Texas WMU leader urges women in ministry to ‘fan the flame’

Rev. Tamiko Jones, executive director-treasurer of Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas and associate minister of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield, speaks to the Texas Baptist Women in Ministry Conference at Truett Seminary. (Photo / Isa Torres)

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WACO—Tamiko Jones, executive director-treasurer of Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas, urged women in ministry to “fan the flame” God placed within them and follow God’s calling.

“Out callings are urgent, so that a dying world may know Christ,” Jones told the fourth annual Texas Baptist Women in Ministry Conference at Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary.

“Build and Encourage” was the theme of the conference, which alternates locations between Truett Seminary in Waco and Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon Seminary in Abilene.

Ministry begins in knowing Christ and the God who sent him, said Jones, associate minister at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield. The more a minister—or any Christian—knows Christ, the more she will trust God and love others, she added.

Importance of mentors and encouragers

Jones emphasized the importance of mentors in ministry, pointing to the way the Apostle Paul mentored Timothy.

Women in ministry face challenges, she acknowledged. It may be difficult for a woman minister to find a place to serve, and finding someone to support her call and offer guidance may be especially hard.

Jones urged the women in ministry to “fan the flame” within themselves and in each other through encouragement.

“Sometimes you just need a push,” she said, calling on the ministers to welcome the guidance and help of other women

In the moments of doubt, Jones urged the women in ministry to “put down the spirit of fear and embrace the one of power, love and of self-control.”

Jones quoted a poem by Nayyirah Waheed as encouragement when women in ministry face challenges, including those who question their calling: “You do not have to be fire for every mountain blocking you. You could be water, and soft river your way to freedom.”

While the road female ministers travel can be lonely, Jones said, she urged them to store treasures in their heart by studying God’s word. That way, they will persevere when the world turns against them.

Even in those challenging moments, Jones urged the women to ministry to remember God can use both their errors and their success for good.

“God is developing your character for the assignment you’ve been given,” she said. “So, preach the word of God in season and out of season.”

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