Updated: Statewide tour exposes women to Embrace
Norman Jameson, BR Editor
February 08, 2010

Updated: Statewide tour exposes women to Embrace

Updated: Statewide tour exposes women to Embrace
Norman Jameson, BR Editor
February 08, 2010

With “Embrace” still a new

arrow in the Baptist State Convention (BSC) ministry quiver, its director

Ashley Allen undertook a 10-stop February tour targeting each region to explain

its purpose and to connect with churches interested in starting a chapter.

After her first couple of

stops Allen, Embrace’s initial director and on the job since August 2009, said

the level of interest has been “amazing.”

To a couple dozen Region 4

ladies at Lawrence Road Baptist Church in Hillsborough Feb. 4, she outlined the

purposes and practicalities of Embrace in a two-hour presentation.

Emphasizing that Embrace’s

three intents of evangelism, discipleship and missions are all scripturally

based, she explained how the scriptures compel the ministry.

Allen, 30, expressed

particular interest in Embrace becoming a vehicle in which older women connect

with younger women in the church to share their life experiences as Christians,

helping to guide, nurture and encourage each other.

BR photo by Norman Jameson

Ashley Allen, left, discusses starting an Embrace chapter with Doris Sharper, center, and Margaret Dillon of Swan Station Baptist Church in Sanford.

Allen says that is the Titus

2 model, in which Paul says older women should “encourage the young women to

love their husbands and children, to be sensible, pure, good homemakers, and

submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered”


She listed passages

testifying that God has “qualified and called” women to minister.

For those not sure yet what

the role of Embrace is in women’s ministry, the official definition is: Embrace

is a ministry of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina that seeks to

encourage women to walk humbly with Christ in their world and build strong

families capable of creating a legacy of faithfulness.

With an estimated 5.5

million of North Carolina’s population unsaved, according to BSC estimates, the

three intents of Embrace, evangelism, discipleship and missions, “should be our

lives,” Allen said.

While more intensive

training will be offered in April and October, this tour offered initial

handles for women wanting to get started, and Allen offered some first steps.

First, she said, “pray for

the Lord’s direction,” about starting a new ministry in the church.

Then she said women should

seek the support of their pastor. If he is not willing to inaugurate Embrace in

the church, they should “be willing to accept that decision” and assure the

pastor they trust his vision for the church.

Ladies considering launching

Embrace must ask themselves hard questions, Allen said. Who are they trying to

reach? Who is absent and why? How has the audience changed? What are the

audience’s greatest needs? What are barriers to ministry and how can they be


Women of the church should

be surveyed, and Allen offered a sample vehicle.

When “determining who God is

calling into leadership” Allen said it is very important to discern leadership

gifts as evidenced in service.

Ministry descriptions are

important to provide an avenue for accountability.

She said women should “set

the POG” which is defining the purpose, objectives and goals of their ministry.

She emphasized these elements should be compatible with the church’s mission


“Start with what you have

and undergird the ministry of the entire church,” Allen said.

Several events remain:

  • Region 7 — Feb. 10 at Harris Chapel Baptist Church, Hudson.
  • Region 8 — Feb. 9 at Woodlawn Baptist Church, Conover.
  • Region 9 — Feb. 11 at West Asheville Baptist Church, Asheville.
  • Region 10 — Feb. 12 at Holly Springs Baptist Church, Franklin.

Two other events were postponed from last week due to weather. They are at Old Town Baptist Church in

Winston-Salem (Region 5) at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 and at Rocky Hock Baptist Church in Edenton

(Region 1) Feb. 27 at 10 a.m.