Have you ever found yourself sitting in a Women’s Ministry team meeting and the words “I wish we could reach….” roll off your tongue?
Maybe you are try to reach the millennial women in your church, or it is the elder women you would like to engage in to Women’s Ministry… either way, whomever it is you want is not coming to your events.
Here are some thoughts to consider:
* Are you trying to reach a group, that does not want to be reached? It is possible that the group you are working so hard to involve in your ministry has no interested in being a part of it. For example, are you trying to get the young moms from your church to attend your Women’s Brunches and they never seem to show up. If your church has an active and thriving MOPS ministry, then the women are already plugged into a “women’s ministry” that fits their needs better. Your college aged women may find their needs are being suited in the Young Adult ministry, than in the Women’s Ministry. If we can begin to consider this as a factor in why they are not coming, we can then stop chasing a group of people who are not interested, allowing us to focus on those who are.
* Are you scheduling events during a time that is less accessible to the group you are trying to reach? If you have chosen to plan all of your Women’s Events on a Friday evening, you may alienate your elder women who perhaps can’t drive at night. If you plan all of your events during the day on weekdays, you will alienate your working women. One year, we were planning a women’s retreat. None of the planning team had children who were in high school at the time. Unbeknown to us, we had planned the retreat the same weekend as prom. Many mom’s didn’t want to NOT be there for their child’s first prom night. Consider that not only are there certain days or times that are bad in a general week, but there are also certain times of the year that are busier than others.
* Are you in tune to what the needs and wants of the group you are seeking actually are? If you have a Women’s Ministry Leader Team that looks just like you, same age, same stage of life, same interests… then all of your WM events are going to be inline with your likes and dislikes. However, if you can build a WM Team that includes women from various age groups or stages in life a whole new world will open for you. Instead of assuming they will find a particular activity interesting, or topic worth listening to, you have a person sitting there in the meeting who can give perspective. If you can’t find any women of that group who are interested in being on the leader team, you can always ask if they wouldn’t mind being a sounding board or jotting down some ideas for you to work off of.
* Are you, as a ministry team, clear on WHY you are trying to reach these women in the first place? Are you pursuing them simply because they are never present? Or, do you have a reason you want them at the events? If you are seeking the elder women in your church because you want to start a mentoring program, fill the women in on this desire. Perhaps if they understood you WANT them to come because they have a PURPOSE to be there… you’ll get a better turnout.
* Have you been doing WM the same way for so long, that you haven’t accounted for new needs or desires by the women in the church? Maybe it is time to retire your stand by activities and programs, and try something new. Perhaps the women are not interested in 16 week Bible Study Small Groups, but would prefer full day retreats every couple of months? Could they want less of the fluff and tradition of the past events and studies, because they really just want to get the point and the meat of the topic? You may even find these newer generations of women are more interested in talking about the deeper things of God.
* Have you considered it may be time to rethink HOW you are doing Women’s Ministry in your church? Most WM have a fairly similar structure, a leader followed by someone who keeps track of finances, event planners, bible study leaders, etc. Even if the titles in your ministry are a bit different, it is usually an assigned position based on a role they play or job that they do well. Yet, that may not be what your church needs, as Women’s Ministry evolves.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to a new structure concept some Women’s Ministries have adopted. This ministry format has a main leader who oversees the whole ministry functions, and she should have a co-leader to assist her. From there, the rest of the leaders are in charge of a particular age group. The exact grouping of ages, I find, will be different based on your demographic. Each age group will have a leader, assistant leader, and a few volunteers to help plan events for their age group. Then throughout the year, there will be opportunities for all of the women to come together.
This new structure is helpful for large churches, as well as churches who have different needs. When there is a WM Leadership meeting, the main leader and co-leader of the ministry overall will meet with the leaders of the age groups. This is an opportunity to check in with the leaders, develop their leadership skills, and to plan the larger ministry wide events. The age group leaders will have their own meetings with their own volunteers on an as needed basis.
This could mean that one age group is more active than another, or that they types of functions they are interested in will be very different from each other. However it allows each group leader to help meet the needs of those specific age groups. Instead of trying to plug a group into a large one where they just don’t feel like they fit… they are given an opportunity to fellowship with their peers.
Some possible titles/groupings could include: (and we’d love to hear your suggestions too)
Women’s Ministry of —- Church
- Women’s Ministry Leader
- WM Co Leader
- Young Women’s Ministry (18-29, singles) – LEADER/CO-LEADER
- Titus 2 Women’s Ministry (18-40?, married… with/out kids) – LEADER/CO-LEADER
- Women Elders Ministry (50-???, retirees, empty nesters) – LEADER/CO-LEADER
Women’s Ministry of —– Church
- Women’s Ministry Leader
- WM Co Leader
- WM2.0 (20’s) – LEADER/CO-LEADER
- WM3.0 (30’s) – LEADER/CO-LEADER
- WM4.0 (40’s) – LEADER/CO-LEADER
Sometimes the most difficult obstacles have an obvious answer staring us in the face! Spend time with your Women’s Ministry in prayer, talk through these issues, talk to the people who are missing from your events, and consider it may be time to change the way you have been thinking or focusing the ministry.