The CAKE Test: Evaluating Your Women’s Ministry


When it comes to ministry with women in your church, how do you decide what is working and what is not? Do you even evaluate your ministry at all? If not, how do you know if women are experiencing life change?

No matter how long we lead a ministry, we will never do it perfectly. But if we do not ask the right questions, we may wake one morning to find NO women are involved at all in ministry that is supposed to encourage spiritual growth.

At a recent meeting of women’s leaders, pastor’s wife and women’s ministry leader Elizabeth Luter of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans shared a strategy she and her team use to evaluate ministry called CAKE (change, add, keep, and evict). Once they put everything they have done and are currently doing for women on a whiteboard, they evaluate each one for effectiveness. They also talk about gaps in ministry that they see.

Then they decide what steps to take for each ministry following the CAKE process:


Is this ministry still valuable but just needs to be tweaked or even drastically changed to make it more effective?


Is there a ministry that is missing that needs to be added to touch more women?


Is this a ministry that needs to be kept as it touches women and leads women to spiritual transformation?


Or is this something we need to evict, stop, no longer waste valuable time and efforts on?

These are great questions to ask periodically so that your ministry stays fresh and relevant. This type of evaluation also guides you as a leader to see where God is at work or if He is leading you in a different direction to reach women.

I recently read a three-part blog post from Gifted for Leadership called Raising Up Women for Ministry Leadership: Tales from the Trenches by Natasha Benevides. She had the role of evaluating a leadership team that was battling for internal control and crippling their ability to produce fruit for the Kingdom. It was her responsibility to guide them to a more kingdom-focused ministry. Again, she had to evaluate what had been, what was, and what God wanted for the future. Read all three posts to see how she worked through this process.

Remember that ministry that works today will not necessarily be relevant tomorrow, especially in our world of continuous and disruptive change. Although we never change the biblical principles that are foundational to ministry, we need to continually monitor current fruit or adjust the ministry so that future fruit is possible.

How do you evaluate your women’s ministry? What do you learn when you practice evaluation?


  1. says

    Great idea and resource – this is going into my files!. :)

    Too many women’s ministries are fearful of embracing change for fear of losing their core group of women… now to figure out the best way to assess what is effective…. IMHO numbers aren’t always a reflection of effectiveness…

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