Entrust Equipping Leaders
Equipping women in Russia and in North America
November 11, 2022
Dr. Joye Baker saw Entrust's women's ministry training grow from three to 21 to several hundred in Russia.
Guest Dr. Joye Baker of Dallas Theological Seminary joined Entrust in training women across Russia in the early 2000s. She describes how the training was structured, what topics were covered and how some of the women are doing today. She also says women need to really understand that God loves them.

Links and resources mentioned
Dr. Baker's Entrust Equipping Leaders article https://www.entrust4.org/post/training-women-in-ministry-a-biblical-mandate

Dr. Baker's bio and other writing https://www.dts.edu/employee/joye-baker/

Entrust Equipping Women https://www.entrust4.org/equippingwomen

East-West Ministries https://www.eastwest.org/

Speaker Name  | Start Time  | Text
Todd (intro/outro)  | 00;00;05;12  | Hello again and thank you for joining us on Entrust Equipping Leaders. We're in the midst of a four-part series about equipping women in ministry leadership. Today, Laurie Lind and Dr. Joye Baker of Dallas Theological Seminary continue their conversation about training women and Dr. Baker's experiences in equipping Russian women.
Laurie Lind  | 00;00;29;07  | Thank you, Todd, for once again introducing us to another episode of Entrust Equipping Leaders. I'm Laurie and here we are at episode number 11. Woo! Woo! Lots and lots of great topics coming up in future weeks, so I encourage you to subscribe to this podcast. Some of those topics include providing ministry training online: wWhat does that look like and what are some tools to use in doing that?
Laurie Lind  | 00;00;57;02  | Or the adult educational theory of Constructivism. And we have a series about how to contextualize ourselves when training people cross-culturally. And we're going to be diving in to the idea of our own prayer lives as leaders and trainers. That will feature my Entrust colleague Lynn Blase and Ann Graham Lotz. So please do subscribe today. So you don't miss any of those episodes.
Laurie Lind  | 00;01;25;00  | Today, though, my guest is Dr. Joy Baker. She is a busy lady at Dallas Seminary. She's the women's advisor in educational ministries and leadership, adjunct professor in Educational Ministries and leadership and Adjunct Professor for Doctor of Ministry Studies. So let's jump in with Dr. Baker. I know you are involved with Entrust's ministry to some extent in Russia a few years back.
Laurie Lind  | 00;01;52;13  | Now, as I speak, Russia is in the news in a very difficult way. But nevertheless, tell us a bit about what what happened in Russia and what was your part in all of that?
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;02;06;03  | Well, it was an amazing opportunity. I never would have dreamed, would have happened. And it really, for me started back in 2000, so a long time ago. And back then, Russia was much more open and we had access into their country. And there was a couple of Russian women who happened happened to meet John Maisel, who is head of East-West Ministries, and they shared a vision that they wanted to reach their women for Christ and impact their country for Jesus Christ.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;02;38;27  | And could he find some seminary trained women who would be willing to come over and train a select group of Russian women over a period of years? And it just so happened at that time that interest, which at that time was BEE, had just written a whole curriculum and translated to Russian on different areas of the Christian life.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;03;02;17  | And so Gwynne Johnson and Gail Seidel were the chairmen of this project and selected about eight different women, as it turned out. And we took turns going over to Russia twice a year for six years. And the pastors in churches all over Russia selected women from their churches, three from seven regions. So there were 21 women who would come in to Moscow every October and every march, and we had curriculum for them, which they worked through.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;03;34;26  | And then we we had to do everything to translation because they didn't know English, we didn't know Russian, and we would meet with them for a week, teach and train. We each mentored three women individually from one of the regions, and we would continue that. And I was part of that for the six years that we put them through that training.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;03;58;03  | And then those 21 women went back to their seven regions. Three of them in each region. And they set up their training center and reproduce the training that we had put them through. They selected approximately 21 women, put them through the training. Those women spun off into threes, into local training centers. They selected their women, put them through the training.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;04;26;27  | Those women spun off into city centers so that now with that multiplication process, well over a thousand Russian women have been through the training and over 80 cities have a woman that's been through that training. And that's continuing today, because once we completed our training, that was our our part. We were to equip them to be able to carry on this this training work.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;04;57;01  | And so now the Russian women have been and continue to this day doing it. And we are so grateful that we we realized that time was getting shorter in Russia before we were going to have the freedom to come in there. But we were able to complete our part. And I did return two more years. And I went and visited in the region where the three women that I mentored and sat in on their training did a little training, and then I met one of the women they were training, and she said, Would you come to my part of Russia where I'm going to be doing the training?
