By Ashley Allen
Whether you are just beginning a women’s ministry or are in the throes of a thriving and growing women’s ministry, evaluation is an important and necessary part of the process. A good leader and leadership team should be in a constant mode of evaluation. While evaluation is often thought of an action that should take place only at the end of an event or ministry year, it is a process that should be engaged in throughout the year.
Part of this process includes asking some hard questions of what is currently taking place within the women’s ministry of your local church. Here are ten hard questions that your women’s ministry leadership team should ask as part of the on-going evaluation process:
- Who are we trying to reach?Are you trying to reach all the women of your church – older and younger alike? Or is your ministry specifically targeted to a certain age demographic?
- Who is actually being reached?While you might be attempting to target a certain demographic, you might actually being reaching someone else. You need to give an honest eye toward your women’s ministry in this regard.
- Who is absent and why are they absent?Have you noticed the single women in your church don’t seem involved in women’s ministry events? Or is it the older ladies who are not present? Maybe the young moms with children? Who is not attending? The best way to determine why this segment of the female population of your church’s women is absent is to chat with a few ladies from this demographic and ask them why they don’t attend. Nine times out of ten they will give you the real reason. Listen to why they don’t attend and adjust accordingly.
- How has our audience changed?The make-up of our churches is constantly changing. New faces and families change our audience for ministry. This is definitely something to consider as you plan for women’s ministry. Additionally, the audience or community surrounding the church is also continually in flux. The women’s ministry should extend beyond the four walls of the church. Therefore it is necessary to keep an observant eye toward the community and how the women’s ministry needs to adjust to be on mission among the community.
- What are the greatest needs of our audience – both within the church and outside the church?One of the best ways to determine needs is to ask the women of your church.
- What are current barriers to ministry and how can they be removed?We often think of barriers as difficult things that require an excessive amount of work to remove. At times this is the case; but, not always. Some of the barriers to ministry might be the things that are keeping a certain demographic of women from participating in women’s ministry events. These might include a lack of childcare for young moms with children; a lack of topic relevant to the lives of single women; or lack of transportation for senior adult ladies. Each of these are barriers that can be removed with some tweaking.
- What are our greatest strengths and weakness?A women’s ministry leadership team should ask, “What are we doing really well and where can we improve?” You might find the same answer to both parts of the question!
- What are greatest opportunities and threats?Identifying opportunities for growth is part of developing the strategy for your women’s ministry. Where are the areas of growth within your church? What about the areas outside of your church? But, what are some threats to these opportunities within and outside of the church?
- In what areas do we need to change?It is often said that it is only older adults who don’t like change. That’s not true. As a young adult, I can honestly type that I’m not a fan of change and I know several young adults who aren’t either. We get used to the familiar – no matter our life stage or age. However, change is often necessary and it is crucial to ministry effectiveness to identify needed areas of change.
- Are we willing to follow the Lord’s leadership in change, even if it hurts?Of all of the questions provided here, this is probably the hardest to answer. But, it is a matter of obedience. If the Lord is showing us that we need to change something, we need to be obedient and do so. We need to remember that the women’s ministry we are a part of is not our own – it is His and He has the best plan for His ministry.
The above article, “Asking Hard Questions in Women’s Ministry” was written by Ashley Allen. The article was excerpted from www.worthyofthecalling.org web site. July 2016.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”