Prayers and messages from believers all around the world for a couple who recently lost their son to suicide
Last weekend, Kay and Rick Warren lost their 27-year-old son, Matthew, to suicide. The loss rocked the global church, and shed light on conversations surrounding the oppressive nature of depression and anxiety that blanket many congregations today. While praying at my church over the loss last Sunday, I realized the beauty of support and Christ-centered community, and wanted to gather Today’s Christian Women (and men) from all over the world to share encouraging messages with this grieving couple who lead thousands at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California.
After posting a Facebook message requesting love and prayers for the Warrens, TCW received an overwhelming amount of responses, and decided to publish them in an open letter to the Warrens. Here is a bit of what our audience has to say to the Warrens in light of their loss—may they be surrounded in the peace and love of Christ that surpasses all understanding.
How opening up to the Holy Spirit’s healing power helped one woman discover her full potential and value in Christ
Have a purpose in life, and having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you. -Thomas Carlyle
The view of tree-lined, snowcapped mountains, with Mt. Lassen towering above all, was majestic. Our campground, filled with tiny four-person cabins nestled near a mountain stream, added to the tranquil atmosphere. Nearly 50 women and 8 men had assembled at this church youth camp for a five-day workshop called “Empowering the Authentic Self.”
Speakers at the 2013 Passion Conference taught me why it’s important to help stop human trafficking worldwide and motivated me to step up.
When I came on board with TCW in September of this year, our cover story profiled Katariina Rosenblaat, a sex trafficking victim who was rescued and now runs her own organization to help raise awareness and rescue and restore girls trapped in the trafficking industry nationwide (“There Is H.O.P.E. for Me”). Her story both shocked and amazed me—I knew sex trafficking was a problem, but everything changed when I was able to put a face to the issue. I wanted to know how I could help others like Katariina, and the article provided me with several resources to do so.
Christian women are a force to be reckoned with. Here are some movers and shakers for the kingdom. Are your mentors there?
From the sunny shores of California to countries in Eastern Europe, Christian women are starting nonprofits and advocacy organizations of numerous kinds. Others are speaking out on nationally syndicated radio and television shows, writing books, advocating for racial reconciliation and justice, and leading Bible studies at churches and conferences all over the world.
With hundreds of thousands of women playing influential roles in the global evangelical church, it would be impossible to give an appropriate amount of credit to those serving Christ in a single magazine article—right? Wrong—at least, according to Christianity Today’s October cover story, “50 Women You Should Know.” Christianity Today’s former online editor Sarah Pulliam Bailey and associate editor Katelyn Beaty conducted an informal survey of “key leaders” in the evangelical community to choose 50 women who are significantly changing the church and culture.
Not all churches underchallenge women.
Like an enthusiastic bobblehead, I found myself rambunctiously nodding in agreement as I read Amy Simpson’s “A Challenge to the Chronically Underchallenged.” I resonate with Simpson’s passion for the church to more fully empower women to actively minister to others and to address the world’s needs. Like Simpson, I bemoan the tendency for women to be relegated to nice, cutesy, tame little roles in the church. Part of me hollered out an enthusiastic “Amen!” of agreement.
But I also found myself nodding in agreement with another sentiment—a commenter who responded to Simpson this way: “I would simply have to say: ‘Come to my church. There’s plenty for you to do in ministry and you would be most welcome to do it.’”
Though I concur with Simpson’s overall sentiment, not all churches underchallenge women. In fact, I’ve regularly felt profoundly challenged by my own church.
I finally learned about identity, mission, and worth
A few years ago this group would have been a nightmare for me. Not because this particular group is strange or the women are scary, but because I hated women’s ministry. Or at least I thought I did. I’d been part of women’s groups before that reeked of shallowness and gossip and high-pitched voices offering Sunday school answers for real life issues. These groups were cliques and used cattiness with pride. I continually felt as though I was in a competition for best outfit with everyone else in the room.
And then there were the stereotypes of women that they lumped everyone in. They assumed I love girly-girl things just because I’m a woman. (I actually went to a retreat once where the speaker wore a bright pink feather boa and had her hair in a ponytail that stuck straight up out of the crown of her head. She demanded we do the same—to tap into our feminine side—if we wanted to get anything out of her message.)
Being open to the women in my life who know me
I’ve never really thought of myself as someone who wants a mentor. I’m pretty self-sufficient. I hold my cards close to my chest, and—for better or worse—it’s not in my nature to talk about a problem or decision in-depthly with many others.
“I’ve never had a mentor,” I’d tell friends who would talk about a youth leader who poured into their lives when they were high school or the teacher who guided them through some tough decisions. While I was generally okay with this, sometimes I’d feel a pang of jealousy toward those who had an older woman take a mentoring role in their life.
It wasn’t until more recently that I began to see the mentors in my life. Two women come to mind—both of them former bosses. I sat across the table from one of them at a restaurant recently, realizing that it had been nine years ago that we’d first met. She hired me at my college library—a place where I worked for four years. Every so often we get together to catch up, this last time after a too-long hiatus. I left the three-hour dinner feeling so grateful for her. While probably neither she nor I would give her the title of “mentor” over “friend,” it struck me that she was indeed a mentor to me and has been for the past nine years. A lot of growing and changing happens during those formative college years, and it nearly overwhelms me to look back and remember her prayers for me, her questions, her investment in my life. Though I was employed by her, I knew that I was more than just a student worker—my personal and spiritual life was cared for. Even now when I don’t see her for a long time, she remembers details of my life, encourages me, and speaks truth. I’m humbled to realize that I’ve had a couple amazing women invest in me, despite my inwardness.
Welcome to the Kyria blog!This blog is designed specifically for thoughtful, influential women who want more from their faith and who want to make a difference in the lives of others. We strongly feel God's claim on our lives and God's call to exercise influence in ministry to the body of Christ, primarily through the local church.
Kyria gets its name from a word in the original language of the Bible. In Greek it means "honored woman." The epistle of 2 John, for instance, is addressed to one such "kyria," translated there as "chosen lady." You may recognize the similarity of this word to "kyrie," which is the masculine form of the same word, usually translated "lord."
We chose this name because, just like the biblical Kyria, we feel it conveys something about the place of women in the life and ministry of the body of Christ, his church. We are chosen, called, and gifted for ministry.
Kyria blog will be filled with content on topics from spiritual formation to missional life to women's ministry to church leadership to hot topics. We'll cover current events, politics, culture, and media—anything that will help you reach out and disciple and serve others better.
Along with this blog, we're producing a free weekly enewsletter (you can sign up here), a weekly updated website, and if you become a member of Kyria ( for more info or to sign up click here), a monthly digital magazine, in which each issue will cover a specific spiritual discipline or spiritual issue. These resources not only will be useful for you in your faith and ministry, but will also offer you a community of women with the same callings, gifts, and passions so you can grow together and challenge, and support one another.
Ultimately, Kyria is a place to be encouraged, challenged, and motivated. We believe in the power of God to change lives and build the church, a powerful instrument of hope and redemption for the world. As women created in God's image, we've been chosen in Christ, called to influence.
If you believe as we do and are committed to making the most of the gifts God has given you, please join our conversations. As Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:11: "Let's encourage one another and build each other up."