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I’ve been involved in women’s ministry since the late 90’s and led women’s ministry at my church from 2009 until 2016. Over the years I have faced challenges, thrived in difficult situations, learned from my mistakes and have gleaned a lot from various women’s ministry leaders’ conferences that I believe are worth sharing.
Today, I am going to begin, well, at the beginning. Are you thinking about starting a women’s ministry or becoming involved in women’s ministry? Maybe your church does not have a women’s ministry and you are feeling led to do something for the women of your church. My first experience with women’s ministry came by way of women’s Bible studies. Since the late 1990’s Beth Moore has been the leading author of Women’s Bible Studies, but there are also others: Lysa Terkeurst, Kelly Minter, Lisa Harper, Priscilla Shirer and Jennifer Rothschild to name a few.
Here are some of the Bible studies our women’s ministry have facilitated:
Malachi: A Love that Never Let’s Go *She offers the best of two worlds – Theologian & Master Storyteller!
No Other Gods This one made you think and self-assess. All of Kelly’s books are well-written and have a good touch of humor.
Ruth *Loved this story; every woman could identify with Ruth’s story!
Nehemiah This study WRECKED me!
Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit I think this study is essential for every believer – hand’s down!
David: Seeking a Heart Like His If you love David as I do, you will enjoy facilitating this study
James: Mercy Triumphs A study about James is never time wasted in the life of a believer! You will be challenged!
Breaking Free: The Journey, The Stories One of the favorites of all of Beth’s works. Great for the release from bondage!
A Woman’s Heart: God’s Dwelling Place My first Beth Moore study! I fell in love with her and Moses! Very In-depth!!!
Stepping Up: A Journey through the Psalms of Ascent The story of how God dropped this study in her lap, had me at Hello!
Jesus: The One and Only Favorite Bible teacher teaching on my favorite Bible Teacher – Awesome!
To Live as Christ: The Life and Ministry of Paul Another great study. I learned so much about Paul.
Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl *My ladies loved the fact that her teaching videos were only 15 minutes long, leaving plenty time for group discussion
The Frazzled Female – This is a good study that every woman can relate to; creates a lot of discussion!
I got my start in women’s Bible studies, and after years of learning through those experiences, I became equipped to lead more women’s ministry initiatives. Then I was given the opportunity to teach on my own topics on Wednesday nights and start a new women’s Sunday school class. By 2009, I had a clear vision from God for implementing a Women’s Involvement Ministry. Hopefully, you have a clear vision for your idea for a women’s ministry, but if not, start with something simple (like a women’s Bible study) and see where God takes it.
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin” Zech 4:10a
Women’s Bible Studies are a good place to start to see where women are at in their faith walk. Their response will give you some indication of their interest level in women’s ministry. Their responses to discussion questions will give you an indication of where they are spiritually. From these interactions you then can make assessments about further women’s ministry initiatives that will meet the needs of your church’s women.
As you begin to think about your women’s ministry strategy, please pray! I cannot stress how important it is to cover any endeavor you set out to undertake in prayer. Maybe you have some other women in your church with the same heart toward women and are also sensing that God wants to do something new at your church. Only God can give you a vision and a plan that will succeed; prayer will help clarify it.
Once you feel as if God is confirming your direction, update your pastor. Hopefully, you have discussed your thoughts in advance of including other women. Your pastor (and his wife) can be a great source of clarity and guidance.
So, let me recap, as I feel I have backed you into this process:
1) If you are feeling God is prompting you toward initiating a women’s ministry, discuss your thoughts with your pastor. God may be planting the same seeds in him! This doesn’t mean that you must be ready to go or even have a plan, but if nothing else, it is a courtesy call to say that you are going to be praying about it and speaking to other women about it at some point if he is agreeable.
2) Pray. Obviously if God is prompting you toward ministry, you’ve been praying. Now that you are receiving confirmations, refine your prayer by asking God for His direction and a vision for the women’s ministry
3) Include other women in your prayer time and ask for their input. This could be the very place where a women’s ministry team develops
4) Consider starting a Bible study for women. Again, this will provide you with a wealth of information and insight into your women’s current spiritual maturity level to build upon.
“A righteous woman walks in a love relationship with God and follows His agenda and purpose. Therefore, you cannot implement a program, devise a strategy, or promote a campaign and expect God to bless it unless you and the people in your ministry are connected to Him.” John Franklin, Foundational Strategy for Effective Ministry, Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level.
If you have any ideas for starting a women’s ministry that has worked for your church, please share below in the comments section!
You may also want to check out these other blog posts about women’s ministry:
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