By Kristin Schultz
Monthly women’s ministry meetings are great opportunities for women and leaders to connect and be in fellowship with one another. These meetings are chances for women of all ages in all phases of life to come together and be encouraged.
If your church has been hosting monthly women’s ministry meetings for years, though, you may find yourself wondering if the meetings are effective. Are they accomplishing the goals of fellowship and spiritual growth? Do women find the meetings valuable or are they attending out of obligation? Is it time to shake things up and rethink your monthly women’s ministry meetings?
If you answered yes, keep reading! We’re going to look at how a women’s ministry agenda could be structured and how certain parts of the meeting could be updated to meet the needs of today’s Christian woman.
Taking a Closer Look
As you look to make your monthly women’s ministry meetings as effective as possible, ask yourself these questions:
- Is the day and time of the meeting convenient for most of the participants?
- Do women know when and where the meetings are?
- Do I know the most common reason or reasons that women do and don’t attend?
- Is there a system to greet and welcome new participants?
- Do the food and beverage options meet the dietary preferences and needs of the participants?
- How do the meetings help the women grow in their faith?
- How do the women feel or stay connected between meetings?
From arranging childcare to making sure there are vegan or gluten-free snack options to ensuring all attendees feel included, making an honest assessment of your current meeting structure is an essential first step to hosting meaningful meetings.
Organizing the Meeting
Once you’ve identified areas of improvement or congratulated yourself for having a warm and welcoming space for women, it’s time to look at how to spend that precious time. How you structure your monthly women’s ministry agenda will depend largely on the women who attend. For example, some ministry groups prefer to get down to business first and then linger over snacks and conversation after a Bible study. Other groups have members that come straight from work and need a few moments at the beginning to grab a snack, a cup of tea, and talk about their days.
No matter how you set up your meetings, all monthly women’s ministry agendas should have the following components:
- Fellowship and refreshments
- Time in God’s Word
- Service or stewardship
- Ways to stay connected between meetings
Fellowship and Refreshments
For some women’s ministry groups, fellowship comes naturally. Women have known each other for years and raised their kids together. For other women’s groups, the participants may not have decades of familial or social history and may need some help connecting. If you see that women are having a hard time connecting with each other or that cliquish groups are forming, consider providing discussion starters or simple, nonthreatening icebreakers.
When it comes to snacks and drinks, it’s important to consider everyone. While you may not be able to meet everyone’s dietary preferences, try to keep snacks somewhat healthy and offer water as a beverage option for those avoiding sugar or sweet drinks.
Time in God’s Word
A monthly women’s ministry agenda that doesn’t involve God’s Word is just a social club! With all that is going on in the world and all the challenges women face, it is so important that we are rooted in God’s grace for us in Jesus.
You may decide to include a 30- or 45-minute Bible study in your meeting. You may also determine that something shorter would be better. Be creative! Often times you can take a women’s retreat and break up the Bible study sessions over months, doing one session per meeting. People are drawn to consistency and themes so sticking with one topic for a few meetings helps women stay engaged.
Service or Stewardship
We are called to love others as Christ loves us! Choose a charity to donate to, collect loose change for that organization, and include time in your women’s ministry agenda each month to collect donations. Or decide to spend one of your meetings serving in the community.
Service and stewardship can be as simple or as complex as your group wants it to be. The key is to choose a project or organization that speaks to the women.
Staying Connected between Meetings
While your monthly women’s ministry meeting may do a great job of lifting up women for an hour or two, we need encouragement and prayer every day! Work with the women in your ministry to determine the best ways to stay connected. Maybe they want to be on a group text or start a Facebook group. Perhaps they prefer weekly prayer-request emails.
If you choose to do a series of Bible studies, consider setting aside time in your women’s ministry agenda to send each woman home with a physical reminder or token of what you studied to remind them of God’s love and care for them until you meet again.
We all know women’s ministry has changed quite a bit over the years because women’s lives have changed. We have the tremendous opportunity to minister to and provide a space for women so they know that no matter what they are facing, God is with them. Thinking through your women’s ministry agenda is a great step toward a vibrant, meaningful ministry.
Ready to get started? CTA offers a variety of Women's Small Group Study Guides you may find helpful.
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