WomensMinistryCoach.com is here to provide a place where we can “talk” about leadership and learn from one another and from others who join in the conversation. I want to know what challenges and questions you are facing in ministry so we can find the answers together.
My vision for women’s ministry is that it becomes a movement of women who know who to be, what to do, and where to go to help the church fulfill Christ’s Great Commission.
My mission is to teach women how to lead through
- Teaching/speaking/consulting, and
- Educational resources (print, video, and online)
which will be biblically based, Christ-centered, and women-focused.
You may be asking, “Who is Laura and what does she know about women’s ministry or women in ministry?”
My short answer to that question is:
I am a woman
- chosen and redeemed by Christ,
- equipped through God’s Word and excellent mentors,
- educated by seasoned professors in universities and seminary, and through life experiences, and
- willing to share what I have learned over my past 30 years of leading, training, teaching, and writing for women in both Christian and secular settings.
I am also a woman in a new—and unexpected—season of life and am learning how to be open to new directions. I delight in my husband of nine years (I got a late start—and eHarmony.com does work!) and in our family, including 3 precious young granddaughters, a daughter, a son-in-love, and a son, as well as extended family. I am an extrovert who loves to meet new people and count numerous friends as family.
The longer answer to that question is
While I always knew I was called to some kind of ministry, I did not plan to get into women’s ministry specifically. It found me. Throughout my life, I have had a variety of experiences related to women’s ministry by:
- Serving on women’s ministry and/or missions committees in several churches and on college campuses
- Working for a national Christian women’s organization for ten years where I wrote and edited administrative and curriculum materials for women’s church groups across the US
- Traveling throughout the US to lead countless conferences for women and to train women leaders in churches
- Teaching women’s Bible studies—many of which I wrote—in churches, on college campuses, and in my home (both in the US and in Romania)
- Leading groups in Bible Study Fellowship
- Developing and teaching women’s ministry courses for seminaries in Texas, Louisiana, Canada, and Armenia
- Teaching women’s studies courses and teacher preparation courses to public university students in Romania and Texas
- Being a minister on a local church staff, being married to a minister, and growing up as a minister’s daughter.
When it comes to church-based ministry, I have enjoyed a lifetime of it and have learned much from each of those experiences. I would be honored to share my knowledge and love of ministry with you!
How can Laura help me as a woman involved in ministry?
My passion is to teach women how to lead.
Whether you are involved in professional or volunteer ministry, this site will offer you some practical tips, soul-searching questions, and biblically based insights to help you grow in your leadership skills. One of my greatest joys is helping women to see themselves in scripture and to gain confidence through a deeper understanding of God’s personal message to them as a leader in life and ministry.
I have been blessed to be a part of churches who affirm women and their gifts of leadership. I have also spoken and taught in churches and seminaries where women are not allowed to have certain leadership roles. I understand both sides of the issue. I have served in countless volunteer leadership roles (from Sunday School teacher to deacon to committee member) and I have also served professionally as an associate pastor in a local church. I have worked at the denominational level and have spoken/taught at conferences, retreats, workshops, etc. across the US to audiences ranging from 7 to 7,000.
In this day of technology, I can easily offer you what I have learned about being a woman in leadership and ministry. I will make available online the same type of content I have written about and taught in seminaries, universities, conferences, and churches—and you can enjoy it all in your pajamas!
I am also available for
- Coaching via the phone or Internet
I love younger women’s enthusiasm and energy and I relate well to older women’s life experiences. I have also found countless ways to appreciate each of the generations in our churches today. I connect well with singles because I was single till I was 46 and discovered a joy-filled contentment along the way.
The unique combination of skills I bring to the table include a love for learning and the ability to uncover new information and insights for organizations. I especially love to connect Jesus’ Model for Ministry and biblical principles of leadership to any leadership role or organization. I am also a connector and networker. I am an organized planner and enjoy the challenge of seeing things in the long-term. I am great with details and the big picture. I try to level the playing field in groups so that everyone’s ideas are heard and valued. I like to discover other people’s unique gifts and find ways to put those to work. And I love to lead—it’s in my DNA–and on my Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory (ENTJ).
