By Gail Marsh
Eager to watch the year 2020 recede in the rearview mirror? You are not alone! The COVID-19 pandemic has radically affected women’s ministry this year. But watch out, 2021! We’re no longer stymied by a virus. Get ready to see some robust women’s ministry!
Wondering about Bible studies? Your church may already use a livestreaming platform for Sunday worship. If possible, plan to use that same platform for your women’s studies and discussion groups if your area is experiencing a virus spike. Begin by training volunteer study leaders with how to use the designated platform. Be on hand to answer questions, especially at first. Once trained, encourage these leaders to help their group members sign on and learn how to use the various streaming features. Make sure that women without access to a computer can fully participate via phone line. Send written instructions to them ahead of time and practice for success.
If you plan to meet in person as a ministry group, make sure you know your local health guidelines. Clearly designate seating with social distancing and enforce it. Rethink snacks. It may not be safe for participants to choose a snack from a table full of treats. Ask gals to bring their own snacks and coffee or to forego snacks altogether. You may have to suspend childcare at this time, as well. It’s difficult, especially for small children to self-distance or wear masks. Consider rescheduling your get-togethers for a time when other family members can give support (for example, later in the evening when young children are in bed; weekend meetings when a spouse can watch the children). Remember that some women will not feel comfortable meeting in person, no matter what precautions are in place. Respect their decision and help them log onto a livestream of your Bible study or participate via phone. Do all you can to support relationships among all members within your women’s ministry.
In addition, you may want to try these:
- Send daily email blasts that offer encouragement and perhaps a Bible verse to memorize.
- Suggest a favorite Bible app; encourage personal Bible reading and journaling.
- Develop a prayer partner ministry (via email, text, or phone).
- Provide creative projects, recipe ideas, and activities for moms at home with kids.
- Livestream a volunteer reading a story to preschoolers each day to give moms a break.
- Share a playlist of encouraging Christian hymns or music from Spotify or another streaming music service. Invite gals to pass it to their neighbors and extended family.
- Conduct leadership meetings virtually.
- Send daily Instagram messages of hope.
- Organize a “Tailgate Tuesday” where women set up lawn chairs in the church parking lot (socially distanced) to talk and pray together.
- Begin a hashtag on Twitter and ask women to participate by sharing their faith stories (#myfaithstory).
COVID-19 has forced all of us to think outside the ministry box, but the focal point remains the same as always. It’s all about Jesus. He will help your programs succeed in 2021. Just watch!
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Editor’s note: COVID-19 has forced all of us to think outside the ministry box, but the focal point remains the same as always. It's all about Jesus. He will help your programs succeed in 2021. Just watch!