You don’t know Jenee Woodard. You shouldn’t, because she lives in Jackson, Michigan. But Central Baptist church has benefited from her. Jenee runs a website called Textweek.com.
On that website, I get much of the biblical commentary that I use when I’m preparing sermons. At Textweek, each passage of scripture has more than 50 different articles and helps, ranging from ancient writers like Origen and Augustine to classical writers like Martin Luther and John Wesley and Calvin to contemporary writers with their own blogs.
There are also creative worship ideas for each passage. She reads classical Greek and Hebrew, and everything on the website has been researched by Jenee to make sure that there is good scholarship, that the writer does not have an agenda attached to what they are writing, and that there is some substance behind what is being said.
It is rather impressive to see the website and how much work she has done. She has become the architect of what one author says is one of the most influential websites for Chirstians. When asked about the influence she has on churches, she says, “I just do what I do.” But the work she does is more impressive when you find out that she is the caretaker for her son, who has autism. She had plans to be a seminary professor, but those plans changed when her son was diagnosed.
As I was reading about her, a point emerged: she was clearly called to the ministry, and she was clearly gifted with great intelligence and capability, but as she says, “Life is what was happens to you when you are busy making other plans.” So rather than re-thinking her call to ministry, she searched for another way to develop a ministry, and she found it by making all of these commentaries available from one website.
What impressed me is that rather than allowing a limitation to inhibit her drive for ministry, what she calls, “giving herself away,” she found another way to minister. All sorts of people have limitations: illnesses, caretaking, and so on. But by her life, Jenee Woodard encourages all of us to continue to drive toward meaningful ministry, whether it is writing “thinking of you” cards, to making phone calls, to whatever God’s creativity brings out in you.
I hope that you will visit Jenee’s website, Textweek.com, and read more about her. But even more, I hope that you are inspired to ministry, regardless of your limitations.