I am often asked how events are or are not working in bringing women into transformational change. You will be blessed by this post by my friend, Dr. Deb Douglas, Minister to Women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA . She asks us to take a good look at our events and re-evaluate our efforts.
My office is a jumble of Bibles, study books, notepads, sweet notes, pictures of my sweet grandbaby, mementos, and to be honest a lot of junk. As I was searching for just the right stationary for a letter, I noticed a worn and dirty softball hidden behind a stack of books. Seeing it softened my heart and brought back wonderful memories of walking a 5-mile trek around the softball fields with my Dad shortly before he died. As we walked, we talked about life and the things that were most important to him. Sweet memories.
As I stood tossing the ball in my hand, I thought back to the other moments that I hold dear in my memory. It has not been the lavish, big moments that mean the most. It’s the tender little moments, the warm and cozy moments of authentic heart sharing that leave the longest impression.
In Women’s Ministry, it is easy to get carried away trying to make a big splash. We worry about making an event big and flashy, perfect and unique. We spend a lot of money, time, and resources getting these big moments together. But most often, it’s the little moments that women will remember the most. Like the note that is sent when they are going through a hard time with a verse included. Or stopping to pray with them in Wal-Mart. Or feeling comfortable and welcome because they were met at the door with a hug. Or the time you dressed down to teach. Or the time you shared your heart openly and honestly about your past.
Relaxed, comfortable gatherings are the events that women will remember. Events where the Scriptures are revealed in clear plain language and women are able to ask questions without embarrassment that will make the most long-term impact. These events are usually characterized by a sweet combination of laughter and tears.
Here’s a little a reality check:
- Big, extravagant events with a lot of elaborate decorations can frighten people unaccustomed to events.
- Most people will not remember what anyone wore, what the decorations were, or what door prizes were given out. They will remember wise words concisely spoken. They will remember women who invest in them.
- Lives are not transformed by decorations! My rule: decorating should take less time than the actual event!
- Shorter events make a big impact! My rule: keep it down to 1 to 1 ½ hours.
- Being conscious of the use of resources is a living example of what being a good steward is! Be green! Recycle, reuse, recreate items for decorating. Avoid using expensive disposable goods.
- Try having a series of small informal gatherings rather than one big event.
There is a time and place for everything, but every event does not have to be the best yet! Focus on loving women as Christ loved them, not on impressing them! Relax and enjoy serving! Make some sweet little memories that will change lives!
Dr. Deb Douglas, is the Minister to Women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA as well as Minister of Hope (a cancer ministry) and serves as one of our LifeWay Ministry Multipliers. Deb launched her first women’s Bible study at the age of 20. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is the Minister to Women at FBC Bossier City and a conference/retreat speaker, strategic planning consultant, freelance writer and contributed to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level. Deb graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts in Christian Education/Women’s Ministry and a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from NOBTS. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, mother-in-law to Emily and grandmother to Caroline. Deb loves simple ministry that allows God’s Word to speak in big ways!