American Protestant churches often have a program called a Women’s Ministry. As with most specialized church programs, the bigger and more warehouse-y the church, the more likely it is that it will have a Women’s Ministry.
A women’s ministry has female members who are married, widowed or single but are too old to be in the singles ministry. (A singles ministry is basically a glorified church-endorsed dating service with an unwritten rule that only 20-somethings can be involved. They will not turn away anyone who is single but by the time you’re 29 and still haven’t gotten married, you are pretty much ready to bail out.)
The photographs and graphics used to promote the women’s ministry almost always feature
1. flowers (especially sunflowers)
2. coffee mugs
3. a jubilant woman or a group of women experiencing fellowship.
Promotional materials for a women’s ministry never represent the side of Christian life where things aren’t happy and calm, or when you just plain feel like death warmed over and want to kick everyone in the balls. It could be assumed that this is for advertising purposes. The message you are likely to infer is “If you fellowship with our Women’s Ministry then you will be like the happy pretty lady side-hugging her friends or running through a field.”
But Jesus don’t need no advertising.
Below are a series of pictures. One is from a women’s ministry promo kit and one is from a feminine hygiene advertisement. Can you guess which is which?
Did you guess correctly? Okay, that was easy since there were words on the Christian one. How about this one. Which is the women’s ministry photo, is it A or B?
Yeah, again with the words. But they’re too hard to photoshop out. Onto question 3.
Christian women’s ministries promote a lifestyle that is not promised in the Bible. Women may feel like they won’t fit in if they don’t look like the people in the pictures, or they may feel inadequate or weak in their faith if they aren’t shiny, happy and bouncy all the time. But nowhere does the Bible say that if you trust Jesus then you will always feel and look like this:
The truth is that sometimes you will feel like this.
You will not always feel like this.
The truth is sometimes you will feel like this.
Once again. You will not always feel like this.
Sometimes you will feel like this
Recap: Jesus don’t need no advertising.