Team Series – Is That All We Need?

teamwork

Team Series:  Is That All We Need? , by Gena McCown

It is time to cap off this series, but I don’t want you to think that this handful of suggestions is the perfect combination for leadership teams, the must haves, the only needed support.  The truth is a great leadership team is going to look and function differently from church to church.  Your teams is going to be built around the vision you have for the ministry, to support the vision of the church.

You may wish to have a Prayer Team Leader, who is a woman with the spiritual gifts of intercession.  She will help lead and teach others how to pray, coordinate prayer events, etc.

If you have a lot of stay at home moms in your church, maybe the Women’s Ministry would sponsor starting up a MOPS Group and you will need someone to lead that group.

The church may request that you coordinate a meal ministry, and that may require having someone with the gift of hospitality step up to lead it.

Each of us, as leaders, will need to assess the individual needs of church and community and develop a team of women who can meet/coordinate to meet those needs.  We would LOVE to hear about unique leadership positions you have within your Women’s Ministry team.

  • What is the position?
  • What characteristics or spiritual gifts are used in this position?
  • How do they serve?
  • What are the responsibilities and expectations of that person/role?

Team Series: Discipleship Leader

Women Bow And Pray

Team Series:  Discipleship Leader, by Gena McCown

Many churches have a program of people meeting together to study the Word.  These groups can go by many names:  bible study, small group, or life group are the most common.  There may be a group of people within the church that are meeting to pray together.  Or, you may even have some mentoring relationships going on.   There are churches that have a structured program in place for what types of materials they study, when, and how often the groups meet.  Others allow leaders to naturally step up to the plate, and the church really serves as a conduit of information; connecting the people to the groups.

When the church has a system in place, whether structured or organic, the Women’s Ministry will often focus on other areas they can serve the women of the church.   However, what would happen if we placed a member of our team in charge of taking that system a step further?  What if we were more purposeful in how we disciple and mentor the women under our care?

Characteristics of this Leader:

  • Spiritual gift of Leadership and Teaching
  • Dedicated student of the Word
  • Organized, may also have the spiritual gift of administration
  • Sincere desire to develop people, encourages women into the Word
How this Role Serves the Women (and church):
  • Researches and vets new study materials to ensure they are theologically and doctrinally sound.
  • Looks for new small groups leaders, and helps develop their leadership skills.
  • Develops a step by step program that disciples new believers from their first steps into accepting Christ and beyond.
  • Helps connect new believers to seasoned believers for mentoring relationships.
When you bring a leader on to the team that has a heart for discipleship, your Women’s Ministry can take a turn toward not only the Cross but the Great Commission, to go out and make not just converts but disciples.  This creates in the Women’s Ministry a very intentional direction and purpose, and quite often our fellowship and social events are geared toward funneling the women into the church and into these disciple making processes.
What that may look like in your church will vary, based on the needs of the church/community and the availability of those willing to step into the roles of teacher or mentor.  It may take time to develop your program into the full vision, but each year you can move a step closer to that end goal.
For myself, I like to walk women first through and overall understanding of the scriptures (Angie Smith’s study “Seamless”), then I want the women to learn how to study the scriptures for themselves (Jen Wilkin’s book “Women of the Word”).  I follow these two books up with walking the women through prayer (Don Whitney’s book “Praying the Bible”).  After these three steps, then the women can plug into study groups on topics that are more applicable to their season of life or circumstances.  Some women would prefer a small mentoring relationship with an older wiser woman over a group study.
Just a note:  Remember that in a mentoring relationship “older and wiser” doesn’t always mean older in age, sometimes it is older in regards to experience.     A 40 year old new Christian can sit under a 28 year old life long, seasoned believer.    A woman who is 50 and a newly wed in her first marriage can sit under a woman who is 30 and married for 12 years. 

Team Series: Social Media Leader

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Team Series:  Social Media Leader, by Gena McCown

A few years ago, we would not even have the discussion as to whether or not a “Social Media Leader” is important to a ministry.  Times are different, social media is a huge part of our communication process.  Having a leader in place that is comfortable with technology and social media can be beneficial for several reasons.

