This article could begin with some profound quote about change and images of clouds parting to reveal the bright sunshine of life. But let’s skip that and get right to the truth: change is hard. No colorful words or Instagram uploads are going to change that.
If you’re a women’s ministry leader, change is especially difficult. You pour your heart and soul into retreats, luncheons, and Bible studies. You do your very best to bring the love of Jesus to each and every woman at your church. But if you and your programs aren’t evolving, you may find more frustration than success in women’s ministry.
The world we live in is constantly changing and so are the women you serve. But thanks be to God that his Word stands firm no matter what changes may come our way! Relying on him to direct our path, we can take these changes in stride and continue to serve women in his name.
Take a look at this three-step process. Whether you’ve been the women’s ministry leader for 30 years or 30 days, you can use these steps to adapt to changes and grow your ministry.
- First, analyze the unique characteristics of your women’s group to be sure your ministry is truly serving the women at your church.
- Second, develop realistic strategies to reach these women and help meet their needs.
- Third, aim to minimize stress while handling change.
- What are the unique characteristics of the women in your ministry?
Gone are the days when all women mirrored June Cleaver. Your women’s ministry group is diverse. You’re likely to have single women, divorced women, women with children, women without children, widows, retirees, businesswomen, and several other types of women in your group. Each of these women brings a unique outlook to the group and has her own expectations regarding women’s ministry.
How can you keep up with this ever-evolving group of women? Start with a survey. Put together a questionnaire on paper or build an online survey at SurveyMonkey. Ask about their individual needs and expectations. Ask about their work status, home status, and schedules. Get to know what matters most to them. And don’t stop there—repeat the survey yearly or as frequently as you see fit. If you know more about the women in your ministry, you’ll be able to focus your efforts and become a more successful leader.
- What strategies will help you reach the women in your group?
After surveying the women, you will know what they hope to get out of a women’s ministry program. The question now becomes, how are you going to provide it?
Let’s start with programming choices. Your group brings together several different personalities, so a one-size-fits-all approach cannot be successful. Be realistic and consider how a few specially designed offerings, some of them perhaps online, can meet the needs of multiple women in your group:
- A one-day conference that teaches women ways to integrate their faith into their profession. This event could serve any woman who works—single or married, with or without kids.
- A multi-generational retreat that provides women a chance to connect through sharing faith stories. This event could uplift any woman and could be especially meaningful if daughters, moms, and grandmas attended together.
- A mid-morning Bible study with childcare available. The Bible study could be focused on the issues facing stay-at-home moms, while retired women could provide the childcare. At the end of the session, bring both groups together for coffee and fellowship.
Aim to schedule at least one event per month that directly addresses each of your subgroups. Keeping a healthy dose of variety in your programming will attract new women to your ministry and keep your regular members coming back for more.
- How can you minimize stress while handling change?
Don’t forget that you are a key part of the equation in women’s ministry! If changes throw you off track, your whole program is at risk. Use these tips to become the steadfast women’s ministry leader that God intended.
- Create a women’s ministry team. Recruit volunteers. Ask for help. Turn to the church staff and pastor. Invite prayers from the congregation.
- Know your boundaries. Pray to God for the wisdom to know when to push and when to let go.
- Pay special attention to your own role as a woman of God. When you feel overcome by the rigors of running a ministry program, take a step back to recharge. It is not wrong to let your family and your personal needs trump your role as a women’s ministry leader.
- Rest in God’s Word and pray about change. Trust that he is guiding all of your ways.
May the Holy Spirit bless your women’s ministry and all of the changes you see!
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