I do not normally write too much on my blog about ourministry at Whole Heart. But, for those of you who are interested in this ministry, I have decided to include a rather lengthy letter to tell you about some very exciting areas that the Lord seems to be taking Clay and me into.
A Call to Discipleship
When I think of the word discipleship, I almost always think of a particular moment. I was invited to a friend's apartment where she had lit candles, set the table and served me a steaming cup of soup. (probably Campbells!) But, I felt "adult" as I didn't have an apartment of my own yet.
She then opened the scriptures and began to teach me some of her favorite verses. "Sal," she said, "I believe that God has great things ahead of you. I know He is going to use you in your life in a very special way."
And this is how my spiritual life began to grow. She passed on to me a love of Scripture, a passion for Christ and it was all served up to me on the plate of a loving relationship. She made me believe, with her life-giving words, that I was designed by God to have a work to do in the world--that God could use little me for His glory.
This became for me a model of my own discipleship relationship with my own children and with other women. Then, when we married, this mandate of discipleship and preparing our children to go into the world became applied to our own children and became a call for our family to teach it to others.
However, through the years, as we have watched the culture pull more away from the divine mandate of Biblical Christianity, Clay and I have had more of a desire to become serious and intentional about training and instructing leaders to can continue to pass on the Biblical messages to which we have devoted our lives.
The young generation have so many emotional scars, lack of training, a vacuum of spiritual or moral instruction, and very few models to follow. Families are not hearing or being affirmed in the strategic, Biblical role of parents in the lives of their children. A whole generation of women has neglected to be Titus 2 women, and give their time to younger moms.
Consequently, the whole foundation of the family has been shaken and devastated. And even more, we feel that the feminist movement has robbed motherhood from the important call to disciple and train and love children from their home and not to relegate the responsibility to culture.
For these reasons, Clay and I have a passion to see God raise up an army of women who are willing to be trained and then to go out into their own arenas to encourage and disciple women to love God, to love their husbands and to love their children. It is the essence of Titus 2. Though, there is so much else we could say, we have prayerfully come up with three focuses for the next few years.
Clay is devoted to helping to produce training manuals and materials for small groups and helping to get the basic Mom Heart materials going. He is committed to putting more books and discipleship training materials like the 24 Family Ways into print for use at home or church groups. There are too many publishing projects for families on his plate than he can ever finish.
Mom Heart Groups
We are seeking to continue to develop and write books and materials that women can use in small groups to help women grow in the Lord and in their understanding of what it means to follow the Biblical ideals of motherhood. We will have a training conference in Houston, May 1, to help train and give women more confidence about how to start a small group for women in their homes and in churches to study these materials together, to encourage one another and to pray. This will be for leaders in the area who are ready to consider starting Mom Heart Groups in churches or homes. If you are interested and live within reach, register here. We would love to have you.
This session will be video taped so that women all over can buy or download the videos to use to help them know how to begin a small group. We are hoping that many women all over the world will be moved by the Holy Spirit to initiate such groups wherever they are, to help encourage other young moms.
I have come to a point in my life, where I desire to build more intensely into other women whose hearts are drawn to ministry and to help send them out. We are hosting a leadership intensive training here in Colorado Springs August 5-8, where Clay and I will be training and instructing women who already have the messages of Whole Heart in their lives. Though some of the sessions will be focused on areas of writing, blogging, speaking and teaching, it will primarily be a ministry training time. I would love to pass on my heart and passion about how to best reach mother's hearts to inspire them to bring the life and grace of God into their homes. Having face to face, personal time with those who God has already prepared to minister, and is like-minded in philosophy, is a desire of mine.
We are hoping that out of this group, God will bring some speakers and writers who can represent Whole Heart through blogs, articles, Bible study materials, and in speaking venues, with book tables to offer resources to moms. Our desire is to catalyze a group of women who can reach out to culture with these important Biblical messages as well as provide venues for speaking in smaller church conferences and reach out to communities to mothers who long for input and guidance. A team of families can accomplish much more than just Clay and I can.
Hopefully all who attend will be greatly encouraged and inspired and enriched by the time together. However, we hope that we will find some who are already ready to jump in to help us do more ministry and reach more people. But not all who attend will necessarily leave the conference as official Whole Heart Representatives. Our advisory board will meet at the conference end to discuss and prayerfully choose which women seem a "fit" with the heart of our ministry and are ready to step out.
This is a start to what we hope will turn into movement of the Holy Spirit to bring more projects and books and regional seminars and conferences to places we will never have the opportunity to speak. We are also hoping that some international ministry leaders will be able to join us.
This training will be for 30 women, and it will take place in my home and the home of a friend. I desire to share meals together, training, fellowship and instruction from others to facilitate such a team. There is a team of sweet women who are a advisory board who are helping to host this conference. They will be the ones who will evaluate the applications we receive to determine which women will be able to attend this first intensive training.
If this one goes well, we will consider doing more in the future.
We have many more ideas and projects in mind, but we have to move at a snail's pace because it is mostly just Clay and me who are working on our ministry and I, especially, am limited in the time I can give because of my priorities at home. We continue to pray that the Lord will raise up for us funds to hire someone to help us expand this ministry, so that we can be more free to write and work on projects.
Please consider being a part of helping us in this ministry God has put on our hearts. You can sign up to be a prayer partner. You can sign up for our ministry newsletter. You can become a leader of a small group. You can give financially to help us keep going as a ministry. Because of the generous support last year from so many, we were able to finish this year well and to keep going. We are so very grateful to the Lord for how amazingly He continues to work. You are a blessing to us.
God is on the move in amazing ways and we are so very blessed to be a part. May His spirit raise up a powerful movement of restoration of families, Biblical motherhood, a depth in the Word, and a passion for God and His kingdom.
A Big Thanks
We could not have made it through this season without your prayers, love and encouragement. I see the Lord raising up a team of like-minded families to help us get this ministry off the ground and am so very thankful. I only wish I had more time to answer all of my mail.
At this time, I will not be able to answer a great amount of emails, so stay tuned to this blog and or sign up for a newsletter and you will receive more information soon. Thanks so much for reading this letter and keeping us in your prayers.Blessings of His grace and peace to you and your precious ones today.
For further information, go to: www.wholeheart.org