My salvation testimony
I was blessed to have Christian parents who centered our lives around our church. At the age of 7 (see photo at right), I felt God’s call to become a Christian and by the age of 12, I felt called to ministry. From the moment I was baptized at age 7, I knew God had a special purpose for my life—just as God has for you. Knowing that I have a purpose has directed my steps my whole life—even when I wasn’t sure what that specific purpose was. Being discipled by wonderful Bible teachers as a teen and young adult helped me stay committed to a life of pleasing God. I am certainly not perfect, but I learned some valuable decision-making skills early in life and have been blessed as a result.
My vocation/career testimony
I grew up going to public schools in Southeast Texas and had wonderful teachers and friends. I began my education at Houston Baptist University as a pre-med student and then had my first real faith crisis in my second year. I realized that my grades were not going to get me into medical school. That was so disappointing because I thought I was supposed to be a medical missionary. Then, one night in my little college apartment, I sensed in my heart God asking me, “Laura, what do you like to do?” That one question and a heartfelt conversation with my college Sunday School teacher who was also a medical doctor were the things that prompted me to find my true calling: teaching. I changed my major and knew I had found my home in the world of education. HBU prepared me to be an award-wining teacher, leader, and mentor. Those teaching skills were the start of a life of ministry focused on communicating God’s Word.
Over the next 25 years, I traveled to more than 20 countries, mostly on mission-related trips. I earned a master of arts in communication from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I later earned a master’s degree in women’s studies and a doctorate in higher education administration from The University of Alabama. I worked at the national level of two denominational entities. I taught in four seminaries, both in the US and abroad and I taught in four universities, in the US and Romania. I served as a full-time missionary overseas and had to raise my own support—I know the joy of fundraising!
My marriage testimony
Thirty years after my first date as a teenager, God led me (finally!) to my husband through the website eHarmony.com. I guess I had to wait for the Internet to be invented! Rev. Mark Rains and I married in 2007 with all 4 of our parents present (in their 80s). Mark is a gifted church musician who is passionate about leading worship through excellent choral music. He leads a growing church choir of 55+ singers and has been in music ministry for more than 40 years. He is my best supporter and encourager and was the one who suggested that we both hyphenate our last name! After communicating almost daily online and over the phone for about 6 weeks, I fell in love with him on our first date when he stood at his daughter’s orchestra concert (she is the orchestra conductor at a middle school) and said, “I know there are a lot of proud parents and grandparents here tonight, but there’s no one prouder than I am.” When I realized that the godly gentleman standing before me had been a faithful husband for 30+ years to his late wife, was a loving father, and was a man who would praise his daughter in public for her professional accomplishments – I knew that was the man I could love! We were matched and married within 7 months! The proposal and wedding are other amazing stories I’ll share another day.
In our first year of marriage my father died, my mom moved in with us, I had to have my thyroid removed, my mom had to get a pacemaker, our first grandchild was born, and Mark’s mom died a week before our first anniversary. Being the overachievers we both tend to be, I guess we were just getting all the typical major challenges of a marriage out of the way. What a year!
Now that I have come up for air and have had a chance to do more Bible teaching, writing, and reflecting on my experiences, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share what I have learned with you—and hope to glean new knowledge from you as well!
Currently, I teach the women’s Bible study class on Sunday mornings at The Lakeway Church in Lakeway, TX (greater Austin area). As a music minister’s wife, my life revolves around church-based ministry. At our church, I sing in the choir, serve on the women’s ministry team, and on the Endeavor University advisory team. In addition to church-based ministry, I have started this ministry-focused business: Women’s Ministry Coach and am in the process of being certified as a spiritual intelligence coach.
My life is filled with family, church, friends, writing and teaching. I couldn’t be more blessed!