Our society’s complexity presents a challenge to leaders of ministry to women, causing us to give in-depth consideration to ministry. We cannot assume all women of the same age have the same interests. While we consider the general developmental influences of different age-groups, we also look at other circumstances that shape women’s lives.
Women who come to our churches are in different places relationally. Many come from traditional families, but many do not. A woman in her middle thirties may be a grandmother, while another of the same age may be starting her family. Single mothers and grandmothers raising grandchildren need our ministry as do those with traditional families.
Women come to our churches from different socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnic groups. They also come with differing mental and emotional needs. Some may be highly skilled while others have little professional training. Some face daily pressures in the work force while others deal with unemployment. Some may spend time volunteering for charitable organizations. Others may be homeschooling their children.
Our greatest concern is the differing spiritual backgrounds women have. Some are new believers, just learning what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Others are in the discipling process, becoming established in the Word. Others are mature Christians who have walked with the Lord for many years.
The challenge for leadership is to minister to these women of different ages, family relationships, socioeconomic, and spiritual backgrounds. Our goal is that no matter their life stage or status, women will experience spiritual growth according to the Scripture: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
If we are to see women continue to grow in their knowledge of the Lord, our ministry must be as multidimensional as the women are. The goal of this unit is to explore the stages of a woman’s life, giving consideration to her status as well. To help us in this discovery, we will focus on the following aspects of life:
- Physical stage of life
- Mental and emotional development
- Personal and family relationships
- Spiritual maturity
• The Feminine Journey: Understanding the Biblical Stages of a Woman’s Life, by Cynthia and Robert Hicks (NavPress, 1994).
• Shepherding a Woman’s Heart: A New Model for Effective Ministry to Women, by Beverly White Hislop (Moody Publishers, 2003).
• New Doors in Ministry to Women, by Sue Edwards and Kelley Mathews (Kregel, 2002).
• As Jesus Cared for Women, by W. David Hager (Revell, 1998).
• The Friendships of Women, by Dee Brestin (Cook Communications, 2001).
About the Author
PEGGY MUSGROVE (1930-2020) was a licensed Assemblies of God minister, international speaker, and freelance writer. She ministered alongside her husband Derald as a pastor’s wife and district official’s wife, and as the former women’s director for the Kansas District and the National Women’s Department. Peggy’s written works include Who’s Who Among Bible Women, Pleasing God, Praying Always, Musings of a Maraschino Cherry, Gathering Wisdom, Gaining Knowledge, Getting Understanding, and contributions to several publications.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society®.
“Stages of a Woman’s Life” is published by the National Women’s Department at www.women.ag.org, 2020. Permission to reproduce is limited to personal use or within a teaching setting. All other forms of use are prohibited.