Ice Breaker Activity : Two Truths and a Lie
This ice breaker helps the group to open up in conversation and get to know each other better. Each woman takes a turn to tell two facts about herself and one lie. This could be where she is gifted or the most adventurous thing she has done. The group tries to guess which is fact and which is the lie. This game builds great conversation and reveals facts about one another that are often unknown to the group. This is good for a multigenerational group in particular, and participation does not depend on mobility.
Let’s Share Our Gifts with Others
Show a video clip of one of the projects highlighting women working together for hope in their community. Share how “Others” is enabling women to help their communities. Purchase a small gift from the Others catalog as a token of appreciation for each woman. These can be found at www.tradeforhope.com.
Your group could also share their gifts with your community. Invite each woman to bring a personal care item, or baked good to give to those coming for assistance at the corps. Or they can be given out at the food pantry, shelter, if your corps has this ministry, or the ARC in your area. Another suggestion is to connect with a ministry supporting women in your community, like a women’s shelter, homeless support services, domestic violence shelter, or young mother’s program.
I Am Woman
Read Judges 4:4-10.
In this passage we see that Deborah is one of the first women, if not the first woman to be in political leadership over the nation of Israel. Deborah was a judge, presiding over the matters of Israel and was also a prophetess.
In order for Deborah to function as judge and prophetess she had to have been given wisdom from the Holy Spirit and was divinely anointed by God. She must have been supremely gifted and applied herself to the study of God’s word and prayer and thus was empowered to speak on God’s behalf. Her credibility suggests that she was also a woman of influence at home to those close to her heart.
As a prophetess Deborah ranks on the same level as any of the Old Testament prophets. We can infer from the text she was called by God, but we can also see that she was aware that she faced a different litmus test as woman. She was full of faith and was an encourager. She summoned Barak and commanded him to take ten thousand men, trusting God would enable him to defeat Sisera and his army.
Barak wanted the prophetess to go with him. Deborah encouraged him by assuring she would go. But here is the problem. Deborah answers Barak: “Certainly I will go with you, but because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” Here we see that Deborah, speaking prophetically, both predicts what is going to happen at the end of the story where Jael, the wife of Heber, kills Sisera and addresses the sociological stigma for Barak that a woman will get the glory.
Perhaps this predictable caution or lack of faith on Barak’s part is lamentable for him, but the consequence to a modern reader is indicative of gender values. This makes Deborah all the more heroic, not just as a divinely anointed leader but as the first woman leader of the Israelite nation.
We in The Salvation Army, also have a rich heritage of women leaders anointed by God with deep faith and conviction, with brilliant minds leading in challenging times, beginning with the co–founder of The Salvation Army, Catherine Booth. This story of Deborah reminds us of the inclusion of women in the work of the Lord. It encourages us to stay close to the Lord by studying scripture, caring for those around us, speaking truth in a way of justice, and doing what is right.
You may think your life is marked by nothing extraordinary, that your accomplishments pale compared to Deborah’s. Often, the reality of our leadership and character takes place in the context of our daily lives as we live out our relationships and responsibilities. As moms, we are in a position of influence to so many around us from our children and spouses to our extended families, communities and workplaces. Each of us has been gifted in some way. Use your gifts for God’s glory to influence those around you positively, especially in their relationship with God. Your best gift to the world is your witness of His love and faithfulness and your commitment to what is right. As it was true for Deborah, so it is for you.