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;05;31;04  | And so I met her, my translator over there and traveled to that other region, too. And so and that's. So that was that's an amazing model. And it's really Jesus as model invests in a group of people, group men and women, whatever, like he did with those disciples over a period of time, and then send them out to them to do the training.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;05;56;21  | And I know that's the heart of interest East. West certainly is to to reach nationals, to reach Christians that are already there, train them. Then they have the language, they know the culture. They are much more effective than we are ultimately to reach their people. So that's how that was all structured. It was a wonderful privilege to be able to be a part of that.
Laurie Lind  | 00;06;21;22  | What were some of the topics that you were training them in?
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;06;26;16  | We train them in Bible study methods and then how to teach the Bible. We taught about the Christian life and discipleship. We did some areas of counseling. We we trained them in how to set up a women's ministry in their church, how to lead Bible studies, how to lead small groups. All the different skills that really are women here in the United States would need to know to to effectively reach women in in our country here, too.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;06;59;17  | So there was a quite a bit of all all the different components of that. EVANGEL ism, Torah, you know, training on how to share their faith, because obviously they want to reach people for Christ in their country just like we do.
Laurie Lind  | 00;07;13;17  | Was there a specific reason for the number three that was replicated throughout?
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;07;20;08  | I don't know. I think three is a good number to team together. Like, say, more than I know. Jesus, send a lot of people out on to the South Side, don't you know, say that that's wrong. But I think with three then you always had at least two that were probably going to be available with the training. And it was amazing.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;07;39;24  | These were busy women. Many of them had families. All of the funding was raised in the United States. They could not afford to come into Moscow. Many of them were flying. They were going on trains, you know, hotel accommodations, everything that that was needed. And we all had to raise our own support also. And I had people in United States who want to invest in what God was doing over there in Russia through through my through my part in it.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;08;07;00  | And so so that that was I think it needed to be a manageable number of women that we could work with. But it was quite amazing. All of them completed the training and that's pretty amazing. And God really worked. You know, once in a while one of them had two mares, got sick, had something going on, but all of them completed it.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;08;30;00  | And the exciting thing was because all of their homework was done in Russian, we had them had their pastors read over all of their work. Oh, and so that also exposed their pastors to all of the material. And the Russian women told us often they would hear was the pastors had written the homework in the Sunday sermon and what what the men were learning.
Laurie Lind  | 00;08;58;09  | Through that.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;08;59;00  | Curriculum indirectly influencing and teaching the pastors by them this reading.
Laurie Lind  | 00;09;06;20  | Or imagine some of those pastors had had seminary training themselves, but yet they were learning more new things from just going through the women's homework.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;09;16;09  | Yeah. And we were very intentional and of course would with the Russian culture, because they're very clear on that, men are going to be the leaders. And so part of the reason that they, the pastors were willing to support this project was because we weren't training women to come in there and take over what they were doing. We were training women to care for the women in their churches, in their communities, to pastor with their pastors, to be able to then free the men from that responsibility of the women to be able to more effectively be able to reach the men that they were teaching also.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;09;55;10  | So once the men saw that the women were on their team and they wanted to partner with them to impact and reach their country, then they became very open to what God wanted to do in their lives, too.
Laurie Lind  | 00;10;11;04  | So it wasn't a threatening thing to those men.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;10;14;16  | No, no, no. Not ultimately. At first they were suspicious and concerned, but we began to show them, and I think it introduced them to a very healthy perspective on the biblical relationship between men and women. Hmm. God has designed it.
