ministry. 
Either way, the simplicity and Biblical authenticity of Dr. Kirby’s plan is an achievable blueprint for creating healthy connections between Christian women while also creating stronger churches. 
SERENA B. MILLER is a novelist whose most recent book is the nonfiction “More than Happy: The Wisdom of Amish Parenting .” She attends the Sunshine Church of Christ in Minford, Ohio, where her husband, Steve, is preaching minister. For more information, see www.serenabmiller.com

Filed under: Features Reviews

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