By Gail Marsh
You put a lot of time and effort into planning a great women’s event. You urged current members to invite a friend. Yet, as you look around the meeting room, you see not one new face. Not one! I know you love the faithful group of women who dutifully show up for every event, every time. It’s just that you know there are others out there who need Jesus, too! So, where are they? And what’s it going to take to get some new gals to join?
Perhaps it’s time to take a close look at some possible roadblocks—reasons why women are not joining your women’s ministry group. Think about the following. Pray about these roadblocks and ask the Holy Spirit to help you and your group overcome them.
- Day and time. When are meetings and events scheduled? If women work outside their homes (and most do) do the days and times allow them to participate? Think about scheduling on Saturday mornings or weeknights to boost attendance. Do you provide childcare so young moms can attend? Can you provide rides for those who need them?
- Same ol’ thing. Has your women’s ministry agenda gotten stuck? Do you automatically “do” a fall bazaar because the church has always done it? Take a critical look at your yearly scheduled meetings and events. Do some need updating to attract newcomers? Should some events be eliminated or replaced with something totally new and different?
- Shallow waters. Have your Bible studies become ho-hum rather than challenging? Maybe it’s time to wade deeper into Scripture. Make it personal. More thought-provoking. What if a Bible study inspired women to take action—real action in their own lives or in the lives of people around them. Wouldn’t that be great!
- You’re welcome. How do women in your group interact? Are there cliques? Does gossip precede each meeting? Does judgment reign supreme? These are definite turn offs to a first-time attendee. If she isn’t happily welcomed into a group and made to feel safe no matter her age, race, financial or marital status, and where she currently stands on her walk with Jesus, she will not return. Explain this to the current members in your group. Talk about ways to sincerely welcome new people and include them in conversation, and then put your ideas into practice.
- Communicate. This should be a top priority for women’s ministry leaders. Take a look at how you currently tell women about upcoming events. Think about advertising on all kinds of social media platforms, in addition to church bulletins. Supply current members with printed fliers that they can pass along to family members, friends, and neighbors. Make signing up for events and Bible studies as easy as possible.
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it: pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes so that you’ll recognize and address the roadblocks that prevent new members from attending and joining. Ask him to open your mind to new ways of doing things. Ask the Spirit to open the mouths of members so they will invite new people to come. Finally, ask the Holy Spirit to prepare the hearts of women who are invited.
How is your women’s group attracting newcomers this fall?
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