Laurie Lind  | 00;10;31;02  | Even that, yes. Is there one woman? Maybe we won't use any names just for security reasons, but is there maybe one who stands out whose story you could kind of tell us what she was like when she began the training and how you saw God work in her through the process and what she's doing with it today.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;10;52;26  | I can think of one and I guess I won't use her name, but she was one of the three that I mentored. And it was interesting. You could kind of tell. I could kind of tell she was very gifted, but she had very little self-confidence. And going through the training, you could just see her blossom and develop and begin to see her teaching gifts, begin to see her relational gifts.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;11;18;11  | And as as we really taught them to affirm one another, because they did not come out of that kind of an educational system where they're infirmed and given positive feedback. It's all very negative and critical. And that's what they initially how they were functioning when they first met us. And so we had to help them to say, no, we're going to we want to encourage one another and and affirm one another.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;11;43;22  | And they just began to just become feel free and who they were and in loving and caring for one another. So this particular woman and she was one that I was able to go into the region and then see her in her training and watch her up front, you know, teaching other Russian women and seeing that confidence. She has obviously comes from the Lord and the way he has gifted her.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;12;09;01  | And she's on Facebook. And I see some of the things that she's continuing to do with the women there. And and this was true of all of the women, but I particularly was close to she and two others that I had one on one mentoring with every time I went over there to Russia.
Laurie Lind  | 00;12;29;02  | So you do apparently keep up with them your your three in particular that you especially poured into. Are you still fairly much in touch of up to date on what they're doing these days?
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;12;40;26  | Up to date? You know, we still have a language barrier there, but of course, it is mostly on social media, although we do have a Russian lady who is over the whole program. And so and she she's also an English speaker. And so we have contact with her. She keeps us up to date on how the training is going, what are the prayer requests, how we can at least be supporting in that way.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;13;04;18  | So I do a little bit of interacting versus on social media because there is a translation thing where you can hit that. And so I'll, I'll engage with them on occasion.
Laurie Lind  | 00;13;16;08  | And that's really wonderful. But it's like you say, those were your first three and now it's about multiple generations from young American women who came there. In your initial 21, do you even know, like, what generation of learners they're on now?
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;13;33;27  | You know, I don't I'm thinking how much farther I mean, I know what down the four generations into the city centers. And so those have continued. So I'm not sure for certain how far down it is, but I am definitely a great, great grandma to some of those women over there for sure.
Laurie Lind  | 00;13;55;13  | Oh, that's lovely. I love that. You know, we have a colleague with Interest Trust who's Bulgarian and lives in Bulgaria and she talks a lot about spiritual mothering. Yes, I guess there spiritual grand parenting and great grandparenting as well. So speaking of of just equipping women in ministry, whether overseas or here in North America, how would you express your heart for the women of the church today?
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;14;25;15  | Clarify that a little bit more. When you say that.
Laurie Lind  | 00;14;27;24  | What's your your burden or your passion or your prayer for women in ministry, women involved in any level of ministry in the local church?
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;14;40;02  | You know, my heart, first and foremost, is that women will learn how much God loves them, because I think a lot of women struggle in that area, not only loves them, but how he has uniquely equipped them and wants to use them. And so I want to inspire and encourage them. That's why I, I feel very blessed to be at Dell Seminary students that come in there, men and women.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;15;04;02  | But my, you know, main focus is the women to to equip them to be able to serve the Lord in a life of ministry, however he has called them to. And there are a lot of women who lack confidence and really don't think that God can use them. And so to be a part of helping them to see how uniquely goddess designed each one of them and the ways he wants to develop those, and also to identify what are some things that might be hindering that.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;15;39;09  | What what has happened was in part of her story that maybe has been a part of the lives that she's believing or the lack of confidence that she has, or maybe the sense that she doesn't feel loved and valued. There's often reasons for that. And I that's part of our small group program at the seminary. When our students go in for that for two years, that's to address those issues and what might be hindering the fullness of how God wants to use them through the presence of the Holy Spirit in their life.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;16;11;05  | And so I want to I want to come alongside of women and help them to know and experience God's love and develop their their gifts and abilities and then equip them to go out and be used by God.
Laurie Lind  | 00;16;28;01  | Wow, that's powerful and that's inspiring. And trust has this. Brant, it's recently been renamed. It's called Entrust Equipping Women, and it is women focused on training and equipping women with what value do you see in a like a pair church ministry, a training equipping ministry like an trust, having a focus on women's ministry training?
