Recently at a YOU Lead women’s leadership training, we had a panel of leaders answering questions submitted by attendees. Several past and upcoming posts address those and try to help answer them. 
   

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Today’s question: How do you get women to open up and share so that lay counselors can help? Most come to church and put on their “happy face”.

One way we get women to open up is by modeling that for them. As we share our own stories of struggles and successes they see it is okay to not be okay!  In fact, it helps them see that is normal.

When we normalize the daily ups and downs of life, other women will be more encouraged to open up about their own issues. As a leader of women, if you struggle with transparency, find out why and ask God to show you where and how to share. As you open up as a leader, more women will open up as well. If they do not see the women’s leadership as willing to share their needs, they will probably think you are perfect and that will shut down any sharing of their own imperfectness.

Here are some other ideas for helping women share their lives:
·    ASK for women to share their stories.
·    Have them tell you what God has been up to in their lives this past week.
·    Ask how you can pray for them. Often that opens the doors for sharing.
·    Help all women find a small group to be a part of. Smaller groups enable even shy women to open up and share.

How do you get women to open up so that you as a leader can discover their needs and then point them to help if necessary.

Resources:
Women Reaching Women
Women Reaching Women in Crisis
Transformed Lives

Comments

  1. We have to make it easy and comfortable for women to share by keeping our reactions in check. When a woman does share something personal we have to be careful not to look alarmed, repulsed, or skeptical. Instead we have to prayerfully keep our composure, listen compassionately and resist the urge to offer quick fixes. I think when we make snap judgments on what women share with us we communicate that their problems or issues are insignificant and easily solved, but they’ve been grappling with them and they are huge to them. We need to beware of minimizing their issues with platitudes, too. I think in the group situation it’s usually best to listen and offer prayer and support. Later, if the woman is open to it, we can offer counsel.

  2. Chris Adams says:

    Great thoughts, Kay ! Thanks for commenting.

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