2023-2025 Ministry Focus: Be Strong, Be Courageous
In 2019, the American Baptist Women’s Ministries (ABWM) national board deeply reflected on the Ministry Focus for the next few years. They desired to implement a Ministry Focus that expressed our hopes for ABWM to thrive as a transformational space for spiritual growth and unity. The focus needed to be broad enough to inspire our sisterhood, challenge us to take necessary risks to move forward, and help us grow internally and externally. We wanted our witness to be kingdom-building and life-affirming. We considered our history the need to continue championing women’s equity, wellness, and wholeness.
In 2019-2021, after prayer and discussion, the board decided the Ministry Focus would be Sister Seeking Wholeness. During this time, our webinar series and other resources centered on wellness and wholeness. In 2021-2023, the board selected a new exciting focus, Let the Walls Fall Down, understanding the need to remove internal and external, spiritual, emotional, and physical roadblocks and walls that keep us divided and disconnected as the body of Christ.
We are creating spaces for a better today and future for ABWM. We were passionate about removing walls that blocked our wholeness and wellness collectively and individually. We strive to be a Christ-centered sisterhood, engaging and empowering women from the inside out. We are prayerfully determined that our 32 region/states will enjoy a sisterhood that is growing deeper in our individual and collective spiritual and faith journeys. We know that it is essential that we are aligned, transparent, unified, respectful, discerning, and persistent in love, grace, justice, and mercy.
And with these ideals in mind, the national board moves our 32 region/states forward with our new 2023-2025 theme, Be Strong, Be Courageous, as we walk shoulder to shoulder, connected heart to heart in God’s call on this ministry to lift up women and in doing so we lift our denomination. We continue to seek holy wholeness, divine discernment to Let the Walls Fall Down removing all spiritual, emotional and physical walls, and now we will be bold and courageous with love. Consistent with Joshua 1:9, God has commanded us to Be Strong and to be courageous. We will not be afraid or discouraged For the Lord our God is with us, wherever we go.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. ― Joshua 1:9
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ― Isaiah 41:10
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. ― 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it. ― Ezra 10:4 (ESV)
To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. . .But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. ― Romans 8:6, 10 (NRSV)
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, ― Philippians 2:3
Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart! ― Psalm 32:11
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. ― Ephesians 6:10-12
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise — in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”― Psalm 56:3-4
The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? ― Psalm 27:1
…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ― Isaiah 40:31
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”―James 1:5
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, ― Romans 8:1
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. ― Isaiah 40:29
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. ― Psalm 46:1
But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. ― 2 Chronicles 15:7
Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight. ― Joshua 10:25
These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. ― Psalm 42:4-5
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. ― Philippians 4:13
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. ― Philippians 4:19 (ESV)