This is the second in a series we are doing at enCourage on PCA Women You Should Know. In today’s post, I want to introduce you to Ronjanett Taylor. She and her husband attend Redeemer Church, PCA in Jackson, Mississippi and she serves with the denomination’s women’s ministry team.
Redeemer Church, PCA
Ronjanett and her husband came to the PCA in 2002. Through study of the word, they came to a Reformed understanding of Scripture and desired to be in a church that taught Reformed doctrine. In their search, they were led to Trinity PCA in Jackson, Mississippi. They specifically sought a church that welcomed diversity and Trinity had an outreach to the surrounding neighborhood. They were part of the membership which then formed Redeemer Church, PCA where her husband now serves as an elder.
When Redeemer started, Ronjanett joined a group of other women who desired to start a women’s ministry. She served on the women’s ministry team and helped the ministry in its infancy. As a result, she ended up attending Leadership Training in Atlanta with Sherry Lanier where she learned and grew in her desire to minister to women.
Throughout our conversation, as Ronjanett talked about Redeemer, I heard an emphasis on the community her church has provided for her and her family. Redeemer has been a home for Ronjanett. It is her family. They are a support and encouragement for her, spurring her on to love and good works for the Kingdom.
At Large Advisor
In 2012 Jane Patete approached Ronjanett about serving with the denomination’s Women’s Ministry Team as the At Large Advisor for Diversity. Though she has a number of responsibilities in this role, the three that stand out for her are 1) Advising the women’s ministry team to cultivate an environment that recognizes training and discipleship needs in the context of diversity. She collaborates with the Regional Advisors and Trainers to equip and train women in their local churches, helping them with women’s ministry. She raises questions and the team walks together thinking about the topic of diversity. 2). Secondly, she provides discipleship/training opportunities at Leadership Training each year on the subject of diversity. 3). Lastly, she works on training women and encouraging churches to think about diversity even beyond that of race and culture. She helps people to look at their churches and communities to see what areas of diversity are unique to their specific church and community. How can churches and women’s ministries reach out to widows, single women, etc.? Ronjanett says that all churches have diversity; we need the openness to see it and respond to it.
When it comes to diversity in our churches and in particular, our women’s ministry, Ronjanett described three important elements. The first is prayer. Ronjanett says that churches need to pray about diversity. They need to pray for opportunities to reach out and encourage diversity in their churches. They need to pray for awareness about the ways they might impede or discourage diversity. They need to pray for a heart that desires diversity and ask that the Spirit provide courage and boldness. Secondly, humility is a necessary element in growing in diversity. Our ministries need to seek to understand those who come from another culture, are of a different race, or in a different life circumstance than ourselves. Thirdly, we need to have grace for one another. She says, “we will all misstep in our efforts. We will all make assumptions about others that stifle our ability to engage in diverse settings.” We need to apply the gospel to the challenges we face in encouraging diversity, remembering what Christ has done for us.
Ronjanett grew up in the faith, surrounded by women who mentored her, showing her the face of Jesus as a young child. A legacy of faith was given her by her grandmother, mother, and great Aunt. They helped her to know who she was in Jesus and modeled for her what it means to be a woman of God. These spiritual mothers in her life gave her a life-long desire to mentor others spiritually and to be mentored by older women. In recent years, Shirley Hall, a fellow church member, was a mentor with whom she prayed. She describes this relationship as “life-giving.”
Ronjanett has also been deeply encouraged by several African American women outside of her church who’ve been in the PCA longer than she has. God graciously provided these relationships when she and her family first joined the PCA and well before she began serving on the women’s ministry team. Ronjanett feels that is significant because these mentoring and nurturing relationships are what she looks to in order to even begin thinking about how to serve the women of the PCA.
RonJanett has long discipled young girls in her church. She currently leads a Titus 2 group for girls called Sister Cooks which helps girls see what it looks like for women to live for the glory of God. They meet for fellowship, Bible study, and to learn how to serve and extend hospitality to others.
Women’s Ministry Today
I asked Ronjanett about what issues of contemporary culture influence or shape women’s ministry in our churches today. She responded, “The culture lends itself to a quick fix mentality on most things and in our faith, we look for the same thing in some ways.” She says that we need to keep our younger women connected to God’s word. “Culture should not be our guiding force.” She believes it is crucial to start training women to think Biblically at a young age, which is why she has such a passion for working with the young girls at her church.
If you would like to learn more about how Ronjanett can serve you and your women’s ministry in the area of diversity, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the CDM webpage at www.pcacdm.org and click Ministries, then Women’s Ministry.