An Angel in Pink

I first met Melissa when she peaked into the room I had been speaking in for two days at a LifeWay “You Lead” conference held on the lower level of the Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois. Hubby and I were packing up my book table and speaking props.

Everyone had cleared out quickly when the conference ended, but suddenly, there was this sweet woman in a pink t-shirt asking, “Do you need any help?”

“We’re just packing up,” I said. “But do you know where the freight elevator is?”

The previous day, we had made numerous trips lugging book boxes and speaking gear down a long steep ramp to the meeting rooms in the basement, and I knew there was no way we could lug them back up the ramp.

She replied, “Yes, I know right where it is, and I can get you a flatbed cart. My name is Melissa and I just helped the LifeWay Store lady take boxes of books up to her car. I’ll go get the cart for you.”

A few minutes later, Melissa returned with a huge flatbed cart and started helping Dave put all our boxes on it while I cleaned up the room and folded tablecloths from the booktable. Melissa told me that she and her children work in a ministry where they learned to fold clothes neatly. She seemed in no hurry as it took me many tries to get the tablecloths back in their wrappers ready for the next book table, and Dave figured out the best way to load everything on the cart.

When all the “stuff” was on the flatbed cart, we asked where the freight elevator was and Melissa offered, “I’ll take the cart up the elevator while Dave goes to get the car. I’ll meet you outside.” And off she went with the heavy-laden cart. She shrugged off our protests that one of us should help her, “No problem! I just helped the LifeWay bookstore lady do the same thing.”

Dave hurried up the ramp to get the car and I finished tidying up the room. Then I headed off to find Melissa who was standing outside guarding our cart, waiting for Dave. When Dave arrived with the car, she insisted on helping us load the car!

We couldn’t stop thanking and praising Melissa for all her help. I told her she was our angel . . . we were both tired after two days of wonderful serving, and it would have taken us many trips using our little carts. I asked if she was going to see Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live event that night. She said yes, and remarked how surprised she was that women were already lining up at 3:00 when it didn’t start until 7 pm!

We both gave Melissa hugs and thanked her profusely, but she thanked us for coming to speak! Then, our angel in the pretty pink T-shirt was gone. Dave and I drove away still marveling at Melissa’s servant’s heart and God’s timing in bringing us a helping angel.

I have thought a lot about Melissa this week and wondered . . .

  • Would I have stuck around to be sure that everyone who needed help received it?
  • Would I have rationalized that I had already helped the LifeWay Bookstore lady and that was enough lugging books for one day?
  • Would I have just told Dave where the cart and freight elevator were, instead of obtaining the cart, helping load it, pushing it to the elevator, and waiting with it?
  • Would I have been impatient with us taking so long to get everything packed up just right, knowing that women were already lining up to get in to see Beth Moore and she could have gotten a good spot in line?
  • Would I have expected nothing in return for my efforts but the joy of serving?

I’d like to think so. How about you?

“Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” Mark 9:35

The Team That Jesus Built Press Release

Former Saddleback Leader Offers Practical Steps to Building a Successful Women’s Ministry

(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.)—April 19, 2011—Former Saddleback Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry leader Janet Thompson, in her new release The Team That Jesus Built: How to Develop, Equip, and Commission a Women’s Ministry Team (ISBN 978-1-59669-300-5, $16.99), offers practical tips to women’s ministry leaders. Drawing on years of experience and lay-ministerial success, Thompson passionately encourages women’s ministry teams to continuously and systematically groom others.

“Most churches have a list of ministries that started with a bang and then fizzled—not for lack of people needing the benefits of the ministry, but often because the leader left without having an equipped team in place,” writes Thompson.

When God called her to start the mentoring ministry at Saddleback Church, she looked for resources to assist her, but found none. Instead, through years of experience she has now written her own. Using sound biblical principles, also incorporated by large international Bible studies, Thompson uses the training relationship of Jesus with the disciples as the basic outline for the book.

Chris Adams, senior lead women’s ministry specialist, LifeWay Christian Resources, recognizes the tools this book contains for effective team-building and offers positive words about the authors’ credibility.

“Janet Thompson has a heart for the Lord and a heart for raising up women who have a heart for Him,” endorses Adams. “She has given us many tools to mentor women and to grow together as women. As a leader herself, she has developed effective and multiplying teams.”

What distinguishes this book from so many others is that she takes the principles of Jesus and puts them in practical terms for women’s ministry. The book addresses getting started and organized, recruitment, informal interviews, key communication elements, conflict resolution, and a host of other topics that arise in ministry regardless of church size or denomination.

“In The Team That Jesus Built, Janet Thompson offers practical, step-by-step advice for building, remodeling, or rejuvenating a ministry team,” endorses Kathy Howard, minister of adult education at Fannin Terrace Baptist Church and author of Before His Throne, God’s Truth Revealed, and Unshakeable Faith.

About the Author
Janet Thompson, founder and director of About His Work Ministries, is an author and speaker on topics relevant to today’s Christian woman. She developed the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry at Saddleback Church, where she and her husband, Dave, were members. Janet served as a lay minister for 12 years, leading Saddleback’s Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry. Passionate about mentoring others, she is also the author of the “Face-to-Face” Bible study series. A new resident to Idaho, she continues to share the blessings of mentoring by training churches around the world.

About New Hope Publishers
Representing more than 50 authors and more than 100 individual works, the mission of New Hope Publishers is to provide books that challenge readers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God. New Hope Publishers is the general trade publishing imprint for WMU, a missions auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention. New Hope Publishers is a member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).

For more information about New Hope Publishers, visit