Ladies, meet Dr. Peggy Banks, Minister to Women at Northwest Bible Church (which, incidentally, is Diane’s home church in Dallas). Peggy is passionate about training women for leadership development and helping them see their true identity and purpose. That passion has led to a more than 20-year career in the ministry. She made time last week to chat with us about what it’s like to work in ministry.
4word: Tell us about yourself. How long have you been a Christian?
Peggy: I didn’t grow up in the church, and I didn’t have the easiest of childhoods. After many bad choices with abusive relationships, I finally put my faith in Christ in my 30s when a friend of mine invited me to visit her church. After that, I experienced true freedom for the first time, including freedom from an abusive relationship I had been in.
4word: Did you always want to be a women’s minister?
Peggy: I felt God calling me into full-time ministry in 1990. I knew early into my studies at seminary that God wanted me to help hurting women find their hope and healing in the person of Jesus Christ. This calling has grown into a deep love for the church as a whole.
I’ve been in ministry for more than 20 years now. I have seen God bring hope and healing to women through ministries and leadership development in the United States, as well as countries like Thailand, West Africa, Barbados and India. It’s been an awesome experience.
4word: In “Work, Love, Pray”, Diane asserts that despite the gains made by women, it’s still a man’s world at work. Do you think this is true in ministry?
Peggy: I don’t know if I would characterize the church as a man’s world. I believe there are many men and churches who embrace the role of women in ministry and empower women to live and work in their gifts in the church. It’s exciting to know and work alongside many men for the glory of God. It is a true picture of His image to the world.
4word: We’ve talked on the blog about God using circumstances at work to grow our faith. How has this happened in your life?
Peggy: If we are totally surrendered to the Lord in our work, there will be many circumstances that grow our faith. Every day we wake up and trust the Lord for the day is an opportunity for our faith to grow. However, one circumstance comes to mind.
When I first started working, I felt God had given me the gift of teaching. I thought I should be asked to teach and lead women in our church. It was a true time for growth and testing, as God put me on the shelf until several years later.
In hindsight, this path made me more fruitful, since by that point I had completed seminary, walked through cancer and suffered many disappointments. As a result, I had more to share about God’s love and faithfulness.
4word: Diane discusses in “Work, Love, Pray” how easy it is to ignore faith in favor of work and relationships. Is that true for you even though your work is faith-related?
Peggy: Ignore my faith? Absolutely not!
Every day I live to know Christ more intimately. It is a true privilege to be called to equip the saints for service. I don’t take a single day for granted. My sufficiency comes from Him alone. There is not anything in me, but the blood of Christ, that allows me to know Him and His mercy and grace. My years in seminary, my work, my relationships and day-to-day life are all a lesson that increases my faith in Him.
How has God used something at work to grow your faith? Share your experience in a comment below..
Read more about faith at work in Work, Love, Pray.