Revitalize Your Women’s Ministry
Churches need to consider whether they’re providing sufficient opportunities for women to receive ministry and not just provide ministry to others. We may continue to see tens of thousands of women leaving the church unless there’s a widespread, aggressive, and thoughtful approach to recognizing and appreciating women.”
That’s the summary of a large study done by The Bar Research Group in 2000, but conditions haven’t improved much since then. Here’s why you should be personally concerned about the quality of your church’s women’s ministry: Women can revitalize your church.
Women are natural networkers. You can stand in most grocery lines and hear women sharing ideas with other women. You can sit on the sidelines while kids are playing sports and watch the power of women networking. Is it any wonder that women also network their churches and relationship with Jesus? You seldom hear men talking about their churches, but women do this quite naturally. And they’re comfortable extending invitations, such as “I’m headed to a cool women’s Bible study. Would you like to come with me?”
Women are nurturers by nature. They care about relationships and invest in people quite easily. Women staff most of the “caring” ministries in any given church. When a pastor invests in the women of the church, he or she multiplies the effect of caring that goes on.
Women desire relationships. Women aren’t satisfied with attending anything more than twice without some connectedness. They’re always on the lookout for new friends, people they relate to and a sense of belonging. When a family visits your church, it will most likely be the mom who does the analyzing. You can have great sermons, music, and kids’ programs, but if a woman doesn’t connect with someone within the first few weeks, the whole family is likely to leave your church to find another. If a woman does connect with other women, she’ll become a strong supporter of the church in many areas.
Women have sensitive hearts toward God. In our churches we’ve seen many women begin attending who say, “My, husband just isn’t interested.” But as they grow and take Jesus home with them, it’s usually just a matter of time before their families start coming. According to Barna’s research, women who are raising children are among the most faith-minded and spiritually active segments of the American population. They’re more likely to attend church, pray, read the Bible, participate in a small group, attend Sunday school, and volunteer time to help a charity. They have incredible influence. Why not invest in the catalyst that can lead a whole family to Jesus?
Use the Women’s Ministry Rip & Equip on page 84 as a discussion guide with your women’s ministry leaders. Then take time to brainstorm with them about ways to improve and demonstrate your support of this vital ministry.
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 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.”
This article “Revitalize Your Women’s Ministry” by Nancy Nelson was excerpted from REV! magazine. May/June 2008. pp. 76. It may be used for study & research purposes only.