Is Anybody Out There?

JANE ANNE WILSON|GUEST

There is a scene in the movie, Titanic, that I always fast forward through because it is just too painful to watch. Rose is clinging to life in the ice cold water and realizes Jack is dead. Will she also let go and die in the frigid Atlantic? Someone from a lifeboat is calling.  She doesn’t respond right away, but remembering her promise to Jack to “never let go,” she finds her whistle, responds to the call and is rescued.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on that lifeboat calling out to women who might lead in their church, but who are barely clinging to life due to the ice cold waters of insecurity, fear, busyness, and distractions, to name just a few. Perhaps these women are waiting for someone else to step up who might be more capable— yet God’s purposes are achieved through weak and weary women that are dependent on Him.

I received an email several months ago from a gal in our region who asked if there was anyone else in her presbytery with whom she could speak about women’s ministry in their church. A spark of hope had grown in her at the Transformed Philadelphia conference where she observed and enjoyed the life-giving fellowship of other PCA women.

Because the PCA is laid on the foundation that our denomination would glorify God by being connectional, our churches are geographically organized into groups of presbyteries that meet at least quarterly to govern and encourage the local churches.  Thankfully, women have the opportunity to benefit from this connectional design, which supports our Titus 2 mandate, by organizing presbytery women’s ministries.

Because another woman stepped out many years ago to connect the women in my area, it was at a presbytery event that I was the recipient of a much needed word of truth at a devastating time in my life. That word framed my response to the pain in our family, transforming a broken relationship to one that glorifies God. The ripple effects in the kingdom are immeasurable when a healthy women’s presbytery ministry helps to connect local churches to bring gospel truth that captures the hearts of women in our local churches.

Imagine if Rose had responded to the opportunity for help with an arrogant refusal and declaration that she could make it on her own. The truth is, none of us can. We need one another.

Psalm 133 tells us, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.” Whether we are the one calling into the ice cold waters to see if there is any life out there, or the one who is barely holding on, wishing for a connection to others for life-giving warmth, we dare not let go, but persevere in building those connections, confident that God will perform His good and pleasant heart work in each of our lives as we connect with one another for His glory.

The gal who was hoping for help is already building a team in her area so that life-giving avenues of connection can begin to grow in her presbytery. Thank God with me that she never let go!

Editor’s Note: Jane Anne Wilson will be leading a workshop at the Women’s Ministry Leadership Training Conference this month, titled “Is Anybody Out There?  Let’s Stick Together!” She will be encouraging and facilitating dialogue about how we can all work together to develop unity in women’s ministry within the PCA. To learn more, click here.

About the Author:

Jane Anne Wilson

Jane Anne, wife to David and mother of four adult children, earned her nursing degree from University of Delaware and worked in pediatrics.  Growing up in the PCA provided the opportunity for a variety of ministry roles.  She presently serves on the women’s ministry leadership team at her church, and is the CDM Northeast Regional Advisor.  Cuddling her two grandbabies, long walks with her husband, and family reunions are her favorite blessings.

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