This month, the BWIM blog features the stories of women who have been a part of the BWIM Mentoring Program. Applications will be accepted for the 2020-2021 cohort from August 1 through September 15.
Visit www.bwim.info/mentoring-program/ to learn more.
“Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9)
I’m sure when Cain made this inquiry, he never thought it would become a decree for accountability and community. In the minds of men and women all over the world, this question continuously presents itself. My identity in this scripture is evident. I, too, have often echoed the words of Cain, wondering, “Am I my sister’s keeper?”
What exactly is this “Keptness Theology?” How can I keep and be kept as I imitate the ultimate Keeper, Jesus Christ? The answer to this question presented itself when I participated in a cohort for the Baptist Women in Ministry.
When I first encountered this unique opportunity, I was excited about getting to know other women in ministry. As a preacher in particular, and a woman in general, I recognize that all women undergo challenges as it relates to both life and ministry. I was hoping to have a space where I could be with other women who understood my plight.
I am currently participating in the “Out of the Box” Cohort, which is specifically designed for women who are in “unconventional” ministry outside of the church. As an adjunct instructor, I wasn’t quite sure if anyone would identify with my struggles. Boy, was I wrong. In our first meeting, I began to see the manifestation of this “Keptness Theology” in two ways: through community and accountability.
I experience community as I meet with my sisters. As we partake in monthly zoom calls and text messages, I experience a great deal of liberty. I find community with my sisters as we discuss both the differences and similarities in our various areas of ministry. At one point, it was as if we all were in the same season of life… transition. Through prayers, laughter, sickness and tears, God began to draw us closer in community with one another. In my new community is where I keep my sisters, and my sisters keep me.
I experience accountability as we share our hearts with one another. During the travails of life, my sisters hold me accountable, encouraging me to make self-care a priority, to remain prayerful, to stay connected to God and my support system. Even when I feel like I’ve lost my way, my sisters keep me. They remain present and active, walking alongside me as I navigate life’s terrains. In active accountability, I keep my sisters and my sisters keep me.
We are called to keep one another while simultaneously allowing ourselves to be kept. Am I my sister’s keeper? Yes, I am and so are YOU!
Aisha Davis is an adjunct instructor at Fuller Seminary Texas and is a part of the 2019 BWIM Mentoring Cohort.