Ladies Ministry

Ladies Ministry
By Charles Arn

Why are some adult programs boring, lifeless, and unattractive to outsiders, while others are lively, invigorating, and seemingly magnetic? Church-growth research points to several common denominators found in flourishing adult ministries.

Here are five of the those important characteristics:

A mission beyond the church.

Effective adult programs have a sense of purpose that clearly includes reaching out to those not yet part of the Christian community. Leaders of growing adult groups clearly communicate to their members the centrality of Christ’s command to make disciples.

That does not mean every activity is explicitly evangelistic; these groups have wonderful social events, special outings, study groups, and more. But the activities of effective adult ministries are considered means to an end, not ends in themselves. The end, or goal, is to model and share Christian love, not only among those in the group but also with those who have yet to experience it.

– A focus on relational webs. The method of outreach by which the church has grown since the first century is also practiced by effective adult groups today. ft is the process of household evangelismreaching out to one’s friends, relatives, and associates.

Growing adult groups regularly invite and involve people from these existing webs of relationships. They plan special events specifically designed to aid members in inviting friends and family, and the church intentionally sets up programs to encourage this natural and most effective means of bringing others to faith.

– Intentional assimilation of newcomers. Every adult group has a tendency to become closed off to visitors and outsiders. Once a group has been together for over two years, the history and traditions of that group make it difficult for a newcomer to break in.

The adult groups that see a high percentage of visitors become active participants intentionally open their arms to newcomers by involving visitors in conversations and activities. People also do personal

Here are five of the those important characteristics:

– Follow-up on their guests, perhaps inviting a newcomer to join them for lunch during the week or dinner at home. The group’s overarching sense of mission makes extending a warm welcome to newcomers an important priority.

– Regular new-group start-ups. Growing adult groups have discovered a simple but powerful formula for success: New groups = new growth. One tone group simply can’t minister to the variety of adults in a particular church and community, with their different ages, marital statuses, interests, lifestyles, needs, and time constraints. Churches with effective adult programs continually start new groups based on common interests, common needs, and common goals as they arise. New groups form as soon as people agree on when they can meet, what they want to do, and where they want to go. Regularly starting new groups is a key to keeping an adult ministry in touch with people’s practical needs.

– Opportunities for friends and fun. Numerous studies have shown that the friendship factor is a key ingredient in the glue that keeps church members coming back. Adults like to be with others who enjoy common interests, who are compatible, and who help them enjoy the experience of living.

Therefore, effective adult ministries plan social events for members and potential members that are just plain fun. Leaders realize that such functions significantly contribute to the overall mix of opportunities in an effective adult ministry.