Change in the Air {2017 is Coming}

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The year is coming to an end.  You have prayerfully considered whether or not the Lord is calling you to remain in Women’s Ministry.   As a team you have reviewed the past year’s successes and failures, and you have tapped into the women in your church for their opinions and perspectives.  The next step is to take all of that information and look forward to 2017.

Start with the Pastor

Before making any major changes or vision shifts in the ministry, this is a great time to check in with the Pastor(s).  If the WM goal is to be supportive of the church vision, consider that just as you may be exploring a vision shift … so may the church leaders.  The needs of our church and the community we serve may have changed over the last year.  The Lord may be pressing a new mission on the hearts of the leaders.

If the church mission isn’t changing or shifting, share with the Pastor what changes you may be considering.  Seeking his input will be helpful as you try to narrow the new vision.  Does this new direction fit within the mission of the church, does he support these potential changes or new direction, and questions along those lines will help you engage his support.

Don’t Forget Your Team

As the WM Leader, we spend quite a bit of time researching Women’s Ministry ideas and directing the team and volunteers.  We invest in our team as we develop their leadership skills, and in ourselves as we read books and look to leaders in our ministry field for inspiration.  When change is on the horizon, and the Lord is stirring something in us, it can be quite easy to internalize those thoughts.  However, even though we are the leader, we must not forget that we are part of the team.  When your team members feel left out of the process, changes catch them off guard, and they may question their value to the team.

Instead of walking into your normally scheduled WM team meeting and dropping a bombshell full of unexpected changes, bring the WM team into the fold.  Invite the team members into the process by including them in the early stages instead of waiting until you have made a slew of decisions.  At the onset, ask the team members to be praying with you about potential changes.  Need information?  Ask team members to help with the research or read books along with you.  Talk to other leaders about what has been working within their ministries.  Make the process a team effort and you will find the changes that results are exciting for the entire team, instead of surprising.  When the team is excited with you, it is a much easier to spread the excitement throughout the women in the church.

One Change at a Time

Most people are resistant to big changes.  The familiar becomes unfamiliar, the predictable becomes unpredictable, what they have always known becomes the unknown.  After the team has come to an agreement on what kind of changes the new year will bring, we should be careful to not implement all of the changes at one time.  Create a priority list of what changes can be made that won’t affect the body directly (such as team structure or position changes), followed by the program changes that are most important to least.  Take each change one at a time, allowing the women to acclimate to the change before adding in a new one.

Some changes are easier than others.  If you want to stop bringing in paid speakers and use the testimonies from the women in your church at your brunches, that is an easier shift.  If you have been holding brunches every month and you want to cut out brunches entirely, that would be a little harder.  In a change like this, it may be better to begin reducing the number over time than eliminating completely.   If you want to switch from packaged bible studies to leader led expository studies, there should be a process in place before making such a shift.  A plan that includes finding these leaders, helping develop their study and teaching skills, and the over time moving from one study style to another.

What is the Point of the Change

When you begin to remove aspects of your ministry program, what are you replacing it with?  This is not necessarily about quantity of programs and offerings, but can also take into consideration quality.  Having the ability to articulate the reason behind the changes to the women of the church will help transition through the changes more effectively.  When your team members not only understand and support the changes, they are part of the changes and will help defend those changes when criticism arises.

If you are lessening the number of small groups being offered, why?  Are you attempting to reestablish more intentional groups?  Are you going to implement a new group model that focuses more on mentoring?  If you are cutting out brunches, why?  Why does it need to be cut, and what is it being replaced with?  Are fellowship events being cut out completely or simply going in a new direction that would foster closer relationships?

I wouldn’t recommend making ministry changes without being able to explain the necessity of those changes.  The Lord will not prompt you to make a change without a reason.  Laura Masoner often reminds me that the Lord isn’t going to pull you away FROM without also pointing us in the direction of what He wants us to go TO.  Change for the sake of change isn’t really justifiable.  Change for the sake of improvement will always have a defense.

