Editor’s Note: From its inception, the women in the PCA have loved on and supported the denomination in practical ways. One way has been through the annual women’s ministry love gift. This year, the women’s ministry of the PCA is praying for and partnering with the different agencies and committees of the denomination regionally. Throughout the year, we will highlight the committees and agencies to learn more about what they do and how we can pray for them.
Below is an interview I did with Karen Hodge about the ministry of the Committee on Discipleship Ministries (CDM):
Christina: Can you give us an overview of what CDM does for the PCA?
Karen: In a sentence…we strengthen the church by connecting people to people and people to resources. We don’t seek to offer formulaic strategies on how to have a stellar women’s ministry or an exciting children’s ministry program. Men, women, youth, and children are all members of the body. When the Church’s discipleship from cradle to grave is Word-based and relationally-driven then by God’s grace, we seek to come alongside and help build a healthy church.
CDM serves primarily as a connector.
We connect you to people: Staff, Our teams, and other like-minded brothers and sisters across our denomination.
We connect people to sound resources: Books, tools, ministry strategies, blogs or podcasts.
Christina: What does CDM do for women’s ministry in the PCA?
Karen: The Committee on Discipleship Ministries serves as the ministry oversight for Women’s Ministry. Dr. Stephen Estock serves as our coordinator. He oversees, with the CDM permanent committee, Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, Men’s Ministry, Older Adult Ministry, the PCA Bookstore and Women’ s Ministry. You can learn more about the scope of CDM’s ministry by visiting our website: https://pcacdm.org
Christina: What is your role at CDM and what is your vision for women’s ministry in the church?
Karen: I have the privilege of serving as the coordinator of PCA Women’s Ministries. I am humbled to serve alongside an extraordinary team of individuals. I have 8 women who help me come alongside the women and churches in our 8 geographic regions. We also have women’s ministry trainers to encourage and equip the women of the PCA to think biblically about who God is and how to live covenantally in the home, church, workplace, and community. We also have At Large Advisors who serve Chaplain’s and Military spouses, International Women’s ministry, and an Advisor for Diversity to help us incorporate diversity in our people and resources. And who could forget Kathy Wargo my gospel friend and assistant who helps keep us all moving the same direction?
My vision for Women’s ministry is can be summed up in two pictures:
I am Steward: To be a steward is to cultivate and keep something of great value
that has been entrusted. I am a recipient and beneficiary of the rich 47-year history of PCA women’s ministry. It is my joy to watch God cultivate the gifts and graces of the women of the PCA. It is my calling to invest richly in people and resources and watch kingdom multiplication happen.
I am a Hinge: A hinge connects two pieces together for basic fundamental use. Kathy Wargo framed an industrial hinge for my desk because I often speak of being a hinge. When a hinge does its work (prayerfully not too squeaky) you take no notice. So, I pray to be a hinge. I pray God will lead others to see themselves as a hinge. We can stand in the gap and connect people to people and people to resources. I see my most strategic hinge point as connecting people and resources to the next generation.
Christina: As you meet women across the PCA and learn about their ministries, what encourages you most? Any surprises? What do you see as some common needs?
Karen: Over the last five years, I have and the privilege to travel to the edges of our denomination and what I see is women who sincerely love the church and long to serve her. Sometimes they need encouragement, so we come alongside them with prayer and resources. They may need further equipping and we love to share the amazing people and resources that we steward. As we built relationships around conferences, we discovered the rich tapestry of the gifts and graces of the women in the PCA. So, what did I see? We are more alike than different. We are stronger together than apart. And my continued prayer is that we would seek to delight in our unity in the midst of diversity.
Christina: What are some upcoming plans CDM has for women’s ministry?
Karen: I would say the most pressing need and the thing at the top of my prayer list is to invest in the next generation of female leaders in the PCA. Our plan over the next year is to intentionally invest in identifying, equipping, and connecting proven and potential life-giving leaders. We will use three strategies to connect people to people and resources:
- 2020 Hinged Conferences: Where older and younger women will teach and lead around the book of truths in Ephesians.
- January 24-25, 2020-Hinged Birmingham, AL-Covenant Presbyterian Church
- January 31-February 1, 2020- Hinged Charlotte,NC- Christ Covenant Church
- April 3-4, 2020- Hinged New Braunfels/San Antonio, TX- Christ Presbyterian Church
- April 24-25, 2020- Hinged Chicago- Naperville, IL- Naperville Presbyterian Church
- October 2-3, 2020- Hinged Delaware: Bear, DE-Reach Church
- October 9-10, 2020- Hinged San Diego- Escondido, CA- New Life Presbyterian Church
- Investing in Churches and Presbyteries: We will seek to invest in each of our 8 geographic regions by offering to waive the fee for a Women’s Ministry Training. Churches and presbytery women’s ministry leaders will have the opportunity to offer a proposal about how bringing a training to their area would strengthen the church and benefit the women they serve.
- Women’s Connect Network: We hope to build a virtual network of proven and potential leaders that can connect for the purposes of strengthening the church for the next generation.
All of these initiatives will be rolled out in the next few months so stay tuned right here.
Christina: How can readers support what you are doing? How can they pray for you and your ministry?
Karen: God is doing amazing things in and through PCA women’s ministry and the enemy hates it. So, will you join me to…
Pray: Will you ask God to lead us as we seek to serve Him?
Connect: Will you join me as a hinge and connect others to the people and resources that CDM offers?
Give: Will you join us in investing in the next generation of women in the PCA? Click here to learn more.
About the Author:
Christina received her undergraduate degree from Covenant College and her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She writes for a number of Christian ministries and publications including Revive Our Hearts, Desiring God, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and Ligonier Ministries. She is the content editor for enCourage and the author of A Heart Set Free: A Journey to Hope Through the Psalms of Lament , Closer Than a Sister: How Union with Christ Helps Friendships to Flourish and Idols of a Mother’s Heart. Christina serves on the advisory board at Covenant College and is on the national women’s ministry team as Regional Adviser of the Southeast. She prefers her coffee black and from a French press, enjoys antiquing, hiking, traveling, and reading. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two boys. You can find her at www.christinafox.com, @christinarfox and on Facebook.