A printable PDF can be found at the end of this article.

How does your Lutheran Women in Mission group balance the old and the new? What do you save and what do you toss? Are there boxes of table decorations and files lurking around that haven’t been used in years, but you’re keeping them “just in case” you need them? Maybe you need a “Clean Sweep” party!

The “what to save and what to toss” issue also affects our events and meetings. The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League struggles with removing outdated practices and ideas to make room for new ones. Not all traditions need to be dropped, of course, but we need to ask hard questions about saving only that which is really beneficial to our mission so we can move forward in our service to the Lord. 

What works for one group may not work for another, as the gifts and talents of the women differ. Congregations vary by size, rural and urban needs, culture, and demographics. Therefore, there is no one solution for growth that will satisfy every group. 

We need to continue exploring, believing, and trusting that what we have in the LWML is a gift God wishes for us to share with others. The work that we do through our local groups in service to our Lord and according to His will is valued and blessed by God.

Look at the focus of your group: 

Are you in God’s Word regularly? He is the power: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13 NIV). 

Are you sharing your talents and resources with those in need? He is the refresher: whoever refreshes others will be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25b NIV). 

Are you displaying Jesus as the purpose of your group? It is in Him that we should put our trust: and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord (Proverbs 16:20b NIV). 

A tribute to the late Alma Kern in the Spring 2012 issue of the Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly includes a quote that she wrote for the magazine in 1968: “Women no longer need the women’s society of the church as a social outlet.” Alma goes on to say that we do, however, have something very valuable to offer to today’s women that is still true today: “We’ve got Good News! Jesus has given us the ‘pearl of great price.’ Let’s display it as a jeweler would — in the most attractive way possible. Let’s tell it with excitement, enthusiasm, and variety.” 

Have you searched for new materials? Free resources for local groups, missions, young women, leaders, Heart to Heart Sisters, and others are downloadable at www.lwml.org. Check out the full range of products and resources at the LWML store at www.lwml.org/store by phone at (800) 325-3040.

What a rich heritage we have and what a wonderful future God is giving to us! Place your trust in Him and point all your work to His glory. God will continue to bless and grow His kingdom through you.

View printable PDF of this article, Time for a “Clean Sweep?”

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