Partners in Ministry

By Dr. Wayne Schmidt

The strongest teams fully engage the gifts of both women and men.

I reached 40 years in ministry this May, and I'm devoting myself to the sentiment of the song lyrics, "Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your many blessings, see what God has done."

One of the greatest blessings has been to work with amazing ministry teams while serving with Kentwood Community Church (Grand Rapids, Michigan), Wesley Seminary (Marion, Indiana) and now as General Superintendent.

There is a deeply unique joy of not only pursuing God’s mission but doing it together with colleagues who “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).

The strongest teams fully engage the gifts of both women and men. As The Wesleyan Church seeks to have a Kingdom Force movement, I’ve been studying the original movement of God launched at Pentecost. I’ve particularly dug into the relationship of the Apostle Paul with Priscilla and Aquila — and that has stirred gratitude for the privilege I’ve had to work with so many capable women.

In a General Board meeting this past May, Jo Anne Lyon shared her annual report as ambassador of The Wesleyan Church. In her report, she talked about the power of men and women working together, and the guidelines she has followed to keep those relationships strong and missional in nature. Be sure you read her article, Men and Women Working Together, about the benefits and appropriate boundaries of women and men partnering in ministry.

We are brothers and sisters in Christ and colleagues in ministry.

Our relationships are not marked by fear and suspicion but upon the biblical foundation of who we are in Christ.

That positions us to be imperative parts of the Kingdom Force that God calls us to be!