The following is the continuation of our ministry training event recap, on Branding and Building your Women’s Ministry
Building Your Women’s Ministry
Building Your Vision:
- What is the Vision of the Church? The Women’s Ministry’s first goal and responsibility is to support the vision of the church. A good Pastor is going to lead the church in accordance to the calling the Lord has burdened his heart with. Will this be a missional church, an equipping church, discipleship and growth church? As Women’s Ministry leaders we need to consult with the Pastor and get a better understanding of the vision and direction of the church.
- How does the Women’s Minsitry Support this Vision? For too long Women’s Ministry has been functioning independently of the church. We need be part of the fold, vision, and calling that is on the church by figuring out how we support that vision. If the church is about missions in the local community or abroad, what can the Women’s Ministry do to support that vision? Or, if you are a church that is focused on mentoring and discipleship to equip future leaders… how does the Women’s Ministry fit in that vision?
- What does the Women’s Minsitry to Meet this Goal? What types of materials or resources will the Women’s Minsitry need to develop a program that supports the church vision? Who do you need, as the Women’s Ministry leader, on your team to help execute these goals and programs? What is your plan of action? Space, funds, team members, volunteers, and contacts are all areas to be explored.
Building the Women’s Ministry Team:
- Build Balance: Depending on the size of your church and how active of a Women’s Ministry you may have, finding the right number of team members will vary from church to church. You do not want to have too few, because that will lead to burn out. Too few people doing too much work, steals time away from our families and other priorities. Balance is key. However, if you have too many women, there are too many cooks in the kitchen. When you have more people serving than ways to serve, chaos and competition can creep up. Or, you may find that the more vocal team members volunteer for all of the tasks and a number of women show up at the meetings… sitting and silence, unsure where they fit in.
- Build a Foundation of Order & Structure: One thing we can note throughout scripture is that when God is appointing leaders, He is attempting to restore order. Those He calls are given certain roles and responsibilities in their service. If we are going to build a team of women to walk with us in this ministry service, they need to know how they fit into the picture. Whether you choose a more formal appointment of positions (leader, historian, treasurer, etc) or instead determine leaders by particular tasks/roles (Bible Study Organizer, Fellowship Coordintor, etc) order helps create a smooth and efficient team. Meetings will move along faster and with fewer hiccups when everyone knows what they are responsible for.
- Build a Diverse Team: Try to avoid building up a Women’s Minsitry team that looks just like you! Otherwise, you end up with a Women’s Ministry team that only does the things you are interested in. We need to see a variety of ages, stages, and ethnicities. If you want younger women in the church to plug into the Women’s Ministry, you need to add one to your team. If you want to understand how to best serve the women of color in your church or neighborhood, seek those women out for your leadership team. If you want to serve the single mothers in your church, inviting one to serve on the team is your best option. With a variety of women, you will create a ministry with a variety of events and activities. You can’t please all of the people, all of the time. But with variety, you can please some of the people… some of the time.
- Build Future Leaders: Your very first job as a Women’s Minsitry leader is to find your replacement. Paul, had Timothy. Find your Timothy and from the onset begin investing in this future leader. Include them in the behind the scenes process. Let this woman lead a meeting every now and again, or head up a larger project. Help her foster a relationship with the church staff members, too. Remember that you are not trying to mold her into a copy of you, but equip her to lead as God will call her to. One thing any experienced ministry leader will tell you is that God seldomly keeps us in the same place forever. We may get called to a new ministry, or move to a new area. Or, we may need to take a time off to minister to our family in crisis. We need leaders who can pick up the reins and lead. An effective leader should be able to take a leave of absence or step down, and the team should continue to function as if she never left.
Building Ministry Momentum:
- Every ministry event should have a direction, that meets the vision of the church. When we have met with the Pastor, built our team, we can develop our ministry vision. Whether you are using a catch phrase, piece of scripture, or a few select words… you now have a litmus test for all of your ministry plans. Don’t waste time on events that won’t support the vision of the church, invest time and efforts into those which do. This doesn’t mean you can’t have brunches and retreats, but instead it means to have an intentionl purpose for that retreat. If small groups are important, use your brunches to launch the small groups to the body of women. If you are having a ladies night at a local ceramics studio, include a devotion as part of the evening’s schedule.
- Every ministry event should have an opportunity, to bond the body and welcome new faces. When we have a mixture of activies in the women’s minsitry we create a program where seasoned believers can deepen their knowledge and relationship with Christ, and lighter events for our guests and new faces to plug in without feeling intimidation. Events that are warm and inviting, provide bridges between the community and the church. Events or programs that call us to deeper study or understanding, provide growth and development opportunities. Just as we seek to intentionally balance the women serving on our team, we must intentionally balance the activities we offer to the body and to the community. Let’s never be so inwardly focused on serving the women who attend our church, that we fail to create a welcoming environment for the women in our community.
- Every ministry event should have a purpose, one that will point women to the Gospel, Christ, and to the church. Today’s women are less interested in learning how to sew quilts and put together stunning floral arrangements. The ones who are plugging into minsitry are doing so because they seek authentic fellowship and deeper knowledge of their faith. They want to understand the scriptures more, they want to have the hard conversations, and they want to be challenged. When our events are intentionally purposed toward connecting women in the church, we are helping these women build up a circle of godly women they can rely on. We are building a community of women who will rally around each other, where iron will sharpen iron. When our events are intentionlly purposed toward the Gospel and Christ, we are connecting women to Christ … for the first time, or for a deeper relationship. We begin to connect new believers with seasoned believers, and thus we begin building up women for gospel centered conversations out in the community. It is where we engage, encourage, and equip.
Some final thoughts…
Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in senseless details. It’s okay to start small, and build up. Keep things simple, duplicatable, and accessible so that your events don’t burn out your team, funds, or resources. Think outside the box when you are facing limitations on funds, resources, or space. And, never assume what you women will like or not. If you are bathing these decisions in prayer , as well as keeping them in line with the vision of the church… then God will bring exactly who He wants to each event.