Are you ready to talk about women’s ministry?
Whether you are a leader, a participant or just curious about how to begin a women’s ministry, maybe the next couple of articles on my blog will be of some help.
You may have a question such as, “Beverly, what could you possibly know about women’s ministry that I don’t already know?”
I don’t claim to know much of anything at all. I just go by my experience and what I’ve been through in my 58 years of life! ha! Some good and some not so good. I love this scripture in God’s Word:
“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17
We can all learn so much from each other if we share with one another what we know and have learned. We may even help one another from going through some of those not so good things that could happen and become wiser and stronger.
Nope….I didn’t go to college and major in Women’s Ministry. Although I wish I would have when my husband was in Seminary. I worked while he attended school. Bummer!
As a new Christian in the church at the age of 14, I was drawn to the pastor’s wives and missionary wives. I wanted to learn so much from them as well as the older women in the church. I wanted to know everything possible to become a mighty woman of God. The church I grew up in from the age of 14 on, didn’t have a women’s ministry. I do remember a time when some special classes were taught by women of the church to teens and women on how to be a Godly woman. I soaked it up. Every now and then on Wednesdays nights, the women would gather and have a time of prayer. The staff wives would lead and I loved hearing the women pray about the things of the church.
When I married at the age of 20, we prepared to sell everything we had (which wasn’t much) and move to the Dallas area and attend a Bible Seminary. What an exciting and scary time. I could tell your stories about that season, but, that will have to be another day. It was a sweet time as well as an interesting time.
Our first church that we served in while in Bible college, gave us so many sweet memories while my husband served as the youth pastor/associate pastor. In our our youth group we formed a group called “Christian Womanhood.” (My husband led a group called, “Christmas Manhood”.) What a sweet group of girls we had. We studied what it was to be a young woman of God. We actually began a girls choir. What’s funny about that one, is, I can’t sing. We also had a Mother’s Day Conference. I knew nothing, but it was a success. I was 21, newly married and scared out of my mind.
Our second church we served in; my husband was the pastor. It was a tiny church. I started off with just having ladies in my home for get togethers and we attended a ladies conference nearby. This was a very small church and money was extremely tight. I had a new born and a 3 year old. I only did what I could to get the women together when I could.
The next stop on our journey was a larger church and it didn’t have a women’s ministry. I was hungry to learn from other women in the area of living my life as a pastor’s wife. I read whatever I could get my hands on. I stayed busy helping my husband however I could in his ministry while homeschooling and raising our children.
We then were called to another church where my husband served as youth pastor. Again, no women’s ministry. I talked to the pastor’s wife and she wasn’t interested at all as she was busy and worked full time. So, we started small with a ladies conference to kick it off. From there, several women got interested and a few little ministries developed. This was the time that I learned some serious lessons in how dangerous women’s ministry can be if the wrong people are in charge. Woowee…..I won’t go into details, but let’s just say, if someone wants to start a “Secret Sisters” group, you might be in a pickle if the ladies that are in charge take it upon themselves to get on to participants if they didn’t give a gift or card for the month. Not just get on to, but a good chewing out might be the right word. I’ll just leave that one right there. We eventually got a new pastor at this particular church who loved women’s ministry. She took the reigns and did a great job with it.
I learned many lessons at that time, good and bad. Not just in women’s ministry, but in every area of service. I can share some of those lessons at another time.
Years later we were involved in a church as laypeople. (That means, not in full-time ministry.)
I was asked if I would be interested in starting a ladies Bible class. The thought scared me terribly and after praying about it, I had peace that was what I was to do. As I was preparing, I thought how awesome it would be to possibly begin a women’s ministry at the same time. When I visited with the pastor about it, he was on board with the idea. So off we went. What a fun time of learning, sharing and many lessons, once again. I wouldn’t trade the nine years of this season for anything.
So from there, I will share what I know and how we did our women’s ministry and maybe there is something that will help or prevent some issues in your ministry.
Enough of where you’ve been, Beverly, where’s those 10 tips?
Here they are…
- If you don’t have the full support and backing of your pastor and staff, don’t even think about it! You should operate under the guidance of your pastor. Know what he wants and doesn’t want. Communicate with him on a regular basis. Clear all ideas and plans through him. (or whoever the pastor has chosen to be over the women’s ministry) Women’s Ministry is a ministry that is just as important as a children’s ministry or anything else and if your pastor/staff doesn’t see that, they will never catch the vision and support you.
- Know what your purpose is for having a women’s ministry. We set a Mission Statement which read, “The women’s ministry of …. seeks to encourage women in spiritual growth, discipleship, enrichment, ministry and evangelism. This goal will be accomplished by providing resources, training, enrichment events and a supporting network.”
- PRAY! Pray about everything! Every little detail and every big detail. Ask God for wisdom. Take everything to Him as you plan. Be sensitive to His guidance in what the ladies of your church need and what you are actually capable of.
- Form a leadership team. Remember when I said pray? Well, you need to pray over this one for sure. Be wise. You want a leadership team that is made up of women that love God with all their hearts and live a life that is evident of that love. I didn’t say perfect women. Women who are wise, godly and forgiven. Once you build your team, build a relationship with each one of them. I made it a habit to have lunch with each one by themselves on a regular basis. You might find yourself in a pickle by someone on the team that is contrary to everything possible and it might even be evident that they don’t like you very much. I pray that never happens to you, but, it it does, hopefully, I can help. Just so happens I have experience in this one. We will talk about that one tomorrow.
- Get to know the women of the church! Step out of your box and speak to everyone. Doesn’t matter age, race, economic status or whatever else there is. Do your best to form a relationship the best that you can with each woman that is in your sphere of influence. Stay clear of cliques. You really can’t afford to have your own special group of ladies. You have to be open to everyone. As crazy as it may seem, it can be a lonely place to be since you aren’t connected to groups.
- With your team, put a plan in place for the coming year. Clear it all through your pastor/staff. Make sure everyone is on the same page.
- Have a kick-off of the ministry. This could be a full-blown conference, or something simple as a pot luck dinner. This is where you will introduce the ministry, the team and all that will be available through the new women’s ministry. A good idea would be to have your pastor at this event to share his approval and his vision as well.
- You are now on your way to a successful women’s ministry that could change a woman’s life. This ministry could be the key that gives a woman hope, encouragement to keep on the path of living a life sold out for Christ. Think of all the lives that are changed just from one woman. Her husband, her children, her home life, her work environment, her city, her country and her world. Pretty amazing to think about, isn’t it?
- Manage your time. If you love women’s ministry and enjoy every aspect of it, you will find yourself spending hours everyday working on projects. I honestly don’t think I could have spent the nine years that I did as women’s ministry director, if I had children at home. That’s just me, though. Did I mention I was volunteer? There are some churches that hire a full time director. I’m not sure how different that would be….maybe just in a salary of some type. I’m only experienced in serving as a volunteer, paying my own expenses. Lunches, workshops, conferences do add up. So you might need to figure that out as well. All churches operate differently.
- I feel compelled to say this again. Pray. Be sensitive and strong at the same time. You may be confronted with issues that you never even dreamed of and that you would rather not deal with. As my husband told me as he gave me his blessing to serve in this capacity. “You are going to have a target on your back, be ready.” That’s sad, isn’t it. That was one of the best pieces of advice that I got. The enemy for sure doesn’t want a woman to be at peace and to live a life of godliness, does he? So, be prepared for attacks in the strangest ways. Also be prepared in seeing some amazing and exciting things happen in the lives of women in your church.
See you tomorrow for a few more ideas in developing your women’s ministry. Feel free to share thoughts or questions.
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May you always be seeking to have a heart like His!