I am very much called to women's ministry. But I always was a little stand-offish of it because I didn't like what I was seeing. I was always told women's ministry was the only place I could serve, though the Holy Spirit wasn't telling me that. But in a small church in Washington state, I found my passion again for women's ministry.
In a normal Women's Ministry you have...
Bible Studies, Christmas Teas, and knitting parties.
You have conferences and food... lots of food.
To me women's ministry seems to cater just to the ladies there at the church. The outreach in the local women's ministry is very minimal and perhaps nonexistent. We may make sure the public is invited to the Christmas Tea and we tell the attendee's to invite a friend but very few times do we reach.
And I want you to know that Women's Ministry is not about tea parties.
Women's ministry is about empowering women to know the Word and speak truth into the people around them. This is why small group Bible Studies are essential to a healthy women's ministry. But so many times we go to Bible Study and we absorb and we grow so much but we hold on to it for ourselves. Very rarely do women go out of the small group and engage in conversation with their co-worker, family members, neighbors. It is because so many times Bible Study has become "me time" and that is how we are advertising it. Even though "me time" is very important, the Gospel being shared is even more important. We need to come out of Bible Studies with a purpose and passion for not just knowing the Word but living and showing it to a broken world. Jesus is meant to be shared not hoarded.
I believe a thriving women's ministry needs to have an active outreach program. For example, the women's ministry can partner with the local women's abuse shelter and aid these ladies into having a home (church) after the shelter. Bring a weekly bible study there to them. Do monthly care kits for the ladies. Serve them as Christ served us. Partner with the local prisons to bring the Word to those ladies as well and help in the mentor program for juvenile's. Make a monthly trip to the strip club. Yes, you read that right. One time, a small group of ladies and I went to a strip club because Jesus put it on my heart to take strippers valentines day gifts. He wanted them to know He loved them too. And they came and sit with us on their breaks and we got to share a little bit about Jesus and three of them ended up being baptized and leaving their current lifestyle. But the point of this section is for the women's ministry to leave the comfort of the church walls. To go beyond just serving Christians. But to go witness and serve the community. "See a need, Fill a need!"
Prayer is also essential for the women's ministry. You have to discuss and know where Jesus wants you to go. I will never forget how I was praying for where Jesus wanted New Hope Community Church's women's ministry to reach to. And as clear as day He said, "abuse shelter". But it happened because prayer is key in communicating with the King. The women's ministry leaders should be praying and talking with each other but what comes out of prayer too! But we should also be praying for the ladies and taking prayer requests like crazy. Now, tread carefully here. Prayer requests are not to be the gossip column. Make sure that prayers requests are taken but yet no one gets hurt. If it is to personal or to "gossipy" perhaps only a leader should see it and pray with that person.
Take care of the ladies of the church. Make sure that if there is a baby born then there are ladies that are signed up to take meals for them for a while. A new baby is an adjustment. If a lady had surgery or her husband or child had surgery take the time to also serve her. These are just examples and I could go on and on about suggestions on how to keep the congregation ladies healthy. But we must also keep them spiritually healthy. If you see a sister on Facebook and her status is screaming that she is in a tough spot, take the woman some coffee and go talk with her. See what you can do. Make yourself available. It is okay to cater to the church ladies it just is not okay to cater to just the church ladies. HAVE SOME FUN! Plan a night of bowling and going out as a big group to eat! :) Be social and out there! It is okay to laugh!
Women's ministry is essential to the church. You see churches having a children's and youth program but if they let program's go it is usually the women's and the men's groups. But if we are not hitting the family full circle no matter what size the family is... we are not ministering as effectively as we should be. You see the youth will realize they have no place to go to once they graduate high school. Or they may even be so mature to realize the church doesn't have a place for mom and dad except on Sunday morning.
The key to a healthy women's ministry is to have a good team of ladies that are leading it.
Women's Ministry is about teamwork! When a group of ladies gather around a table and "plan" event's and such it is amazing how many different spiritual gifts the Father will bring to that table.
Women's ministry is not just about tea parties and cookies. It is about drastically investing in the lives of women so they will know Jesus loves them.