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;16;53;04  | Well, I think because it's biblical, I mean, it really does flow out of way. God has designed life to work, you know, and I think we just can't deny that Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, has said, if you're going to set up local churches here, you need to be teaching and training women and other women need to be doing that.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;17;17;10  | And so I think that we are following the model that God has designed. So to not do that I think is really going to and in places where it hasn't been done, life is not as healthy. Relationships are not as healthy because God has designed women to be a part of his great commission. And we know that. And we know that when Jesus gave the great commission, there were men and women there in that audience and he was talking to he wasn't just talking to the disciples in that time.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;17;47;17  | And so and look at goodness, the conversations that Jesus had with women that are recorded in the New Testament and the women who were given very prestigious opportunities. And of course, the women were at the cross, the women, when the first of the two women come back and share the news of Jesus resurrection, there are places that Jesus, even within that culture, was affirming the value of women.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;18;22;19  | And because we're uniquely made, there are certain ways in which women can best equip other women. Now, I am totally for discipleship structures that have men and women together. I would not want to totally separate it. I enjoy the fact that I work alongside of other men, and then I'm teaching men and women at the seminary. I meet with a lot of our male students, more than advising them in mentoring roles in that way, and I feel like they're saying that they gain from me so well equipped woman values and respects men.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;19;00;29  | I think they should. And then how can they support and encourage their brother? Deborah is a fab, ageless example of that in the Old Testament, when she carries a message to barrack that God has given her that Barack is supposed to be the commander of that army and is to go forth and he's president. We don't know why, but Deborah doesn't step in there and take over.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;19;25;29  | She says, I will go with you to help you and support you in what God is calling you to do. And I think that's very important that we recognize the responsibility that we have. And then there's times I have brothers at the seminary who help me carry out what God called me to do. Now I have men that come into my classes and do, you know, special sessions when we talk about how to work effectively with men, I have men come in and talk about it.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;19;52;19  | How could we be most helpful to you? How can we support and encourage you? What has what kind of women have caused you to, you know, to be frustrated or not be able to work well with her? Those kinds of things.
Laurie Lind  | 00;20;06;14  | Both genders have much to to to teach and to learn from each other. Well, we're as we're sort of wrapping up, is there anything that's come into your mind you'd like to mention that we haven't quite gotten into yet or you'd like to expand on further?
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;20;20;24  | I'm just so grateful for the opportunities that women do have now, because I do think that it's been sadly lacking for centuries and centuries in many ways. And to see how God does want to use us. And I hope that women realize that. And so they will seek out ways to become equipped, ways to get under God's word, you know, join the Bible, study at their churches, sign up for those training opportunities that are there so that she can truly become all that God designed her to be and to be used by Him.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;21;02;08  | And obviously surrender to His will enable in the Spirit to be free to guide her. I. I so appreciate what Entrust is and has has done for a long time.
Laurie Lind  | 00;21;14;27  | Well, it's an honor to speak with you, Joy, and I'm so impressed by all that you are doing at Dallas Seminary and just thank you for your heart and your investment and kingdom things and then sharing these wise thoughts with us on this podcast.
Dr. Joye Baker  | 00;21;32;26  | Well, thank you for inviting me. I've enjoyed talking with you, Laurie.
Laurie Lind  | 00;21;36;15  | Wow. Dr. Baker's ministry gave me some good things to think about. Maybe you too. Like intentionality and multiplication in training next generations of leaders. I love that idea of having each of a group of three people go out and find three more to mentor and train. And it was good to be reminded that both genders very much need each other and that women are called by God to serve Him and can grow in their spiritual gifts to serve in the local church.
Laurie Lind  | 00;22;09;19  | And I promise you, I did not ask Dr. Baker to mention Entrust at the end there. But since she did, why don't you go ahead and check out our Women's Ministry training opportunities? You'll find a link to the section of our website about Entrust Equipping Women in the show notes. I'm Laurie and I'll see you next time.
Todd (intro/outro)  | 00;22;32;16  | Entrust Equipping Leaders is a resource for you as a growing Christian and multiplier of leaders. As you find helpful thoughts in our conversations, please share the podcast and leave a review. You can help us encourage more people like you to be investing in next generations of leaders in the local church. As always, visit our website and find more resources in our show.
Todd (intro/outro)  | 00;22;57;22  | Next time, Laurie launches into a conversation with Joycelyn Seybold, Executive director of Entrust Equipping Women. She explains why Entrust has an entire ministry branch focused on equipping women in ministry. Share our podcast with friends and be sure to leave a review. Thank you and God bless you as you mentor and invest in next generations of Christian leaders.