A Note From Pastor Logan: About a month or so ago we began offering some free little booklets in the foyer that are a part of a series entitled “Church Questions” by the 9Marks organization. The purpose of this series is to answer common questions about the local church and what it means for the daily life of the Christian. I have asked some of our very own SBCC members to read one of these books and do a short review in order to encourage others to pick up these resources for themselves. I am thankful for those who have said “yes” to doing these reviews, and my hope is that they spur your interest to read them for yourselves in order that you might faithfully follow Jesus and love His people.

How Can Women Thrive in the Local Church? 
By Ashleigh Fersch

How Can Women Thrive in the Local Church? 

I happen to be a woman.  I happen to belong to a local church.  I also happen to struggle with this question and find myself particularly drawn to the word “thrive”. Thriving implies something beyond regular church attendance and small talk in the foyer. Thriving pulls at that deep desire down in the marrow that whispers to your heart, “There is more. So much more.” But how do I tap into the deeper places that Jesus wants to take me when I feel disconnected, intimidated, or even indifferent to my role in the church?

This little book by Keri Folmar packs a punch delving into that very question. Although it’s a mere 51 pages, I found that the simple truths and principles she highlights can speak to the heart of a woman of any age, relationship status, spiritual maturity level, or background. She says, “As women we have unique ways that we get to display God’s glory. We are essential and indispensable to God’s kingdom.” and I couldn’t agree more. We are a vital part of the church body and we need to know how to engage that body in the most valuable and fulfilling ways. 

…those purposeful “sacrifices” are what connect us to one another and provide the most joy and fulfillment to each of us. It’s what takes us from surviving … to thriving.

She begins with a few obvious points such as ‘you must know Christ’, ‘you must belong to a local church’, and ‘you must be involved in regular attendance’ … but then delves into places like ‘taking the church home with us’, ‘being a sister or mother in the church body’, and ‘learning to sit and not always serve’ as we see with Martha and Mary. These are things we may see as sacrificial as first. It costs us time, energy, and emotional availability to engage our brothers and sisters in some ways.  But in God’s economy, those purposeful “sacrifices” are what connect us to one another and provide the most joy and fulfillment to each of us. It’s what takes us from surviving … to thriving. I appreciated that she pointed out the (often overlooked) truth that my spiritual gifts do not belong to me, but rather are given to me to steward in serving the body of Christ … and, as a result, bring the most glory to our Father. He has designed us in such a way that pouring into one another actually strengthens us just as much as it does the recipient of our service. 

I’m hard pressed to think of a woman in any local church that couldn’t benefit from this small but effective book.  Jesus says, “I came that you might have life – and that life abundantly.” He wants us to thrive in the body that represents Him.  And to quote Keri, “The way for us to truly thrive, is for us to build our lives around Jesus and the local church.”