I began my last post by asking: Why does Women of Grace USA exist? I didn’t answer the question, so I’ll repeat it: What is the purpose of Women of Grace USA? The purpose of our forerunner organization, Women’s Missionary Council, was to promote the cause of home and foreign missions work, and to deepen the spiritual life of women through Bible study, prayer and sharing Christ with others. While WMC had goals that encouraged Bible reading, prayer and personal witnessing, it was primarily a missionary organization, focusing most of its attention on the first part of its purpose statement.
We did an excellent job of learning about missionaries and their work, praying for their needs, and giving to support them and their ministries on the mission field. But less time and energy were devoted to other essentials, including making disciples for true life transformation, mentoring according to Titus 2:3-4, and developing leaders for the next generation. Perhaps in many cases we put the cart before the horse, telling women they should be praying for missions when they had never developed a true heart for God.
We have been alarmed over the years to see that the commitment to missions seems to be dying in many areas. However, it is not because we removed missionary from our name. The causes, and they are many, represent a broad range of cultural and generational factors too numerous to list.
We have women in our churches today who don’t know what biblical womanhood is, who did not grow up in church and were not raised with godly role models, who do not have a strong foundation in God’s Word, who don’t know the basic stories of the Old and New Testaments. We have women who struggle in their marriages, their jobs and relationships; who suffer from debilitating physical or mental illnesses; who are living with the result of poor choices made earlier in life. Women who are so overwhelmed with the pressures of their lives that they readily admit they don’t know how to pray, let alone how to pray for a missionary. Do we have a responsibility to these women?
Women of Grace USA believes that we do. That is why, when the name was changed, a rewording of the original purpose statement was adopted: To encourage women to grow in their relationship with Christ and challenge them to be actively engaged in God’s mission. Spiritual growth was placed first because we believe that a strong Biblical foundation and a heart for God are essential if we want to see involvement, not just with missionaries, but in God’s mission. Our present motto, “Local Ministry, Global Impact” suggests that we must minister to the women in the local church in a way that will have worldwide results. It assumes that missions is a vital part of our organization; we have just used a different term for missions.