Heart for Women teaches girls Christ-likeness
Ozark – Fashion tips, makeovers, and dating advice characterize the content one might find in a teenage girls’ magazine. However, a new ministry named “Heart for Women” desires to bring these topics to a local church in the form of a conference entitled “Purity, Passion, and Pearls,” or “P3” for short.
Heart for Women got its start when a group of ladies from southwest Missouri, meeting for Bible study, became convinced of a need for greater fellowship among area women. They also found themselves burdened over a seeming staleness in the Church toward the development of godly young women. From these origins, the idea for the P3 conference was born.
Typically, P3 takes place in an overnight setting. From the moment the girls arrive, until the time they go home, they are treated as royal princesses (complete with tiaras), to emphasize that they are daughters of the King, and are of great value in His eyes. The element of surprise is an important aspect of the evening so, without going into detail, let it suffice to say that many luxuries are heaped upon the girls during the course of the evening, with the help of volunteers from the host church. At every stage of the event, the girls are taught how to conduct and present themselves in a modest and Christ-honoring fashion, worthy of a royal princess.
Additionally, throughout the evening, the Heart for Women staff provides discussion sessions, ranging in content from the practical, to the spiritual. In one such discussion session, a staff member presents the Gospel of Christ to the participants. Upon conclusion of the conference, the staff assists the host church in following up with any young ladies who profess faith in Christ, or make other spiritual decisions.
“It’s (P3) all about sharing hope,” said Heart for Women board member Melany Stevens. “Every woman has value, because every woman can serve the Lord.”
Over time, Heart for Women has expanded its impact beyond P3 conferences. Most recently, the group launched an initiative called “Girls on Guard.” Inspired by the recent abduction and murder of Kelsey Smith in suburban Kansas City, Girls on Guard works with agencies such as the Missouri Highway Patrol to educate young ladies on how to ward off an attacker. The program has been featured by multiple Springfield media outlets, and is drawing numerous requests from cities, schools, and churches. As one might expect, Heart for Women uses Girls on Guard to lift up Jesus. Heart for Women board member, Lori Smith, says conference leaders stress to participants that “true strength can only come from a relationship with God.”
Three Missouri Baptists (Stevens and Jill Coffer, Garrison Baptist Church, Garrison, and Liz Updegraff, Selmore Baptist Church, Ozark) serve on the five-member board of Heart for Women. The ladies look forward to what God has in store for their organization, and say they are willing to serve “wherever and however God leads.” They also stress that the purpose of Heart for Women is not to supplant the local church, but to assist it in drawing women to the Lord.
For more information on Heart For Women Ministries, or to contact them about planning an event at your church, please visit their website at www.h4women.com. (Josh Hall is pastor, Selmore Baptist Church, Ozark.)