“Are the women in the Fellowship equipped for the task of discipling other women?” That is a question that drives the mission of Women of Grace USA (WGUSA).
A national ministry of the Charis Fellowship, WGUSA focuses on connecting women, equipping them for discipleship, and developing leadership skills. Executive Director Viki Rife shared how the organization began, evolved, and continues to minister to women within the Fellowship.
The organization began as Women’s Missionary Council in 1939 as a way for women in the Fellowship to support missionaries. Viki’s parents were missionaries in the 1960s, and she remembers the Council “helping us get needed equipment, sending encouraging notes and letters when we were on the field, welcoming us back to the States, and providing Christmas gifts we otherwise couldn’t afford.”
Although the name changed in the early 2000s with a slight focus shift to equipping women for service, the organization still supports those working in the mission field. They host virtual events for women to connect with the missionaries, and each year they highlight “Featured Missionaries” in their magazine and website that brings awareness to their work and specific Gospel projects.
A major focus of Women of Grace USA is “to make sure women are qualified, trained, and have a solid understanding of the Bible in order to disciple well,” Viki explained. One way they do this is through their Ignite 31:26 classes, based on the Bible verse “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue” (Proverbs 31:26).
For the past 10 years, Ignite 31:26 classes have been “showing women how to use wisdom and teach others with kindness.” Offered in both English and Spanish, the classes are in conjunction with Grace Seminary and participants can get Continued Education (CEU) credits toward a certificate in Biblical Foundations or a certificate in Biblical Leadership.
Those pursuing the Biblical Foundation certificate focuses on essential concepts such as, Basics of Soul Care, Prayer, How to Study the Bible, and Biblical Worldview. The Biblical Leadership certificate focuses on How Do You Lead Others?, Principles of Leadership (based on how Jesus led), Relational Skills, and How to Equip Others for ministry.
Women from any Charis Fellowship congregation may participate in the Ignite 31:26 classes. Before the pandemic, churches would host the classes and they would be open to any woman who wanted to attend. Churches would often plan weekend-long events with multiple classes and lots of fellowship time. Women from all over the Fellowship would meet and connect with others who shared their interests, passions, and ministries. Since the pandemic, Women of Grace USA is working to offer a few classes online and are hoping to host in-person classes again as soon as it’s safe to do so.
Women of Grace USA has a blog and they publish a yearly magazine, Women’s Spectrum. Each issue focuses on a different topic, such as Contentment, Relationships, and Rest. Both the magazine and blog take submissions from women within the Fellowship and the editorial team, led by Viki, works with authors to hone their writing and editing abilities.
As a national ministry, Women of Grace USA collaborates with other Charis Fellowship ministries. They are currently partnering with GraceConnect to offer monthly Writer’s Workshops to those interested in writing for either organization. They also offer sessions at the regional Focus Retreats and have a pastor’s wives network ministry.
To stay up to date on what Women of Grace USA is doing, subscribe to their newsletter here. Read their blog here. For more information on Women’s Spectrum, Ignite 31:26, or their Featured Missionaries, visit their website here.
Connect with Viki or send her an encouraging note here.