During our first year of Women’s Ministry Council meetings, which was just four meetings, the speakers were limited to the co-founders. However, we quickly added a third leader to our team, and had her speak on areas she was experienced and passionate about.
After that it became a bit easier to build up our guest list. First, I must share that we do not pay our speakers for our local meetings. We are clear about that, it’s a no-profit, no-budget ministry. However, we do provide them with a little gift of appreciation and a opportunities.
- Get to know the attendees. Find out their ministry strengths, and invite them to speak about those strengths to the group. Group sharing is a great way to invest in each other, as a community of leaders.
- Ask for recommendations. Surely the leaders have heard of other local leaders (even if not in Women’s Ministry) who might be a good speaker for a meeting.
- Network in the community. Meet up with non-profit organizations in your community, and invite their team to present information about their ministry and how Women’s Ministries (or churches) can support their work. I always recommend they share financial and tangible (goods, volunteering, etc.) options.
We have gifted speakers small gifts as a token of our appreciation. If the speaker is not part of our group, but from the outside, we also allow the group to bring promotional materials to share with the women and bring back to their churches.
We never share the contact information of our attendees with these organizations, but will allow them to pass around a sign up sheet to collect contact information from those who are interested.
Past and future speaking invitations have been extended to:
- Crisis Pregnancy Center, Post Abortive Counseling Services
- Foster Advocacy and Placement
- Hospital Hospitality House for family, patients receiving treatment that are not local residents.
- Evangelism Training Ministry
- Homeless Advocacy Group
- Child Sponsorship Organization
- Teen Pregnancy Program
- Hunger & Poverty Organizations