Page 28 | Volume 1 | The Leadership Journal of Dallas Baptist University

28 Ducere Est Servire: THE LEADERSHIP JOURNAL OF DALLAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY Generational Divide: The Future of Women’s Ministry in the 21st Century Barbara J. Parker, Ph.D., Ed.D. Dr. Barbara J. Parker (Educational Leadership, '17) serves as Women’s Leadership Specialist with the Dallas Baptist Association. Women’s ministry has been defined in many ways, but all the descriptions have similar properties. Brisco, McIntyre, and Seversen described the purpose of women’s ministry as being to encourage, equip, and evangelize women.1 Miller stated women’s ministry is “a function of the Body of Christ in which women are educated, equipped, and empowered to be discipled by other women … and is not necessarily limited to an official women’s ministry division of church life.”2 Martin and Stovall gave a slightly broader definition stating, “after a women’s ministry identifies its unique purpose within the local church body, then that purpose is accomplished through the five functions of reaching, nurturing, involving, engaging, and supporting.”3 Echoing the millennial woman’s call for change, Alsup described ministry for women as recognizing that: …while all believers need overarching biblical truths, some need discipleship that focuses on a particular area of need. One size does not fit all. Therefore, holistic discipleship can’t happen through institutions alone. True discipleship, as Jesus demonstrated with his twelve, is born out of personal relationship.4 Thus, the general purpose of women’s ministry relates directly to the mission of the local church and is accomplished through relationships that educate, equip, and empower women. Over the past decade women’s ministry has been changing. Even the name women’s ministry is being replaced in preference of the term women in ministry to emphasize the changing focus from introspective