When speaking with Women’s Ministry Leaders, a very common concern is reaching a particular demographic of women. In a church that has predominantly older women, they will desire to reach young mothers. In a church that has a larger number of younger women (married, unmarried, kids, no kids), there is a desire to reach the older women. More stay at home moms? They are trying to reach the working moms. There is a desire to be inclusive of all the women in the church, but not always the knowledge on how to do so.
The first practical change you can make begins by really knowing WHO are the women in your church, community. Using a service like Survey Monkey or Facebook Polls in your Women’s Ministry Facebook Group (or the church page), you can put together a simple survey of less than 10 questions. At this point it is about getting an overall picture, versus knowing each woman’s life details.
You may want to include basic questions, such as:
- Marriage Status: single, married, divorced, widowed
- Parenting Status: single parent, co-parenting, married with kids, grandparents raising their grandchildren, foster parents, adoptive parents, step parent or blended family, military family, etc.
- Employment Status: full time, part time, work at home, unemployed
- Age, either specific answer or within a range 18-29, 30-39, etc.
If you are a large church, where certain statistics are not as obvious, you may want to dig deeper.
- Ethnicities represented in the church.
- Education level, may be a good time to ask about formal biblical education.
- Of the parents, how many use public school, private school, or homeschool.
In addition to this information there may be other specific questions you want to ask. If you are a non-denominational church… you may be interested in knowing the denominational backgrounds of your women. You may wish to know how many years they have been a Christian. All of these questions give you a very broad overview of who you are serving, so that you can serve them better.
The second practical thing you can do, as a ministry leader, is to build a team that reflects the finding of your survey. If you have a mixture of older and younger women in your church, so should your team. If you have a mixture of ethnicities in your church, the ministry team should reflect that mixture. Once you have added these women to your team you will benefit by:
- Their perspective. While certainly one woman can not speak for that entire demographic, having at least one person from that group helps key us in when planning on how our ideas impact each of the groups we serve.
- Their presence. Not only does it send a message to the entire body that the ministry is inclusive, the presence of these differing women will help your leadership team broaden their own personal circles.
- Their influence. When these differing women become a part of the planning process, they take ownership in the events. Because of that ownership, especially if the event was their suggestion, they will want to ensure the success of the event. This means the women are going to make sure to invite, and encourage to attend, the women in their circle of influence.
You cannot please all of the people, all of the time. A healthy women’s ministry CAN please some of the people, some of the time. A diverse ministry team, creates a diverse ministry calendar, that reaches the diverse group of women we serve in the church and the community.