Today’s guest blogger is Judith Graham, women’s ministry director, Frisco Bible Church, Frisco, TX. She shares from her experience 5 important lessons that can help us as women’s ministry leaders to effectively lead the women in our churches to know and grow in Christ.
As a Women’s Director for five years, my blessings greatly abounded. God allowed me to use the gifts, passion, and education He has given me as I led small groups, disciple and counsel women, speak at large events, and teach weekly Bible studies. Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) prepared me for much of this by equipping me with a solid theological base; showing me how to teach effectively; refining me through Spiritual Formation; and the personal investment of the professors. I could share endlessly about all I have learned through DTS and my own ministry, but here are a few crucial lessons for successful women’s ministry.
- No Lone Rangers. Leading women involves our need for volunteers. I struggle to ask for help, especially as I am paid to minister, but a leader cannot be a lone ranger! You and I may be quite capable, but the church was not designed for us to be lone rangers. Eventually, you will burn out if you do too much. Do what only you can do, and let others do the rest. My main job is to invest in my women leaders as a resource, a counselor, and equipper. Your ministry will be most successful by sharing the load and allowing other women to work alongside you. Experiencing such ownership makes women feel more connected and integral to the body of Christ, and brings personal fulfillment when they use their gifts to serve the Lord and others. Seeing the body of Christ in action, with its variegated gifts and personalities, testifies the greatness of our God to the world!
- Partner with Others. Get to know other women’s directors in your area. If you find a women’s ministry association in your area, join it! Discussing relevant topics and relating with others who face similar issues fills a deep relational need. You will also gain new perspectives and ideas on how to deal with various issues. If your church has a tight budget, planning events together can expand your options for speakers and venues. Also, larger churches may have special events that your church women can attend together.
- Be Authentic. One conviction God has laid on my heart is to lead with authenticity. As leaders, we need to be wise in how often, when, and in what manner we are vulnerable. While I would never choose depression, I can honestly say that I rejoice in having experienced it through an eight-year journey. A great number of people, especially women, struggle with depression. Sadly, a negative view of Christians going through depression persists. Too many women do not feel safe to reveal their weaknesses and struggles. How else do we expect people to heal and grow if they cannot share their struggles and pain? I cannot tell you the joy of having women feel safe and free to share with me their deepest hurts and struggles, and then watch them grow and flourish as they trust the Lord and the church more deeply. God has used my journey with Him through sorrow to help other women go through their own painful times.
- Promote Staff Unity. The Lord has given me many lessons about working with ministry staff. It may appear obvious, but every ministry of the church should unify under and support the church’s vision. As leaders, you have great influence to promote unity as you make decisions regarding programs and consider how they fit within the vision of the church. Being unified in vision also means being unified as a staff ministry team, and keeping up with what is going on in every ministry. You can promote and answer questions about other ministries’ events, as well as partner together to prevent overlap or conflicting events. At DTS, I took a wonderful course on being a woman in leadership, which addressed how to partner well with your brothers in ministry. You may have noticed that men and women don’t always understand each other! While it may be challenging to interact with one another, God’s great design is for men and women to reflect His image as we work together.
- Depend on God. If you lead women’s ministry, God has called you to an exciting, challenging task. If you have ever felt inadequate for the task, praise God! You are right where He wants you. On paper, I have every reason to feel adequate. I grew up in a Christian home, and have walked faithfully with the Lord for twenty-four years. I have led multiple small groups, Bible studies, and spent over a year in missions. I have a ThM from DTS, and I am in the final year of my DMin/CE. It seems crazy that I feel inadequate, but I know that apart from God, I can do nothing worthwhile!
Let us remain humbly dependent on Him to work in and through us to accomplish His work. Let us share the joys and work of ministry with our church women! Let us be unified with the leaders who share this great task. In doing so, God will be glorified, and we will know that our ministry is a success.
Judith Graham has served in ministry her whole life as a speaker, writer, teacher, discipler, missionary, and Bible study leader. She was blessed with a Women’s Ministry position for almost five years. She recently graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with her Doctorate of Ministry. Judith and her husband celebrated nine years of blessed marriage, and her husband shares her passion for caring for God’s people and teaching God’s word to equip and set people free. You can follow her at www.judithagraham.wordpress.com.