Estimating the Strength of Your Women’s Ministry
Over the years women’s ministry has been stereotyped as a group of grandmothers huddles together rolling bandages for missionaries or engaged in superficial socializing. A new type of women’s ministry is emerging that can be a great tool for outreach and discipleship. Use these five standards to estimate the strength of your women’s ministry. Rate each item on a 1-5 scale: 1= nonexistent, 2= poor, 3= fair, 4=good, and 5= excellent.
Strong leader: How committed, visionary, well-trained and gifted in leadership is the director of women’s ministry?
Executive team: A church-wide women’s ministry needs a committed team. How strong and organized is the leadership team? Do they represent different life stages?
Diverse offerings: Are women’s ministry events and programs evenly targeted to the women of the entire church? (For example, singles, older adults, working moms, at-home moms, and so on.)
Vibrant attendance: How many women in your church are active in women’s ministry events?
Outreach focus: How effective is your women’s ministry in reaching women who aren’t already in your church?
If you have a cumulative score of 5 to 10, you’re grossly under-serving the women in your church and community. If your score falls between 11 to 17, consider strategizing how you can be more effective. If it’s 18 to 25, you’re realizing the fruit of ministry to women. How can you leverage this even further?
The Power of Women’s Ministry
Four years ago when Grace Church in Akron, Ohio (graceohio.org), was 7 years old, about 300 people attended the church’s north campus. The church didn’t have a women’s ministry, so Pastor Jeff Boque sent several women to receive training with Girlfriends Unlimited.
When the first event was held, 200 women from the church attended. Later the church used Girlfriends to reach out to the community and asked people to “sponsor a Girlfriend” in order to underwrite the cost of bringing attendees from homeless and battered women’s shelters. “The women from the shelters loved it because it gave them a sense of purpose,” says Bogue.
There are now 26 “G Clubs” that include quilting, hiking, Red Hat ladies, and groups that go to the county jail and disciple recovering prostitutes. Not only is the women’s ministry the church’s biggest ministry, but its success has also inspired chanced in the men’s and college ministries. Grace Church now has 1,500 attending the north campus, and it’s adopted the original mother church-total attendance is more than 2,300.
If you’re interested in launching a new women’s ministry or strengthening your existing ministry, Girlfriends Unlimited (Group) offering member churches training; step-by-step guides for big, blow-out, outreach-friendly events; monthly resources fro your leadership team on topics such as prayer, conflict resolution, and recruiting; and much more (girlfriendsunlimited.com).
Nancy Nelson is an ordained women’s minister and popular retreat speaker. She’s been a pastor’s spouse for more than 20 years, as well as a home-school mom. She and her husband and children live in Fort Collins, Colorado.
This article “Estimating the Strength of Your Women’s Ministry” by Nancy Nelson was excerpted from: REV! magazine. May/June 2008. It may be used for study & research purposes only.
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.”