Years ago, when sharing about our upcoming Women’s Ministry plans with another church member… her husband said “I don’t even understand why we need a ministry just for women”. He was not the first person to ask this question, women have asked this question. So, why exactly do we need “Women’s Ministry” in the local church?
1. Community – women thrive in community. As we have become more technologically advanced, we have lost community. We no longer need to go to the well daily for water, or the salon each week to get our hair set, we do it ourselves. We don’t even shop like we used to, as we can have it delivered right to our front door. There are so many things we once did collectively that we now do independently, we’ve lost community.
Statistically, we are seeing that people are reporting feeling alone or lonely to the point that it causes depression on very high levels. We got to work, we come home, we shuffle to activity after activity, hundreds of social media friends… and yet we feel alone. Often. Women’s Ministry gives women an opportunity to connect at deeper levels, and on a regular basis. It gives them something to look forward to on their crazy calendar. Some of my greatest friendships came from a woman who sat next to me at a brunch table. Some of the moments where God brought me just what I needed to hear, came in a random conversation at a brunch table. I’d have never had that opportunity on a Sunday morning after service, or cinched up in my secure small group.
2. History – some women enter the church with history. That history can include abuse from men in their lives. It can make women very untrusting of male leadership. Having a Women’s Ministry with a leadership team, gives her a safe place to land. This abuse could have been at the hands of a father, spouse, employer, and even sadly in at the hands of church leaders. Recently, I have had the opportunity to listen to women who were once part of churches that we recognize as cults. Their stories are illuminating as to why they are hesitant to enter a church again, and distrusting of male leadership. What statistics have taught us about domestic abuse and rape, we would be foolish to think these women are not sitting in the pews with us each week.
This is why it is also important to invest in the women who are part of the leadership team with quality training. A Women’s Ministry Leader and her team can not just be someone who raises a hand and is left to their own devices. We need to equip these leaders just like we do our other leaders and Pastors. Conferences, workshops, books, etc. that will add to their knowledge base couple with wisdom and gifts of leadership will create amazing women who are leading well in the church.
3. Understanding – women think differently than man. There is a reason that books like Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus exist. There is a reason we need Bible study materials like Marriage on the Rock and Love & Respect exist. These materials are designed to help us better understand one another. It is for this reason, understanding, that women are prone to go to the Pastor’s wife verses the Pastor with certain issues. But, quite often, the Pastor’s wife is not a paid staff member… she may even hold down a full time job outside the home. Her time is equally valuable as the Pastor, and should be protected. Why put the weight of 60-70% of the body on one woman? When we can build a team of women to support her?
As for teaching, can women sit under and understand male teachers? Absolutely. However, a female leader is going to better relate to her & thus are better equipped emotionally and relationally to teach her. Titus 2:3-5 compels the older women to teach the younger women. It isn’t just about teaching her Scripture through weekly Small Group Bible Studies, but also every day life. How to be a better wife or mother. How to navigate singleness. This is where Women’s Ministry comes in, as a community of women teaching and guiding one another.
In July we are going to finish out our series on Serving our Single Sisters. In August, watch for our new series on “The Bible Defense for Women’s Ministry” to begin.