Featured Image: The First Lady Mrs. Barbara Bush and General Eva Burrows of The Salvation Army
March is National Women’s History Month. We take time this month to recognize the hard work and accomplishments of so many women across the globe and throughout history. It is a great time to remind ourselves and those around us how strong, resilient, brave, gracious and intelligent women have been in the past and continue to be today.
As believers, we get the privilege to look at how Jesus treated women while he was on earth. In a time where women were usually considered chattel and less than a man, Jesus continually chose to act in ways that were counter–cultural. He elevated women, bringing justice to them individually and as a whole so that we can be encouraged, inspired and followers of Him.
- Frame photos of prominent women throughout history, The Salvation Army, and your own community to use on the tables as centerpieces.
- Using Canva or another online creator to print out famous quotes or scripture verses fitting with the theme. These can be framed for table decorations or printed as bookmarks for women to take home.
- If you use multiple tables in your ministry, each one can have a theme based on a different woman. For example, a table with Catherine Booth could include a Salvation Army flag, stack Salvation Army books or biographies, a Bible, or a timbrel. A table featuring Amelia Earhart could include toy airplanes, aviator goggles, and a tied handkerchief like she often wore in photos.
Create and Inspire
This activity is meant to be simple, quick and easily adaptable for any group size. The goal is to get women to engage in conversation with each other, and to recognize ways that they can inspire and encourage each other and those outside of their usual circle.
*Distribute coloring sheets and provide colored pencils or fine tip markers for women to create. For each group, provide a basket with ‘inspire’ prompts. Have women draw a prompt from the basket and answer the question. Invite them to draw something that represents their answer. This should provide meaningful and inspiring conversation in an informal setting.
- What woman has inspired you in your life? In your ministry?
- What is your go-to Bible verse when you need hope?
- Is there a time that God used you to inspire or give hope to someone else?
- In what ways do you hope to inspire other women in their faith?
This activity is great for groups that are interested in serving and reaching out to the community. It can be organized in a way that is quick for those with short meeting times, or a more adventurous group can turn this activity into an outing.
- Using greeting cards or scrapbook paper, have women create encouragement cards for women who may be going through a difficult time. This would be a great opportunity to include scripture, but they can also use other resources as inspiration (quotes from books or articles, drawings, or music lyrics would also be great). Once completed, these cards should be distributed to women in the community—those who are homeless, women who come to the corps for social services, or to a local domestic violence shelter.
- A second option for this activity is to create thank you/encouragement cards for women who serve in your community—women firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, teachers, or doctors. You can make a list ahead of time for women to choose from, or you can select a destination and deliver the notes as a group to a local hospital, fire station, or school.
There is no question that many of the women we honor this month worked hard and endured much for their accomplishments and recognition. Many women we recognize as pioneers did not live to know the legacy they left behind. Certainly, God has put so many women ahead of us to leave legacies of accomplishment, restoration and hope, but He has also left us another resource in our journey toward holiness—His Word.
Sometimes, I feel like the only way I can accomplish anything great is to work so hard at a project that it consumes me. Hours of study or physical training, extreme focus on my goals and hopes, and in the end, I’m left feeling let down, because even if I accomplish what I was working toward, I’m left with the feeling that it isn’t quite “enough.”
In 1 Timothy 4:8–10 (NLT), Paul gives Timothy a reminder that most days I also need. He says, “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that everyone should accept it. This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.” We can physically or mentally train ourselves all we want, but what is really important is to train ourselves for godliness. We should be striving above all for holiness, because our hope, the hope of all people, is in Jesus.