 

Survey Says {Women’s Ministry Success}

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Survey Says… {Women’s Ministry Success} by Gena McCown, Co-Founder

How do we determine that our ministry efforts are successful?   From a Biblical standpoint, there are some great litmus questions we can ask:

  • Have our events been Gospel Centered?
  • Are our programs Disciple Making?
  • Have we improved Bible Literacy in our women?
  • Has there been a growth in the Prayer Life of our women?
  • Do our events/programs fit within our Mission Statement/Verse?
From a practical standpoint, some other areas that we can look at are:
  • Attendance:  has there been an increase, decline, or no change in the number of women attending?
  • Faces:  are we serving the same women repeatedly, a revolving door of new faces, or a healthy mixture of returning regulars and new faces at each event?
  • Community:  do the women of our church invite their friends and family to our events, or are we only serving the women in our church?
  • Outreach:  how many outreach opportunities have we participated in as a ministry?
  • Event Types:  which of our events have the greatest attendance versus low attendance?
  • Bible Studies/Small Groups:  have we seen an increase of new small group leaders, small group attendances, or shift into more in-depth small group materials/studies?
  • Funding:  do we have a budget deficit or surplus?

Besides reviewing these two aspects of our ministry, we can also utlize surveys to help us understand our ministry results better.  There are 2 types of surveys you can use in your ministry work to tap into the thoughts of the women you serve.

Per Event Survey:
This is a short survey presented at the end of an event where the women can provide feed back on that specific event.   Surveys like this are great for when you have a guest speaker, a retreat or workshop, etc.  It provides insight into the particulars of the event, allowing you to see what the women valued most or how the speaker resonated with the women.  A highly praised speaker is one you would invite back, if they didn’t seem to care about the decorations you know that you can skimp on that next go around, if they didn’t like the location then you don’t return, etc.  I like to include a space for comments where women can share specific thoughts about that event/speaker that are not in the questions.  There are several event surveys on the internet via sites like pinterest, women’s ministry tool box, womensministry.net, etc that have downloadable surveys available.  Or, you can write your own.
End of Year Survey:
End of Year Surveys are a great way to get a general overview of the response to your ministry work.  You can not expect your women to remember every speaker you have hosted over the course of the year.  Grading individual speakers is better suited for the per event survey (I learned this the hard way).  End of Year Surveys tend to include simple agree/disagree questions, such as:
  • WM at Church offers a wide variety of Bible Study and Small Groups.
  • WM at Church brunches are held at just the right frequency.
  • WM at Church events are well publicized and I feel informed.
These surveys also allow you to offer up an opportunity to ask more personal or opinion based questions, such as:
  • List three ways you believe WM at Church could better support our women?
  • If you are not in a small group, please share why?
  • Would you be interested in one on one discipleship/mentoring?
  • Are you interested in serving with the Women’s Ministry team?
Just as in the event survey, I do recommend leaving some space for comments and suggestions.   This is also a great opportunity to begin connecting people together by including questions about hosting a small group in your home (but not teaching), leading a small group, starting a community interest group (Christian Photographers, Sewing Groups, etc), and specifics that can connect the women to serving in the church.
You can send out the surveys in one of two ways, a good old fashioned paper survey or via one of the many (and often free) internet survey sites (such as Survey Monkey).
Why I value paper surveys:
  • They are accessible to everyone in your body, not just those who have a computer or are computer friendly.  It allows our older generations to speak their opinions.
  • They allow space to expound upon your answers in the margins.  For example, you may agree that there is a great variety of small groups but perhaps you’d  like to see more expository options available.  Paper surveys give space to make notations as you fill out the survey.
  • When someone has a paper in hand, they are more apt to complete it and return it.   Especially if they are completing the survey at the end of the event, or at the last WM event for the year.  You will see your highest return by having surveys filled out on site.
  • NEGATIVE:  You will have compile all of the data yourself, reading and counting every single survey.  The larger your ministry, the more tedious this will become.
Why I value internet surveys:
  • You do not have to be a math whiz to compile the data.  These online survey sites will often create charts/graphs with your data, thus making the review of the results easier for everyone.  You will have a great summary sheet to share with your Pastor, Minsitry Oversight Committees, and to go with your budget requests for the Financial Committee.
  • Online surveys are quick and easy and you do not need to try and interpret handwriting.  This makes the entire process easier for both sides, the person taking the survey and the person responsible for processing it.  Additionally, paper free surveys are environmentally friendly.
  • Most people will complete the survey when it shows up in their email box, but you do take the risk of the survey ending up in someone’s junk folder or buried in a slew of other emails and forgotten.  If you send out an online survey, make sure to mention it at your current event or social media sites to ensure the women know to look for the survey.
  • NEGATIVE:   The oldest generation of your church will be less likely to respond to the online survey.  There are sometimes limitations on the number of questions you can ask (if it’s a free service) or on how much they can type in the “comments” section.  Which means you may get a less in depth analysis.
My final thoughts on surveys comes to the subject of anonymity.  On the one hand, people will feel more freedom in their responses if they are allowed to remain anonymous.  On the other otherhand, anonymity can often give someone a platform for passive agressive attacks.  In other words, people are more apt to say something critical anonymously than they would if they had to say it to your face or attach their name to it.
If you choose to go anonymously, be prepared for a heavier dose of criticism.  Don’t ask questions you are not prepared to hear the answers to, or read comments that are less than helpful.  Some women will respond with their genuine concerns in this format, since many women don’t handle confrontation very well.  Especially if they are friends with the WM team members.  You will need to pray for discernment as you read the responses to determine if it is constructive criticism or destructive criticism.  You will also lose the opportunity to allow women to express interest in serving/leading as part of the survey.  Which means you would need to handle that separately.
If you choose to have the women include their name in the survey, be prepared for a lot of sunshine and roses and minimal open criticism of the ministry work.  When we have to sign our name to something, we are often more generous and graceful with our opinions.  It’s that part of women which is sensitive to the hearts of others.  We don’t want to hurt feelings or criticize someone we consider a friend.  However, this gives the women you are serving an opportunity to express their hearts.  If someone is willing to post a criticism with their name attached to it, you now have important information in your hands.  First, you know that this issue was important to the person who wrote it.  Second, you now have the opportunity to speak directly to the person about it.  This is a great opportunity to hear ideas or suggestions to improve the ministry, or at least create a conversation where you can explain to the person why the ministry made that decision or had that event.
Of course, there is also the option to let the women decide if they want to answer anonymously or not.  Even the online ones will give you the option for this choice as you set up the survey.

