Tami Milligan, a pastor’s wife who actively serves Women’s Ministries across the country, was the featured speaker for the event.
Milligan encouraged the 500 attendees to find rest and value in Jesus. Jane Harris, Women’s Ministries director for the Michigan Conference, says, “Tami’s messages were so spirit driven.” Milligan broke down the gospel message to attendees by comparing God as our father, and us as tiny toddlers, a common comparison. However, Milligan drove her point home by comparing two phrases: “Oh no, I messed up, Dad’s gonna kill me,” and, “Dad, I messed up, please help me.” She urged her listeners to lean on Jesus even in the midst of failure and hopelessness.
According to Harris, several decisions were made by attendees to commit their lives to Christ, and many more came forward for special prayer. “There were a lot of tears shed,” she says.'The main meetings were supplemented with a variety of seminars, addressing topics such as budgeting, coping with grief, fostering a better relationship with your husband, when to unplug from social media, how a strong relationship with Christ affects other relationships, and more.
Harris’ selection of seminars was intentional. She ensures there is always a seminar on the importance of prayer and Bible study, and from there, she examines what has been covered in the past, and looks to attendees themselves to tell her! “Every other year,” she says, “we do an evaluation to see what the topic interests are.” The seminar on budgeting, presented by Mike and Cheryl Bernard, was one such requested topic. Harris also tries to find speakers from Michigan.
The seminars, the retreat, and Women’s Ministries all serve a common purpose: to empower women in their walk with Christ and in their ministry, however their individual ministries may vary. On Friday night at the retreats, Harris had all local Women’s Ministries leaders stand in recognition of their work. “What they do is important for women,” she says. Women’s Ministries is a work of mentorship in aiding each other in the spiritual journey, and local church leaders play an important part in this work.
Every woman’s journey is different, and Harris makes sure her Women’s Ministries board is comprised of individuals who reflect differences in their journeys. Some individuals are single, some are happily married, and some are divorced. Some are older; some are young. “I want to be able to reach everyone, and I want my programs to be relevant,” Harris says. Her board is carefully selected to make sure that it reflects the diversity of life.
The Women’s Ministries board members seek to empower women, not only in their spiritual walk, but also in their evangelism. “Women know the needs of other women,” Harris says, “and we each have a story to tell.” Harris encourages women to write down their testimony. “Once we write it down,” she says, “we’re more apt to share it comfortably when we see someone doing a journey we’ve already done.” Women’s Ministries is about mentorship, about being available, about empowering women to be the best wives, mothers and witnesses they can be.
The next Women’s Ministries event will be held October 21. Check out michiganwm.com for more information. Tami Milligan’s presentations will be archived on the Women’s Ministries website.