  • Social Media Leaders replaces the older position of “Historian”.   Beside the leaders, women at our events will be taking pictures.   Managing social media accounts provides a landing place for these pictures that can be shared with the entire ministry.
  • Social Media Leaders replace the older position of “Publicity Leader”.  Social media accounts are a great way to promote upcoming events, link to registration or ticket sale locations, and introduce your ministry to the community.
  • Social Media Leaders fulfill and enhance the older position of “Communication Leader.”  Using social media accounts, this leader can build a bridge between the leadership team and the women of the church.  Social media accounts are a great way to recommend books, write custom devotions, or even help the women in the church get to know the leaders in a more personal way.   These same connections can happen between the women in the church, encouraging the women to pray for each other, share scripture, and even impromptu lunch gatherings.

This may be a position that you could give to a woman who wants to serve on the Women’s Ministry team but can’t commit to regular meetings.  Depending on the size & activeness of your ministry, this could be a lot of work or minimal.    This leader would not only work on your social media accounts, such as Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook… but also your ministry website.

You may choose to create your own website using services like Weebly or WordPress, or your church may provide you with a dedicated page that can be updated.  The first two options don’t require your leader to be proficient in webdesign and coding, and the last option usually is a matter of submitting the information to whomever is in charge of the church website.

Back in May, there was a series exploring how Women’s Ministry can use various types of social media accounts:  Pinterest , Twitter , Instagram , and Facebook .

If you are having success with any other social media apps or services, we’d love to hear what you are using and how it’s benefiting your ministry.  Visit our Facebook Group to share!

Team Series: Treasurer {Finances}

fundraising

Team Series:  Treasure/Finances,   By Gena McCown

Times have changed.  Churches often don’t have “treasurers” like they once did, instead they use accounting services.  Everything is automated, including budget spreadsheets.  Generally speaking, you can access the information in due time.  Quite often we pay out of our pockets and get reimbursed versus using “petty cash”.  There are many reasons to believe this role is one that could be retired.  I’m going to disagree with that entirely, for the following reasons:

  • Good Stewardship of Ministry Funds
  • Accountability
  • Checks and Balances
  • Fundraising
  • Greater Accessibility

Good Stewardship of Ministry Funds – Money minded people are generally good with money.  They are more apt to think through purchases and have long term sight into future spending needs.   If you are thinking of a making a purchase, they will weigh and measure if it’s a need or want, if the ministry has the funds or not, or if there is a better way to use the budget.  Eliminating wasteful spending is a great gift to any ministry, and we sometimes need someone who can reel us back in from our big dreams.

Accountability – When there is a person who keeps the ledger for the ministry, you tend to not have too many hands in the pot trying to get money at one time.  I’ve witnessed situations where multiple were out shopping and “picked up” little something for a ministry.  No one asked about it, just made the purchase and assumed they would be reimbursed.  Having a person who oversees that area creates a check point for purchases before they are made. 

Checks and Balances – In a church setting where funds are being deposited for multiple ministries and endeavors, all through the week., errors can happen.  A person may put a check in the offering plate to pay for the retreat, thinking the accountant will see the word “retreat” noted in the memo section and apply it accordingly.    Money may be handed to someone in the office, and it gets tossed in with the deposit without noting where it goes.  It’s important to have someone in the ministry team tracking all the deposits and withdraws from the ministry budget.  Several times throughout the year, your finance person can compare their accounting to the church account.

Fundraising – When you are the person looking at the account balance on a regular basis, fundraising is naturally going to come to mind.  You are aware of how many times you have had to say no.  It stinks having to tell one of your team members that they need to scale back their project or event.  It is even more unbearable to break the news to the team that the registration for the next women’s retreat is going to increase due to lack of funds to offset costs.   The person who fills this role will know the needs of the ministry that are not being met, the projected costs of the ideas that the team wants to add.  (Note:  In some ministries, it may be prudent to divide this particular need into a separate position.  Larger ministries especially, would benefit from a Fundraising Leader AND a treasurer.)