The End… or is it???

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At the end of the year, we reflect back on the past twelve months.  This reflection period helps us to determine what was working in our lives and what wasn’t.  We will make resolutions about our hopes for the new year.  Things we want to change.  New adventures we want to take.  Big decisions that need to be made, and small ones too.  We look to make our bodies healthier, and our minds stronger.  Some people will choose to leave a job that is not fulfilling, others will dedicate themselves to trying harder to land the next promotion.

The end of the year isn’t really the end, but rather the beginning.

The end of a chapter that leads us to the next step in our journey.  The end of a book is an opportunity to start a new adventure.  As long as we wake up on this side of heaven, there is still a place for our gifts and talents in this world.

What does this mean to Women’s Ministry?

It means that it is time for you and your team to reevaluate your ministry work, determining what events and programs stay and which should go.  But, it is also a time for self reflection.

* Are you still called to be the Women’s Ministry Leader?  (Or, other position title)

* Are you still called to serve on the Women’s Ministry Team, at all?

* Is the Lord calling you to a new ministry, or a season of rest?

There are times where we are called to step down from authority positions, but not necessarily to leave the team.  Your heart might still be dedicated to Women’s Ministry, but you are in a season that lacks the time to dedicate to the leadership position.  You can step down permanently or even select an interim leader and take a leave of absence.   However, there are times the Lord has a new place for your gifts and talents, and it may be time to leave the ministry altogether.  It is important to pray for discernment so that you know which is the path the Lord would have you take.  Keep in mind that the Lord may also call you to a season of rest.  I once had a friend tell me that the Lord won’t move you until He has somewhere for you to go.    I’ve learned that is not always the case.  Sometimes we are called into a desert period, where we have left what we knew… but we are not ready to go to the promise land yet.  The Lord may move you to a season of rest, where your priority is your direction relationship with Him; a season of growth and maturity to prepare you for the next leg in your journey.

If you have been feeling as if the Lord is moving you out of Women’s Ministry, then there are some other questions you should consider for the new year.

* Have I begun training my replacement?

* Have I made my team or Pastors’ aware of my intentions?

* Do I have people praying over me, my decision, and the ministry?

* If the Lord is calling  you to a specific ministry, have you reached out to their leadership team and expressed your interest in joining their work?

* If the Lord is calling you to a season of rest, have you prayed for clarity on what that looks like and shared this with those who will keep you accountable?

If you know in your heart that your season with Women’s Ministry is coming to a close, the greatest gift you can leave your team and church is a team that is going to function well in your absence and in the transition period.  Giving advance notice of your intention to step down, identifying and developing your replacement, and assuring your church leaders that you will be available to the new leader in an advisory role during the transition can make the process move smoothly. 

