GC-WSCS LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT RETREAT 2009
BISHOP DR ROBERT SOLOMON has encouraged leaders and members of the Women’s Society of Christian Service (WSCS) to be prayerful and ascertain where their talents could be eﬀectively used for God’s glory.
Stating that women have many special qualities that make them stronger in some types of ministry such as Missions and Social Concerns, he challenged them to expand their work in the healing of relationships and the building of family values, a much-needed ministry.
He was opening a WSCS leadership training retreat at the YWCA Fort Canning Lodge on May 29. Over two days, the 55 women had a time of fellowship and were blessed by the encouraging spiritual lessons from the Word of God.
The Bishop also spoke about Deborah, the multi-talented prophetess and leader who saved Israel from the dark rule of King Jabin. He said it would have been counter culture to follow a woman in those times, but her strong leadership was drawn from her closeness to God and the wisdom as a judge that had earned the respect of the Israelites under her care.
Organised by a committee headed by Dr (Mrs) Teo Li Bee, Vice-President of the General Conference Women’s Society of Christian Service (GC-WSCS), the leadership training programme is a regular commitment to encourage and equip women leaders from the three Annual Conferences.
Dr Naomi Dowdy, a former pastor of Trinity Christian Centre for 30 years, was the keynote speaker. She will continue to conduct training with the following themes: Basic Christian Living and Discipleship – for 2010; Being Equipped/Winning Spiritual Warfare and Leadership – 2011; and Practical Application and Manifestation of Training – 2012.
She spoke on the Great Commission and the Leader who makes disciples for Christ. She said: “As leaders, we need to re-examine our personal values first and set the stage for a transformation of our priorities and beliefs. Once we realise our significance in God’s sight and how He made us with a sense of purpose and destiny, we will not be tied down to how important our performance is and what people think of us.”
The participants were urged to cultivate integrity and good character expected of leaders. They also need to have great expectations as to what God can do in their lives and to dare to give out of lack, rather than what they can spare.
She stressed the importance of a deep need to cultivate an intimate relationship with God.
Turning to the topic on “Relationship with Others”, she told the story of how Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. The “Towel” was a symbol of leaders putting aside their personal ambitions and reputation. Until leaders humble themselves and follow Jesus’ selfless example of serving, their leadership will be hollow and lacking in commitment.
A sharing on “ The Divine Order” focused on the act of Christ dying on the cross as the supreme example of an act of reversals. “Our minds have to be open to changes on how we do things
if we want ‘turnarounds’; for example, John the Baptist turned around many unbelievers even though he was unconventional in his physical image and in his message.”
Busy women, especially the young ones, will come forward if they see the value added to their lives and “we need to challenge them to give their time and energy to grow spiritually”.
The first night ended with an hour of ministry time when the participants came forward for prayer and anointing ministry. Dr Dowdy was assisted by the Rev Dr Lorna Khoo and her team from the H.I.S. (Healing of the Inmost Spirit).
The next day the participants learned about Transformation of Priorities, Finance and Vision. Jesus talked about new wine in old wineskins in Luke 5:37-38 and this parable was used to illustrate the need to change the way things were being done without changing Scripture. Instead of always adhering to the way things were done in the past, “we need to ask God for revelation on how things could be done diﬀerently to bring transformation to people, families and nations”.
The retreat ended with the final module on “Power of Vision”; based on Proverbs 29.18. The women were told that they need God’s revelation to move forward in any ministry. They went home feeling refreshed, recharged and refired to meet a new level of intimacy with God, confident that He will empower them to expand their channels of influence for His kingdom in the WSCS ministry.
Story and picture by Eunice Yeo
Eunice Yeo, a member of Barker Road Methodist Church WSCS, is the Finance Chairman of Trinity Annual Conference WSCS.