Greater Accessibility – During a Women’s Ministry meeting, a great idea may be put out on the table to discuss.   Do you want to wait 24+ hours to find out if their is room in the ministry budget, or would you rather have that information available on the spot?  Having a team member who keeps track of the finances will give you that access to information.   The church accountant (especially if they use an offsite service) may not be able to get back to you immediately, it could even take a few days.  A team member who handles the expenses and record keeping is merely a text away.  This is particularly vital during a time where you are planning for a large event.

How Do You Identify This Person?

  • When pitching an idea, she is usually the first one to talk about the expense.
  • She will always have researched the best possible price before she shares an idea or project.
  • This is someone who regularly presents ideas for fundraising, notices budget needs.
  • She is one who would never spend money on the ministry without checking in with the leader/team members first.
  • In her personal life, business life, she is fiscally responsible.
  • She may be an accountant, or served as a “treasurer” for other organizations, ministries, or clubs in her past.
  • Usually a Type A personality, analytical, enjoys math and “crunching numbers”.

Her Spiritual Gifts May Include:

  • Administration
  • Discernment / Wisdom / Knowledge
  • Service

Team Series: Event Planner

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Team Series: Event Planner, Gena McCown

It may surprise you that I would recommend an Event Planner as a key member of your Women’s Ministry team.  However, I believe there are a few good reasons to support this case.  If you have a smaller Women’s Ministry Team this may be a role that is absorbed by your Hospitality Leader/Coordinator.  Yet, there is merit in having a separate woman in charge of this area.

For many Women’s Ministries there are regular events on the church calendar, usually monthly or every other month.  These tend to be some sort of a fellowship event that contains a meal, speaker, and even worship.  In most cases, this is the event that your Hospitality Leader is going to coordinate.  As your ministry grows, you may begin to plan larger events.  This could be anything from inviting a nationally known speaker to a special event, planning a retreat for the women in the church, or even hosting or planning your own women’s conference.  It is in this later grouping of events where having an Event Planner on your team is going to benefit your ministry.

Large events generally take six months up to a full year to plan.  They are comprised of many details that have to be attended to.  Simple things such as decorating to the theme are at one end of the spectrum.  Planning out the food menu, arranging lodging, transportation, and the budget are at the other end of that planning spectrum.  An Event Planner is usually someone who has a lot of the same characteristics of the Hospitality Leader (attention to detail, warm and friendly, etc) but also has an equal dosing of the gift of Administration (works well under pressure, organizes well, schedule oriented, etc).

Because large events have so many facets to them, and take so long to prepare, it is beneficial to the team if there is just one or two people who focus on this area.  Perhaps your ministry is not large enough for this to be an important team role today, but it is something worth keeping in mind for the future.

In most instances the Event Planner is not making all of the decisions or doing all of the work on her own.  She will build up a team or committee of women to help her.  This is a great avenue to bring in volunteers from the body of women in your church.  Many women would love to support the Women’s Ministry but cannot commit to the monthly requirements of serving.  This provides these women an opportunity to serve toward a specific event, using their gifts and talents.

An Event Planner will be in charge of things such as:

  • Finding and securing a location for the event.  Coordinating the rental or obtaining things like tables, chairs, linens, decorations, etc.
  • Securing the speaker, and whatever requirements the speaker has for their time at the event.
  • Working with catering or volunteers from the church to coordinate the menu.
  • Scheduling the event, coordinating technical needs (television, projectors, microphones, etc).
  • Designing and procuring the printed materials for the event, registration for the event, collecting payments, etc.
  • Coordinating special touches throughout the event to make the women feel special, and to create value to the event that is equal or above what the women paid.

An Event Planner will have characteristics such as:

  • She is an event attender.  Look for women who love going to conferences, retreats, etc.  If they personally don’t enjoy them, they won’t make a good planner.
  • On a spiritual gifts test you will see that her scores are pretty even between the gifts of hospitality and administration.  She may also score high as a leader/teacher, but not always.  Some women are great about doing the work, but have no calling to be a speaker at the event.  Others are perfect behind the scenes and comfortable in front of the people.
  • She is detail oriented, scheduler, thrives under deadlines, is equally comfortable with light accounting and picking table centerpieces.
  • She is a woman who is quite content focusing on just 1 big project versus a million little ones.
  • Generally speaking she is a woman that can rally up the troops when she needs extra help.  People like working with her, she can delegate without dictating.
  • I’ve also noticed that these women already have their finger on the pulse of new speakers, authors, etc.  They may already even know some of these people personally.  They also tend to know what is happening in other Women’s Ministries in their area and beyond.

