This important area of the ministry of RENEW is in offering guidance and encouragement to local churches in the process of forming life-changing women’s ministry programs. We have already begun the process of producing a comprehensive women’s ministry handbook that we pray will be a useful and vital tool to women of the church. Every church is unique, every group of women is unique, and every women’s ministry program should be unique.
In the meantime, we will be posting information and articles concerning the formation of women’s ministries. We are also available to assist you by consultation or through workshops on women’s ministry topics.
I. The first and most important step in beginning this process is PRAYER. If God has given you a heart for the women of your church, begin to have intentional prayer time and ask Him to guide your steps. Also ask Him to reveal other women who share this same heart and passion for ministering to the needs of women, children, and families within your church. Be patient, wait on the Lord, and He will answer your prayers.
II. Once the Lord brings together a core group of women who are called to begin this journey, it is important to meet together for regular pray and study time. There are several books available which can help you grow together and discern God’s direction for your women’s ministry. Several recommended titles include: Becoming a Woman of Influence by Carol Kent , Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level by Chris Adams, and Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanne Weaver. As this core group studies and prays together, the Lord will move among you and begin to guide and direct your every step. Wait expectantly for Jesus to speak to you in a powerful way.
III. Develop a name and mission statement for your ministry. Having a mission statement are very important when developing a women’s ministry. This statement reveals the core purpose and vision for the ministry and provides a plumbline by which all aspects of the ministry can be evaluated and measured. Before any new component is added to the ministry, make sure it honors and enhances the mission of your women’s ministry. This critical step will keep the women of your congregation focused on your core values and beliefs. It is also helpful that the mission statement of your women’s ministry complement the mission statement of your church, so that all your endeavors are an integral part of the life and vision of the entire congregation.
IV. Assess the needs of the women in your congregation. This can be done two ways. One is to distribute a survey to the women of the church. RENEW has several examples of surveys that are good and can help you formulate one that is appropriate for your size church. It is important that the survey not be too lengthy and time-consuming to fill out, as this may hinder women’s likelihood of participating. Make it easier for them to hand the survey back in by including an addressed envelope for them and providing drop boxes at the church for them to use. Make this process fun and consider little incentives for them to respond quickly, like maybe a small token of appreciation like a bookmark or coupon for a free coffee. Another important way to get to know the women of your church is for each member of the leadership team to invite several women to lunch individually. This will give you a way to get to know the women in your midst and speak with them candidly about what their deepest needs are. Choose women from different backgrounds and stages of life and start forming these relationships that are the heart and soul of women’s ministry. The information gleaned from these surveys and interviews will be vital in enabling your team to offer ministry components that have the most impact within your church. Developing a unique women’s ministry for your unique church family is a vital component to a fruitful women’s ministry program. Remember, this is a process, and will develop as God provides leadership and opportunity for ministry.
Here is an example of a Women’s Ministry Survey (PDF File).