Oh my goodness – there are so many MUST-READ books on my list right now! What about you? It makes me want to start a Book Club!!!
Welcome to Women’s Ministry Wednesday!
For my church, we use our Sunday nights for discipleship classes where we do Bible studies, and we must (want!) to do Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, and Kelly Minter Bible studies, but our Wednesday nights have allowed us to do a book club in the past. I use a simple church model for our women’s ministry that you can read more about below, so I like streamlining all of our events to our regular church schedule because I find that it helps with our women’s time management and childcare needs, which ups participation.
I am planning on resurrecting our book club because there are so many great books debuting every month that I hope our reading women will join back in. Plus, I think a book club featuring the most recent releases can help your women’s ministry maintain its relevant, up-to-date feel.
I like to feature one book per month, but we have used a 60-day model, too. You may even choose to do it quarterly. Realize that the women whom will be most interested in a book club are book lovers, so they will have their own personal lists of book they hope to get to, so monthly book clubs may be too taxing. This will depend on who is leading it and how they feel led to lead it along with the make-up of your group. In case you are planning to launch a Book Club, here’s how we’ve done it:
1. Choose the book. You may want to use a new release or one that you feel God is really leading you to do, which may be based upon what God is doing in the lives of your women and church. Make sure that it is a good Christian-based book and consistent with your church’s beliefs. Forego controversial books in order to maintain harmony and provide a good quality, stress-free book club. Consider books that will be helpful to women, grow them spiritually and stretch their minds. It is recommended that your book choice is around 300 pages and no more than 400.
2. Make you book choice available to your women at least 4 weeks before your first meeting. I recommend purchasing books, then returning the un-purchased ones. I do charge full price for the book since there is no budget money for a book club.
3. Throughout the month, use your women’s ministry Facebook page for discussion questions or consider emailing insights for the women to “reply all” to. It is important to touch base to help keep the women on track.
4. Set the Book Club meeting. We typically do the last Wednesday of the month, and that is where we hand out the next month’s book, too, before we leave. Choose any day and time that best suites you. If a Friday night or Saturday morning is good for you and your women, go for it.
It doesn’t have to be held in the church building. Book clubs can make great outreach initiatives where relationship can really be formed outside of the church walls.
Sample Book Club Agenda
6:00 – 6:30 Meet & Greet / Socialize / Refreshments
6:30 – 7:30 Book Discussion
7:30 – 8:00 Socialize / Refreshments / Good-byes
*Don’t forget to hand out the next book!
Sample Book Club Discussion Agenda
I. Introduction of the book, author and story-line or non-fiction topic
II. Chapter by Chapter overview to ask questions and share thoughts and impressions
III. Conclude with final thoughts
* Remember to ask open-ended questions!
Tips for Book Club Success:
• Discussion Leaders/Hosts – Those who host the book club and lead discussions can change to keep things from getting a stale feeling. Consider utilizing a “professional” like an English teacher or librarian.
• To warm the ladies up and get them talking, consider a fun little game based on the book’s topic. Make sure everyone is introduced, and consider wearing name tags.
• When there is no one to lead, either prepare questions for the book club members to draw and ask, going around the room, or allow them to write their own questions on index cards as they arrive to choose from later.
• Consider decorating the meeting place according to the theme of the book, and use those decorative items as prompts for your discussion.
• For discussions, focus on key passages that can be read dramatically or poignantly OR prompt deep discussions on the individual characters of the book.
• It doesn’t hurt to provide a summary of the book in case the women need a refresher or others did not finish.
• Keep the discussion going – lapses are not good.
• Encourage women to invite their friends
I hope these tips will be helpful to you. In the end you will have to determine what will work best for your group and it may end up looking like something totally different than what I’ve described, and that is just fine.
For those of you women who want to start a women’s ministry at your church, but you don’t know where to start, consider starting with a book club. Choose inspirational books that will get your women thinking and yearning to do more. Then watch what God does!
You may also want to check out these other blog posts about women’s ministry:
When you subscribe here to my blog, you will receive these weekly features: (Click and check out the corresponding posts!)
Check out some of the other blogs I like to link up to here.
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.
Check out my video for Organizing Your Prayer Closet!
Become a fan of Organizing Your Prayer Closet where you will also be able to participate in my Sunday Prayer Closet share time!
P.S. Before you leave, please stop by my home page and subscribe to receive email notifications of my latest posts! Click here.
P.S.S. If you enjoyed this post, please use the below social media icons to share it with your friends. Thank you!!!