I recently visited with a women’s ministry leader who shared a concern with me and asked for some advice. Maybe as a leader you too have faced this type of leadership issue with a Bible study leader or other team member.
Here was the issue: “This morning, I got an email from one of the women who has been facilitating Beth Moore Bible studies. June is one of the women God has used me to help raise up to facilitate women’s Bible studies to in our church. She stated to me that she has the upcoming year of Beth Moore Bible studies all planned. I then emailed her back reminding her she has good ideas and how the team will discuss her ideas and suggestions at our next meeting. I got a second email back and she said, "I will be doing them with others or by herself." OUCH! What advice can you give me?”
I wonder about who all has been included in vision casting for the ministry? If the small group Bible study leaders were not, they may not understand the purpose and direction for leading the women. Sometimes women go to Bible study, year after year, without much transformation and very little giving back, serving, or leading coming from the attendees. Perhaps if you meet with your women’s small groups leaders to pour into them, let them share their hearts with you, and have them share why they lead the groups they lead, that might begin to get them to think about how the participants are or are not growing. It will also help them connect with each other and the other women’s ministry team members.
One thing we always want to do is see where the hearts of women are, where their passions and gifts are, and match those with ministry. We must also connect that with the purpose of the church and the purpose of women’s ministry which should directly support the purpose of the church.
You might also think about how your church as a whole does leadership–how do others serve in the structure of the church? How does the pastor fit into the direction for all leadership? Does he provide direction at all?
Just talking with the small group leaders like this Bible study leader and getting her into the conversation might help. Otherwise she may just think you decide what will happen regarding Bible study and tell her what to do. Perhaps even asking her to come share with your team why she has chosen what she has chosen to teach, pray with her about it as a team, ask her how she will help develop leaders out of this group, and how to include even more women in Bible study, will help her feel needed and that God is using her to help others understand scripture.
If none of this works, there may be a different type of underlying issue. Continue praying as a team on how to encourage all your leaders at the same time making sure the right ones are in place.