I like lists! Before I go to bed I make a list of what I need to do the next day. Sometimes I take the main headings and do sub points under those headings. In the course of the day if something comes up that must be addressed that didn’t make the list; I add it just to have the joy of crossing it off again! Why do I do that? I like to be well planned.
Our Women’s Ministry must also be well planned. Regardless of the size church you are in, it is important to have a plan—or vision for your Women’s Ministry. Here are some great steps to follow that will get you going.
If you’re a women’s leader in a smaller church, you may wonder how to best plan long term. These simple steps will get you going.
1. Get a prayer team in place.
Round up those prayer warriors! Encourage women at your church to pray over your church’s ministry with women, and don’t forget your own time in prayer.
Review what your church did last year for women:
• What opportunities did you offer?
• What succeeded? What flopped?
• What unmet needs are you hearing?
• What life changes happened – salvations, commitments to ministry, rededications, other testimonies?
• What are other churches in your community doing? Have you joined them on any of those efforts?
3. Dream big!
Whether it’s just you or a handful of women’s leaders, sit down and dream about what God might do in your church this year – and don’t limit yourself by saying, "we can’t do that," or "we don’t have the money for that." Brainstorm without restraining yourself – remember that God can do all things! Ask yourself, "What would a great year of women’s ministry look like?"
• Will you offer a new women’s Bible study?
• Do you see a certain number of women being involved?
• Would you create new missions or service opportunities for women?
• Will you take a group to a women’s event or conference?
Jot down the ideas you have. In addition to those, pick others’ brains for ideas for women’s ministry. Take notes and expect God to develop a vision for the upcoming year.
4. Combine your lists and prioritize.
Once you have your past year’s evaluation and new ideas outlined, determine what’s most important in the coming year. Use prayer, common sense, and the help of others if you have it. How does God want to use women’s ministry to meet your ladies’ greatest needs? What goals do you believe God is setting for you?
Make sure each goal in your list supports your church’s overall vision. For example, offering women’s Bible studies is a natural fit with your church’s plan to disciple others. If something doesn’t fall clearly in line with what your church is working toward, seek your pastor’s counsel to make sure it wouldn’t detract from your church’s mission.
5. Determine what’s required.
Now that you’ve identified your top priorities for ministry year, what will they require in terms of …
• Time for planning and execution?
• Money for each idea’s planning, promotion, execution, and evaluation?
• People to head up each effort?
6. Begin planning.
Sit down with any other key ladies in your church, and bring your church and local school calendars to your meeting to begin plotting the timetable for various activities. Pencil in your time- and season-sensitive events first. For the items that remain, get feedback from others. Some ministry items can have softer dates because ideas are still being explored or there’s not designated leadership in an area yet.
If there’s no leadership or you know you don’t have the resources for a certain aspect of ministry, pray and consider waiting until next year. It’s OK not to have everything start all at once; in fact, God may have a more staggered approach in mind for your church so He can work even more effectively.
7. Implement the Plan.
With God’s help, you’re ready for the upcoming year in women’s ministry. Whether God has give you a "big vision" for one ministry program or a broader array of efforts, each goal is your opportunity to bring Him glory through women’s ministry. As always, let Him work through you – you may be surprised at what He will accomplish!
Additional Women’s Ministry Resources: Transformed Lives