Final considerations, should you determine it is time to leave your role in the Women’s Ministry:

* How will you handle your exit?  Will you step away completely or ease out over a period of time?

* How am I going to handle team members coming to me with WM issues, now that I am not the leader?

* How will I handle members of the church coming to me with WM issues, now that I am not the leader?

Something I like to remind WM Leaders is that they leave a legacy.  Some women don’t like change, and when a new leader steps up it usually brings change along with it.  If you feel called to leave, then you have a responsibility to support the leaderWhether you choose to step away complete or ease out, make sure that you are encouraging the women you serve with (church leaders, church members) to take their concerns to the new leader and not to you.  Or, you can reassure them that all changes take time to get accustomed to and to be patient.  Being supportive of the new season allows you to leave a legacy that includes exiting with grace.

How Do you Thank Your Team?

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I am always thankful for those who serve alongside me.  When they accomplish a task or pitch in when the going gets tough, I’m always certain to say thank you at the moment.  But, I think it is also important to recognize these women in a more tangible way.

Thanksgiving is coming up and then we will be in the full swing of Christmas.  Chances are you are having some sort of women’s event with either a Thanksgiving or Christmas theme, what a perfect time to publically recognize the women who have spent the year working hard to serve the women of the church.   A small trinket, devotion book, or even a small denomination gift cards is always appreciated.

There are other ways you can show the women you serve with that you appreciate them and recognize their efforts.  You may not even realize how much it means to them to receive some of these ideas.  Prayerfully consider how you can make a point to show appreciation all year long.

  • Order your team members official name tags w/ their position (if applicable) to wear at events.
  • If ministry budget allots, pay for your team members rooms or registrations for women’s conferences.  If funds are limited, see if you can pay for a room upgrade or a special gift basket to be left in their room upon arrival.
  • Take the women out to a special brunch for fellowship and bonding, no business!  You can do this all at one time with the entire team, or one woman at a time to get to know her better.
  • Give small gifts that are personalized to each woman’s personality/gifts letting her know that you see who she is versus getting every one on the team duplicate gifts.
  • Register the team for a special leadership conference, or even hire a speaker to come in and invest in their leadership skills.  Or, plan your own leadership retreat.
  • Plan a spa retreat day, mani pedi day, or craft day for the team.
  • Write a letter to each team member sharing how much she means to you and has blessed the team with her gifts.
  • Remember her birthday or the anniversary of her serving on the team, and celebrate it with a card or flowers.
  • If you have an area where you display Women’s Ministry event information, make sure to include a list of who the team members are.
  • Pray for the women specifically, and let them know you have prayed for them by dropping a card in the mail.
  • Make sure to schedule periods of rest for the team, especially have taxing events.  Giving the gift of rest recognizes how hard they worked, as well as your appreciation for a job well done.

Team Series: Treasurer {Finances}

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Team Series:  Treasure/Finances,   By Gena McCown

Times have changed.  Churches often don’t have “treasurers” like they once did, instead they use accounting services.  Everything is automated, including budget spreadsheets.  Generally speaking, you can access the information in due time.  Quite often we pay out of our pockets and get reimbursed versus using “petty cash”.  There are many reasons to believe this role is one that could be retired.  I’m going to disagree with that entirely, for the following reasons:

  • Good Stewardship of Ministry Funds
  • Accountability
  • Checks and Balances
  • Fundraising
  • Greater Accessibility

Good Stewardship of Ministry Funds – Money minded people are generally good with money.  They are more apt to think through purchases and have long term sight into future spending needs.   If you are thinking of a making a purchase, they will weigh and measure if it’s a need or want, if the ministry has the funds or not, or if there is a better way to use the budget.  Eliminating wasteful spending is a great gift to any ministry, and we sometimes need someone who can reel us back in from our big dreams.

Accountability – When there is a person who keeps the ledger for the ministry, you tend to not have too many hands in the pot trying to get money at one time.  I’ve witnessed situations where multiple were out shopping and “picked up” little something for a ministry.  No one asked about it, just made the purchase and assumed they would be reimbursed.  Having a person who oversees that area creates a check point for purchases before they are made. 

Checks and Balances – In a church setting where funds are being deposited for multiple ministries and endeavors, all through the week., errors can happen.  A person may put a check in the offering plate to pay for the retreat, thinking the accountant will see the word “retreat” noted in the memo section and apply it accordingly.    Money may be handed to someone in the office, and it gets tossed in with the deposit without noting where it goes.  It’s important to have someone in the ministry team tracking all the deposits and withdraws from the ministry budget.  Several times throughout the year, your finance person can compare their accounting to the church account.

