Misconnected

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By Gena McCown

In a day and time where we are more connected than other digitally, our communities are responding with an increasing level of feeling alone.  When we look to the scriptures we see that community was a vital aspect of the local church.  Not only did they worship together, but they cared about one another on a personal level.  They tended to one another and carried each other’s burdens.  Communities worked together for the common good and because they were connected they were aware of what was happening in the lives those they called neighbor.

This led me to come to the very recent conclusion that we are not disconnected, we are just misconnected.  Experts have suggested that the problem with social media connections is that when one feels alone in their real life, they may turn to social media to connect and feel that void, and when that feeling of isolation doesn’t go away they dig deeper into social media to create more connections.  They are still seeking and looking for their tribe.  On the other hand, these experts have also suggested that once we are connected virtually the fear of missing out on what is being posted/shared may chain us to our devices verses going out and living life among others.

Disconnected seems so firm and final, like someone who has gone off grid or cut themselves off from society.  Disconnection happens when effort has left the equation of human relationship.  We have either made the decision to disconnect with another, or we have accepted their decision to connect with us.  I can’t believe a person who continually is seeking their tribe on social media outlets is seeking or accepting disconnection.  Instead they are trying to connect but in a different way, for whatever reason, and thus they are misconnected.  They are making connections but not the ones they need, which leaves the void they can’t fill.

What Can Women’s Ministry Do To Connect the Misconnected?

  • Connect the Women to Jesus – helping our women to understand who Jesus creates a foundation of self value and worth.  We connect them to Jesus through the Word which opens their eyes to a God who knows, hears, sees, and loves them… but who is also always with them.  We are never alone, when we are in God.
  • Connect the Women to Women in the Church – connecting women to other women who are also believers builds the foundations of community.  We have identified something we share in common, our faith, and embrace our connection as sisters in Christ.  As they begin to realize that they are not only walking this life with Jesus on their side but also a family of believers, the isolation will begin to dissipate.
  • Connect the Women to Community – through connecting the women to our community we begin to introduce purpose into their lives.  The more we connect with Jesus and our family of believers, the deeper our desire is to reach into our communities and serve others.  By connecting into our community we extend our community beyond what we could ever imagine.

How Do We Connect Women to Jesus: Bible studies, small groups, conferences, guest speakers, Sunday services, women’s brunches, retreats, workshops, etc.  It comes as we connect them directly to His Word via study, or as we share our testimonies via events.  

How Do We Connect Women to Women in the Church:  Ladies night/day out, women’s trips, retreats, brunches, fellowship events, concerts, movies, lunch dates.  Whether we start building connections through high attendance events or small intimate coffee dates, we are putting the building blocks in place for relationship.

How Do We Connect Women to Community:  Service projects within the church, local community, volunteering with local organizations and non-profits, local and international missions projects, etc. are all great ways to bring the women out of the church and into the community to serve.  By serving others, we often get to know them on a deeper level because we are meeting them where they are at.

I… We… They – Women’s Ministry Event Attendance

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Perhaps you have noticed that the women who attend your ministry events are the exact same women, consistently.  New fresh faces are few and far between, the same familiar women show up to be served.

When it comes to Women’s Ministry events I have always believed that God brings who He knows should be there.  An event is a success if there are two or two hundred women in attendance.  However, sometimes there is a reason other women are not attending.  It is a lesson we can learn from the church as well.

I believe that there are women who simply do not want to just attend a Women’s Ministry event, they want to be a part of it.  Perhaps there hasn’t been an opening on your Women’s Ministry Team, or they may not be able to commit long term to the team but can commit from event to event.  As Women’s Ministry leaders we can get caught up in SERVING our women that we forget about the women who are also called to serve.  I believe for each woman of God, we are called to seasons of serving and seasons of being served.

When the Church staff realize they want people to be more connected to the Church, one of the most effective ways to make this happen is through providing multiple avenues where they can get involved.  When we are involved in our Church, we become invested in our Church.  When we are invested in our Church, we have ownership… and with ownership comes commitment.

There are women in your church right now that are just waiting for someone to ask for their help or expertise. 

  • The women who can sing or play an instrument, but can’t commit to the Worship Team.
  • The women who love photography, and would find great pleasure in taking pictures at the WM events.
  • The women who have a testimony to share, experience in a particular area they can teach others about.
  • The women who have a heart for hospitality and would happily come in and help decorate, make centerpieces, or come up with cute favors.
  • The women who are organized, gifted administrators, who would love to help you find a way to coordinate sign up sheets, manage ministry business.
  • The women who love to write who would be thrilled to tackle writing devotions on the WM facebook page, or communicating information to the women in the church for you.

These are just a few examples of women who may be in your church.  What I have learned is that when you can give women something to be responsible for, their attendance doesn’t just change for that particular event.  Over time they become increasingly more involved, and it may lead to eventual leadership positions.

If a woman from your church approaches you with a specific idea, and it fits into the vision of the church, why not allow her to run with it?  If she has a gift or talent, see if there is a way she can use it in the ministry.  The more connected she is to the ministry, she is also more apt to invite her friends.