Now that you’re thinking about the next semester in your women’s ministry, let’s not forget one of the most crucial elements: what your ladies want and need! Plan strategically, setting goals for where your leadership is trying to take women, but don’t operate in isolation. You could plan some terrific things, but if you’re not in touch with what women are looking for, you may not get good results. As you seek the Lord’s guidance, ask Him to open your eyes to the needs of the women in your church and community.
Here are some simple ways to solicit feedback, get women plugged in, and help them grow spiritually:
Aren’t sure what your ladies need? Just ask! A survey or Saturday brunch would be a great, informal way to find out what women’s needs are. As you get feedback, plan to offer ministry efforts to meet the identified needs.
Give women opportunities to build meaningful relationships with one another, but most importantly, with the Lord. If you have a fall retreat, be sure the purpose is much more than fun and fellowship- teach the women something they don’t already know.
Always stretch and reach for new heights! Provide opportunities for women to grow in all aspects of their spiritual lives. Encourage them to make the necessary changes in priorities to help them find their God-given passion and purpose.
Using Special Events in Your Planning
Once you have a general idea of where your ministry needs to go, you’re now faced with the challenge of putting feet to your plans. One great way to get women hooked in during the ministry year is to use special events. Here are just a few ideas for your fall kick-off and other special events where you can introduce women to the ministry of your church. See these ideas from Debbie Stuart, Director of Women’s Ministry at Prestonwood Baptist Church, Dallas, TX.
1. Friday Night Friendship Connection
Help assimilate new members and build relationships with regular fellowships (you determine the frequency). These evenings dedicated to women are a perfect opportunity for ladies to invite neighbors, friends from work, or others who may not know Christ or who may not be churched. Plan something fun, and use creative icebreakers to help ladies get to know one another.
2. Common Grounds Café
This special event theme can be used for any kind of evangelism training. The idea is to teach women how to find "common grounds" with others to share Christ effectively and naturally. You may want to employ parts of a study (or use it as a kick-off to a full-fledged study on sharing your faith) such as Share Jesus Without Fear or something similar. And naturally, you’ll want to serve flavored coffee and dessert at the event!
3. "If The Shoe Fits …" Ladies Retreat
For your fall retreat, center your weekend around improving women’s "walks" with the Lord. Use the time to teach women a few basic Bible study techniques, and ask various leaders to speak to the different spiritual disciplines that will improve their relationships with Jesus. No matter whether you use these themes or other creative ideas for your fall plans, the very best place to get ideas is the Lord! Remember to keep seeking Him as you plan – not just the big picture, but down to the tiniest detail. He has the best thoughts about ministry to women.
For more help with women’s ministry see these resources:
Women Reaching Women