When we first began the Women’s Ministry Council, we didn’t want to start something that didn’t have purpose or value. Honestly, this is how I feel about Women’s Ministry (or any ministry, organization) as a whole. Why are we meeting? What is the point of us gathering? We needed a mission statement, a purpose. We needed something that would give us direction for everything that we did, every decision we would make.
One of the first things we agreed upon was that God never intended us to do ministry on our own, that by uniting as ONE body we could accomplish more. It was important to know what areas other ministries were helping in, so that we could identify where there was lack. Our first point in our mission statement is to engage the leaders in fellowship. In order to serve our community better, as a one body of different parts, we needed to know who those parts were. What areas did their ministry serve in the community? We had to know our fellow leaders, regardless of their denominations.
The second thing we agreed upon was that ministry leaders need encouragement. When ministry gets hard, or frustrating, we need someone who understands. To have other leaders who can share from their experiences on how they overcame hurdles in ministry, is a blessing. Leaders filling in the gaps for other leaders out of their strengths, means that we all grow stronger, serve better, have deeper impact. The second point in our mission statement is to encourage one another. We need cheerleaders, and those who help lift us up when we struggle. We also need to be that for others. Spurring one another on.
The final part of our mission was probably the easiest, because we recognized that leadership material for women’s ministry was far and few between. What was available was dated, how to plan events, or essentially a how to guide to start one from the ground up. They didn’t address women in crisis, ministry burn out, or how to write a ministry budget. They didn’t really go into the details of WHY we need this ministry in the first place, or what it’s purpose should be. The third point in our mission statement is to equip the leaders toward more effective ministry. We built a leadership team of experienced leaders, polling the women attending on what their strengths are, and putting the leg work in hunting down valuable resources/tools. For five years we have run this ministry, between our in person meetings and content on the website. We have yet to repeat ourselves, reuse previous trainings, or revisit old content. There is really a LOT to be said about this ministry we call “women’s ministry”.
If you were to decide to start up a Women’s Ministry Council in your area, we would hope that you would adhere to our key values and mission already established. However, perhaps the needs in your community differ than ours. Maybe you need a different type of ministry, which is fine. Just make sure that whatever you do is bathed in prayer, driven with purpose, and has a mission that you can weigh everything against.