Fundraising – When you are the person looking at the account balance on a regular basis, fundraising is naturally going to come to mind.  You are aware of how many times you have had to say no.  It stinks having to tell one of your team members that they need to scale back their project or event.  It is even more unbearable to break the news to the team that the registration for the next women’s retreat is going to increase due to lack of funds to offset costs.   The person who fills this role will know the needs of the ministry that are not being met, the projected costs of the ideas that the team wants to add.  (Note:  In some ministries, it may be prudent to divide this particular need into a separate position.  Larger ministries especially, would benefit from a Fundraising Leader AND a treasurer.)

Greater Accessibility – During a Women’s Ministry meeting, a great idea may be put out on the table to discuss.   Do you want to wait 24+ hours to find out if their is room in the ministry budget, or would you rather have that information available on the spot?  Having a team member who keeps track of the finances will give you that access to information.   The church accountant (especially if they use an offsite service) may not be able to get back to you immediately, it could even take a few days.  A team member who handles the expenses and record keeping is merely a text away.  This is particularly vital during a time where you are planning for a large event.

How Do You Identify This Person?

  • When pitching an idea, she is usually the first one to talk about the expense.
  • She will always have researched the best possible price before she shares an idea or project.
  • This is someone who regularly presents ideas for fundraising, notices budget needs.
  • She is one who would never spend money on the ministry without checking in with the leader/team members first.
  • In her personal life, business life, she is fiscally responsible.
  • She may be an accountant, or served as a “treasurer” for other organizations, ministries, or clubs in her past.
  • Usually a Type A personality, analytical, enjoys math and “crunching numbers”.

Her Spiritual Gifts May Include:

  • Administration
  • Discernment / Wisdom / Knowledge
  • Service

Team Series: Event Planner

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Team Series: Event Planner, Gena McCown

It may surprise you that I would recommend an Event Planner as a key member of your Women’s Ministry team.  However, I believe there are a few good reasons to support this case.  If you have a smaller Women’s Ministry Team this may be a role that is absorbed by your Hospitality Leader/Coordinator.  Yet, there is merit in having a separate woman in charge of this area.

For many Women’s Ministries there are regular events on the church calendar, usually monthly or every other month.  These tend to be some sort of a fellowship event that contains a meal, speaker, and even worship.  In most cases, this is the event that your Hospitality Leader is going to coordinate.  As your ministry grows, you may begin to plan larger events.  This could be anything from inviting a nationally known speaker to a special event, planning a retreat for the women in the church, or even hosting or planning your own women’s conference.  It is in this later grouping of events where having an Event Planner on your team is going to benefit your ministry.

Large events generally take six months up to a full year to plan.  They are comprised of many details that have to be attended to.  Simple things such as decorating to the theme are at one end of the spectrum.  Planning out the food menu, arranging lodging, transportation, and the budget are at the other end of that planning spectrum.  An Event Planner is usually someone who has a lot of the same characteristics of the Hospitality Leader (attention to detail, warm and friendly, etc) but also has an equal dosing of the gift of Administration (works well under pressure, organizes well, schedule oriented, etc).

Because large events have so many facets to them, and take so long to prepare, it is beneficial to the team if there is just one or two people who focus on this area.  Perhaps your ministry is not large enough for this to be an important team role today, but it is something worth keeping in mind for the future.

In most instances the Event Planner is not making all of the decisions or doing all of the work on her own.  She will build up a team or committee of women to help her.  This is a great avenue to bring in volunteers from the body of women in your church.  Many women would love to support the Women’s Ministry but cannot commit to the monthly requirements of serving.  This provides these women an opportunity to serve toward a specific event, using their gifts and talents.

An Event Planner will be in charge of things such as:

  • Finding and securing a location for the event.  Coordinating the rental or obtaining things like tables, chairs, linens, decorations, etc.
  • Securing the speaker, and whatever requirements the speaker has for their time at the event.
  • Working with catering or volunteers from the church to coordinate the menu.
  • Scheduling the event, coordinating technical needs (television, projectors, microphones, etc).
  • Designing and procuring the printed materials for the event, registration for the event, collecting payments, etc.
  • Coordinating special touches throughout the event to make the women feel special, and to create value to the event that is equal or above what the women paid.

