07 November 2022

At the beginning of this month, Commissioner Martha Pawar, zonal leader for South Asia, conducted a training event for women in positions of leadership across India in Coonoor. This training was attended by 29 delegates from six Indian territories, organised by the South Asia zone, and supported by staff at India’s national office, with the aim of developing and promoting the development of women as Christian leaders in The Salvation Army.

The theme, Reimagining Women in Leadership, took its inspiration from the international Women’s Ministries relaunch in 2020. This global reimagining of ministry to and for women released a vision statement that The Salvation Army wants to see women ‘enriched mutually through local and global connections and support’ and ‘equipped to fulfil their potential through lifelong learning and development.’

‘When we re-imagined Women’s Ministries almost three years ago, this training was exactly the sort of event we had in our minds and in our hearts,’ said Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, World President of Women’s Ministries. ‘Thanks to the efforts of this training, women officers across India have been developed and nurtured, equipped and empowered. God is good, and we give him every glory!’

The delegates all currently hold positions of officer leadership within Indian territories of varying responsibilities and duties. During their four-day training the women received education and encouragement in multiple areas, all focussed on women in church leadership. Some of the topics included: the benefits of strong teamwork, the relationship between church growth and women, dealing with feelings of inferiority, how to be an influential leader in the community, looking at cultural barriers, and how to strengthen ministry foundations. By the end of the training, each delegate had drafted and developed their own plan of action that will further the effectiveness of their leadership.

Commissioner Martha oversaw the event and extended her appreciation and gratitude to Commissioner Nui, Commissioner Mani Kumari, Colonel Annamma and Colonel Lalhlimpuii, who each assisted in the resourcing and facilitating of the training. The World President also sent a virtual message of encouragement and praise to the women: ‘These days present an opportunity to promote and develop your leadership skills so that you can be a Christian leader who goes from strength to strength… May God inspire your minds and ignite a fire in your hearts for immeasurably more! More grace, more wisdom, more peace, more truth, and more opportunity to raise others in the name of Jesus Christ.’

While much of the training focussed on strategic thinking, vision planning and personal development, the desire to become more like Jesus stayed central. Devotions and moments of corporate worship were a priority, and songs such as ‘To be like Jesus’ were shared throughout the week. A particular blessing may be found in these words, shared at the training, ‘Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, all his wonderful passion and purity. O thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.' May God continue to bless the women of The Salvation Army in India.

Report by Lauren Westwood

Tags: WM News, WM Resources, Real Talk, WM Women in Leadership