While many would argue this job could be done by the entire team, and reasonably justifying their argument… I find having one person dedicated to this job is a blessing to the ministry and also the woman doing the work.  These women tend to take such joy in serving in this manner.  Details others would consider tedious, event planners see as special touches that can “make all the difference”.

 

Hurricane Matthew

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The home base for Women’s Ministry Council is in the path of Hurricane Matthew.

Please pray for our women, our families, and communities we serve.

Additionally, please pray from Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas who have already been battered by this storm.

We’ll be back in clearer weather.

 

Team Series: Hospitality

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Team Series:  Hospitality by Gena McCown

Hospitality is probably one of the most beautiful words in the English language, especially if you are a Southern Girl.  Hospitality smells of fresh brewed coffee on the other side of an unlocked door, where the mat says “Always Welcome”.  It reminds me of a time where friends just stopped by to shoot the breeze, and inviting people into our home was a regular occurrence.  Women gathered around the kitchen table or in the livingroom, bibles open and snacking on homemade lemon bars.  Sweet Tea on the back porch as we prayed over each other.  My Great Aunt’s perfumed powder wafting across the nose of every woman she greeted with a hug as they crossed her threshold.

Hospitality is what makes us feel welcomed into a space, warm and relaxed… at home. 

There are some women who are simply PRONE to hospitality, it is their genetic code.  They will look for ways to invite people into their home.  Quick to volunteer to host a luncheon or meeting.  There will always been enough food, and drinks.  The bathroom will smell of fresh dried lavender.  There will be a chocolate mint on every pillow at the retreat center.  She lives to make people feel special, and loved. 

This woman is important to your Women’s Ministry, this is a role to be on your top priority to fill. Why?

Hospitality Leaders are:

  • Women of influence.  Typically if they go to an event, they bring and encourage others to come too.  My Pastor’s wife calls them “connectors”.
  • Genuinely are excited to see every woman who enters the room, and make it a point of meeting the new faces.
  • Generous with their homes and time.
  • Quick to organize meals for the sick, new moms, new families, etc.
  • Find joy in the details of their tasks.
  • Have vast amounts of knowledge when it comes to finding locations for events from luncheons to weekend long retreats.
  • Are usually effective event planners, or at least great on event teams.
  • They have an eye for femininity that pragmatic leaders tend to lack, but those attending our events will appreciate.

Their Role in Ministry:

  • Event Planning Leader/Team – brunches, luncheons, retreats, teas, etc.
  • Meals Ministry Leader/Team – sick, new mom, etc.
  • Welcoming Committee Leader/Team – how do we welcome new women to our church?
  • Hosting Team Meetings or planning meetings (even if they are on the team)

A note of caution, women who have the gift of hospitality are often creative types.  Which means for events like retreats, you may do best to pair them with an A type personality.  One is in charge of the schedule, finding the speakers, planning the technical side of the event; the other is responsible for the meals, special touches, speaker gifts, etc.   It is important to know your women, their gifts and strengths… as well as their weaknesses.  Occasionally you have the blessing of a woman with the gift of hospitality and administration, and she’s the gal whom you can give the whole task and trust she’ll get it done. 

Women with the gift of hospitality are also typically generous and will have beautiful ideas to make women feel special and welcomed at events.  However, these special touches can impact your event budgets.  It is important to be clear with your hospitality leader the budget she has for her tasks.  I have known many of these women who would be happy to pay out of their own pockets to make up the difference, but I do generally ask them not to.  Simply because we need to keep up a budget that all team members present and future can work with.  If she supplements her budget, out of pocket, yes the event will be magnificent… but it may be hard for a future leader who replaces her to do the same.  Encourage these women to do the best they can within the agreed budget, but don’t be surprised if they “gift” a thing or two over time.