An Event Planner will have characteristics such as:

  • She is an event attender.  Look for women who love going to conferences, retreats, etc.  If they personally don’t enjoy them, they won’t make a good planner.
  • On a spiritual gifts test you will see that her scores are pretty even between the gifts of hospitality and administration.  She may also score high as a leader/teacher, but not always.  Some women are great about doing the work, but have no calling to be a speaker at the event.  Others are perfect behind the scenes and comfortable in front of the people.
  • She is detail oriented, scheduler, thrives under deadlines, is equally comfortable with light accounting and picking table centerpieces.
  • She is a woman who is quite content focusing on just 1 big project versus a million little ones.
  • Generally speaking she is a woman that can rally up the troops when she needs extra help.  People like working with her, she can delegate without dictating.
  • I’ve also noticed that these women already have their finger on the pulse of new speakers, authors, etc.  They may already even know some of these people personally.  They also tend to know what is happening in other Women’s Ministries in their area and beyond.

While many would argue this job could be done by the entire team, and reasonably justifying their argument… I find having one person dedicated to this job is a blessing to the ministry and also the woman doing the work.  These women tend to take such joy in serving in this manner.  Details others would consider tedious, event planners see as special touches that can “make all the difference”.

 

Team Series: Hospitality

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Team Series:  Hospitality by Gena McCown

Hospitality is probably one of the most beautiful words in the English language, especially if you are a Southern Girl.  Hospitality smells of fresh brewed coffee on the other side of an unlocked door, where the mat says “Always Welcome”.  It reminds me of a time where friends just stopped by to shoot the breeze, and inviting people into our home was a regular occurrence.  Women gathered around the kitchen table or in the livingroom, bibles open and snacking on homemade lemon bars.  Sweet Tea on the back porch as we prayed over each other.  My Great Aunt’s perfumed powder wafting across the nose of every woman she greeted with a hug as they crossed her threshold.

Hospitality is what makes us feel welcomed into a space, warm and relaxed… at home. 

There are some women who are simply PRONE to hospitality, it is their genetic code.  They will look for ways to invite people into their home.  Quick to volunteer to host a luncheon or meeting.  There will always been enough food, and drinks.  The bathroom will smell of fresh dried lavender.  There will be a chocolate mint on every pillow at the retreat center.  She lives to make people feel special, and loved. 

This woman is important to your Women’s Ministry, this is a role to be on your top priority to fill. Why?

Hospitality Leaders are:

  • Women of influence.  Typically if they go to an event, they bring and encourage others to come too.  My Pastor’s wife calls them “connectors”.
  • Genuinely are excited to see every woman who enters the room, and make it a point of meeting the new faces.
  • Generous with their homes and time.
  • Quick to organize meals for the sick, new moms, new families, etc.
  • Find joy in the details of their tasks.
  • Have vast amounts of knowledge when it comes to finding locations for events from luncheons to weekend long retreats.
  • Are usually effective event planners, or at least great on event teams.
  • They have an eye for femininity that pragmatic leaders tend to lack, but those attending our events will appreciate.

Their Role in Ministry:

  • Event Planning Leader/Team – brunches, luncheons, retreats, teas, etc.
  • Meals Ministry Leader/Team – sick, new mom, etc.
  • Welcoming Committee Leader/Team – how do we welcome new women to our church?
  • Hosting Team Meetings or planning meetings (even if they are on the team)

A note of caution, women who have the gift of hospitality are often creative types.  Which means for events like retreats, you may do best to pair them with an A type personality.  One is in charge of the schedule, finding the speakers, planning the technical side of the event; the other is responsible for the meals, special touches, speaker gifts, etc.   It is important to know your women, their gifts and strengths… as well as their weaknesses.  Occasionally you have the blessing of a woman with the gift of hospitality and administration, and she’s the gal whom you can give the whole task and trust she’ll get it done. 

Women with the gift of hospitality are also typically generous and will have beautiful ideas to make women feel special and welcomed at events.  However, these special touches can impact your event budgets.  It is important to be clear with your hospitality leader the budget she has for her tasks.  I have known many of these women who would be happy to pay out of their own pockets to make up the difference, but I do generally ask them not to.  Simply because we need to keep up a budget that all team members present and future can work with.  If she supplements her budget, out of pocket, yes the event will be magnificent… but it may be hard for a future leader who replaces her to do the same.  Encourage these women to do the best they can within the agreed budget, but don’t be surprised if they “gift” a thing or two over time.