I’ve been a bit AWOL from this blog since early June, and mostly I blame that on kids home for the summer. Add a litter of puppies, a child’s knee surgery, and a book project, and—well, I’m sure you’ll forgive me. I’ll share about those puppies at a later date, but let me tell you a bit about that book project.
About 17 years ago, Sue Edwards and I teamed up to write a how-to book on women’s ministry. Source material came primarily from Sue, who at the time led a megachurch women’s ministry and had been serving in that area for twenty-plus years. I was just starting out in my tiny church and, by the time that book was published in 2002, was a new mom volunteering as director of women’s ministry. Our small/big church and multi-generational perspectives helped fashion a well-rounded view of how a healthy women’s ministry could function no matter what size church. The book, New Doors in Ministry to Women, has sold in small, steady quantities annually since then. Seminaries use it as a textbook, which has helped extend its lifespan.
But it’s 2018, and no longer can we truly claim to show churches “new” doors in ministry to women. This year, Sue and I finally found time to collaborate on an update to the book, which we submitted a few weeks ago to Kregel Publications. We anticipate a publication date in 2019, but no confirmation yet. You’ll know soon after we do!
So what did we update? We kept the structure in place, along with the timeless principles. But some of the illustrations and many, many statistics now show recent information. We also added content related specifically to #metoo, women working with men, and Bible study content. So much has changed over the last 18 years, and we had a lot of fun supplementing old information with all the new options (and our opinions about it).
But the most enjoyable change, to us, involved researching the women currently leading out in various ministries to women across the nation. In the first edition, we highlighted women who plowed the hard ground of establishing women’s presence in ministry. These pioneers have since retired or passed away. This time, we wanted to promote women of influence who currently lead churches, parachurch groups, online and on stage, in the classroom, and on the mission field.
Three beloved interns assisted us with these new profiles: Amanda Sherzer, Natalie Edwards, and Lindsay Ann Nickels. Sue and I cannot thank them enough for researching and writing most of them. Each profile keeps their byline in the new book. I did contribute one profile, however, and I hope you enjoy this example of what you’ll find in the update. Much like my coauthor, this woman of influence influences the influencers: her life has touched missions, church ministry, and the classroom, and her legacy includes not only myself but dozens of current pastors, authors, and teachers. Plus, she’s one of my best friends.