One of the things that our women’s ministry servant team does on a regular basis is make an assessment of our facility. This audit reviews various aspects of our church campus and determines how to make it more female friendly. You may wonder why this is important, but if you think about it, it is the women who mostly tend to their babies, deliver their kids to their classes, deliver food for special events and have special feminine needs. Women’s use of the church facilities is typically multi-faceted.
The women who make up this team usually change quarterly, so I am always excited to see what fresh, new ideas each team will come up with from their assessment. So far, they’ve had some outstanding ones.
One of the first things the team assessed was a need to familiarize our women with our new Recreational Center. We had recently added a gymnasium, racquetball court, weight-lifting room and walking track, but many of us girls had not utilized the recreational center, much less toured it.
In response, we handed this discovery over to our events planning team and they came up with a “Ladies Night at the Gym”! Don’t you love it??? I certainly did. We had a great time, too!
We had one of the women who was familiar with our weight room give an instructional on all of the equipment. We set up a wally-ball net in the racquetball court for the women to play a few games. Some played racquetball later that night, and since we have windows into that room, many of us watched how the game is played. On the basketball court, we played kickball. It was so much fun! The funniest part was discovering who the competitive ones were – some sweet little ladies turned into maniacs during a friendly game of kickball.
We even invited other women outside of our church to this event, and they came, too! We bought several boxes of a dozen donuts and wrote these words on the boxes, “Come work these off at our Women’s Night at the Gym – First Baptist Church – (Date/Time).” We dropped them off at beauty shops, schools and banks – anywhere there was a large population of women. It was great marketing idea for our event!
Another audit finding was the severe need for diaper changing stations. We had recently remodeled a large portion of our church and added on another educational building. Even though our children’s wing had plenty of diaper changing stations, there were NONE anywhere else. Can you imagine? This is something I would not have noticed because I do not have babies anymore. It was a slight oversight on our building committee’s part, which was made up of men.
At the end of the year I had enough money left in the women’s ministry budget to buy a few diaper changing stations. Over the past few years I’ve continued to add more as needed for both our men’s and women’s restrooms.
Some other ideas that have come from our female friendly assessments are:
– The need for a Women’s Ministry Information Center so women will have a common area to find out what is happening in women’s ministry (we also shared our space with the Men’s and Children’s ministry).
– The need for Sign holders in the women’s restrooms to place 8.5×11 posters in to advertise upcoming women’s events
We’ve done many fun and helpful things to help our women and female guests feel at home in our church.
When making a female-friendly facility assessment, here are the areas we review:
– Parking Area / Grounds
– Entrances / Hallways
– Meeting Areas / Classrooms
– Media / Communication
– Restrooms / Others
When reviewing any one of these areas we look for three (3) things:
Is the space convenient (does it meet the unique needs of women, especially moms)?
Is the space inviting (will our female guests feel welcomed on our campus)?
Is the space inspirational (will women feel a sense of God’s presence and encouragement in our building)?
In case you would like to use the format we use, I am going to post our Female Friendly Assessment Form to my Resource page for you to print (Click here). I hope you let me know what ideas your women come up with for your church!!!
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Award-winning Author Gina Duke is a wife, mom and Director of Women’s Ministry at her local church. With a B.S. in Organizational Leadership, she is able to bring a clear word for authentic Christian living. Through her book, “Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray” (Abingdon Press), she imparts 1 Peter 4:7 with the gift of structured prayer journaling. If you would like to schedule Gina to speak on prayer or host a prayer journaling workshop, click here for more information. You may also follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TheGinaDuke.
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