This post is a follow up to the interview I did with Susan Hunt about the rerelease of the her book Spiritual Mothering. CDM has published Titus 2 Tools as a companion piece to Spiritual Mothering, offering practical tips and a leader’s guide for women’s ministries to develop their own Titus 2 discipleship opportunities.
In this interview, I ask Karen Hodge a few questions about Titus 2 Tools:
Christina: When did you first read Spiritual Mothering and what impact did it have on you?
Karen: I anxiously read it as a new church planter’s wife in 1996. I had benefitted greatly from spiritual mothers in life and ministry and then in the midst of a scratch church plant, I felt motherless. My first reading was a soothing balm to meet the ache in my heart. But then the next time I read it, I read it desiring to create a culture that was ripe for gospel friendships among women in our little church. My husband and I knew that this book could be used as a key building block towards developing a healthy church plant.
Christina: How has it impacted your life since?
Karen: This book has shaped my thinking on just about every aspect of Women’s Ministry. At its core, this book is really a philosophy of Women’s Ministry. It is theologically rich and steeped in the gospel. Because it is not about a program or a plan, it transcends cultural shifts and changing generations.
Christina: When I came to your church plant in Florida as a newlywed, you were going through Susan’s books with the women there. How have you used Spiritual Mothering over the years in your ministry?
Karen: One of the great joys of sharing this book not only in our time at Treasure Coast but with countless other women is seeing the fruit of the truths contained within its pages. This book is not just about a woman desiring to be spiritually nurtured, it is about the building of healthy lives, homes, relationships, and churches. The word sound means, healthy, hygienic, or whole. You see, as we teach sound doctrine to women it overflows into sound living. It makes spiritually sick women healthy….and that changes everything!
Christina: Tell me about the project to develop the Titus 2 tools. How did that come about?
Karen: The logical question after reading Spiritual Mothering where Susan gives us the “What?” and the “So What?” is, “Now What?” We wanted to bring together the practical outflow of this book in one reference tool. So a new Leader’s Guide for Spiritual Mothering, resources to train your leaders, and the practical tools of how to implement a Titus 2 Ministry seemed like a good gift.
Christina: What was it like for you to work with Susan on this project?
Karen: Working with Susan is a lot like living out what is written on these pages. She is a spiritual mother to me in every interaction. And really isn’t that what the goal of Titus 2 ministry is all about…showing women the content of the gospel walked out in the context of community life together. So just when I think I am beginning to understand this content after all these years, my relationship with her shows me another dimension I did not know existed. My love and admiration for her only grows over time.
Christina: What is your hope for these tools? How would you like to see churches utilize it?
Karen: I think the word that pops to mind when I think about this tool is stewardship. Stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. As an older woman entrusts the truths of the gospel to a younger woman that is a sacred stewardship moment. Will she be a cul de sac or a conduit of these truths? Will she turn inward or outward looking for those who are a bit older or younger in their spiritual journey or life? It is our hope and prayer as women read Spiritual Mothering and then teach Spiritual Mothering to others that gospel friendships will be formed. We pray this tool will cultivate a culture in communities and churches that are ripe for spiritual transformation. We ask the Lord for exponential kingdom impact as women are trained and equipped to come alongside other women.
Christina: Do you have a favorite Titus 2 story to share from your experience in being spiritually mothered or in spiritually mothering others?
Karen: I think all of us as women would love to have the opportunity to bring all the women who have shaped our lives together in one room. There is a hope that by doing so, that you as a woman might be understood and known at a deeper level. That by looking and listening to the women in the room, somehow your life would make sense to others. I had a moment where the room was filled with almost all the women who have spiritually mothered me. February 2014 I stood on a stage surrounded by Susan and many other women who had lived out the content of the gospel in the context of a relationship with me over many years. It was a rich kingdom moment. I think of it often as I seek to serve as coordinator of Women’s Ministry. Because after all, Titus 2 Ministry and Women’s Ministry here in the PCA is a sacred stewardship.
To learn more about Titus 2 Tools or to purchase your own copy, visit the PCA bookstore.