Women's Ministry

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If you have ever been to a women’s conference, you will understand why a women’s night of worship just may be in order.

Welcome to Women’s Ministry Wednesday!

There is something special about women (or men, for that matter) coming together and singing their hearts out to the Lord in one mind and in one accord.

After attending a women’s conference recently, a couple of us felt  led to host this type of event.  We had it in our heart to create a service where our women could just come in and soak in God’s presence with some great praise and worship music and singing. God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3) .

When I shared my thought with another one of the women at the conference, she said that she had been thinking about the same thing, so we began to pray.  After feeling that God was truly leading us, I set up an appointment with the pastor I report to.  We had a good one hour chat about this event’s value and purpose for our women.  We answered questions about Why only women?  Why on Wednesday night?  What did we hope it would accomplish?  And, in the end, we were in agreement that we should definitely do it.  We decided we would call it, The Soaking.

women's ministry, women's ministry event

A group of four began to practice to lead worship, flyers went up, postcards went out, and we prayed for God to meet us there.

On the night of the event, we lowered the lights and lit the candles.  Women began to pour into the sanctuary and we even had a neighboring church’s pastor send over some of their women to worship with us.

womens ministry candles.jpg

I welcomed everyone and encouraged the ladies to clear their minds, relax and feel free to worship. We worshiped to four songs and paused for a dramatic reading before finishing in silence during a solo.

womens ministry soaking2.jpgI am going to include my script I wrote for the dramatic reading about the 3 Realities of God: He Sees You, He Remembers You, He Understands You.  I am often asked for notes so here are mine – The Soaking Oct 2014 – 3 Realities of God.  If you cannot open it, you can still read it below; just follow the order of the service.

As for the selection of songs, here are the songs that facilitated our worship time:

Pause with sitting during the dramatic reading of The 3 Realities of God.  

We are calling you to get lost in God’s presence tonight.  Leave behind the realities of this world in this moment and embrace the 3 realities of God:

God Sees You

God Remembers You

God Understands You

Hagar was a young woman.  She was not only a slave, but a slave to her circumstances that were not of her choosing.  She was in the hands of two people whom had a great vision from God.  God had called Abraham and Sarah to a wonderful, yet unknown place that He had appointed especially for them.  He had also promised to bless them with children, land, hope and everything one could dream of.

Hagar was just one girl among their many servants who no less heard the great stories of God’s visitation on this chosen couple. These servants were to be the witnesses to God’s unfolding promises.

But, the chosen couple grew tired of waiting for the promised child.  This young girl was given to Abraham as a means for accomplishing God’s will.  No doubt confusion reigned in her mind.  How could this great God who had promised them a child involve her?

Now pregnant she is now scorned by the one whom had had this bright idea; scorned to the point of abuse.  Tired of the vexation she runs for the dessert.  She feels hopeless, and escapes into a hopeless land.

There, an Angel of the Lord finds her.  It is the Lord God!  He encourages her and then sends her back to Sarah.  Personally, I am sad for Hagar, but that is not Hagar’s response; she is filled with hope because the Lord sees her!

She realizes that not only does God have plans for the chosen couple, but He also has plans for her!  How could this be? She must wonder in her seeming insignificance.  As a memorial she builds an altar and calls it… Beer Lahai Roi which means for I have seen the God who sees me!!!

No matter the pain and trials she may continue to suffer upon her return to Sarah, she is energized by God’ apparent concern for her.

Dear sisters, please know that that same God sees you!  And even if you are struggling with an ongoing vexation, know that the God who had plans for Hagar has plans for you.

God sees you!

(pause)

Hannah was a married woman dealing with infertility.  She longed to hold a child of her own in her arms, but for whatever reason God had not opened her womb to conceive.  Her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, had had babies for her beloved husband, and she taunted Hannah relentlessly for being barren, adding great insult to injury.  This pain was too much to bear.

While at the temple, Hannah prayed, NO, she cried out to God in great despair.  Please give me a child, Lord!  So desperate, she makes an extraordinary uncommon promise to God – She cries “God if you give me a child I will give him back to you”. And she is serious.

So distraught in her prayers that the Priest Eli thinks she is drunk and reprimands her.  Here is this woman overcome in her grief and the very one designated by God to console His people is mocking her.  How much more can Hannah take?

She tells the priest, I was pouring out my soul to the Lord!

After her return home, Hannah’s husband made love to her and it is said that the Lord remembered Hannah.

Hannah conceived and gave birth to her son, Samuel.  She gave him this name because she had asked the Lord for him.

Our wait may be long and painful, but don’t forget that God remembers you, your need, and that very thing you have been longing for.

God will remember you.

(pause)

If only He had been there, her brother Lazarus, would not have died.  Mary of Bethany, in full out mourning amidst her friends, rushes to the feet of Jesus when she hears that He has finally come.  The scripture says that she throws herself down at his feet, exclaiming “if only you had been here”…if only had been here…

When Jesus sees Mary’s disappointment in Him and the extent of her grief, He is overcome.  Jesus, too, then begins to weep.

Psalm 147:5 says Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit!

Jesus does identify with our pain, emotions and, yes, even our disappointments in Him.  More than that He understands us far better than we even understand ourselves.

God’s understanding has no limit.
These are words we can barely comprehend.  We often go through life carrying regrets, missed opportunities, deep pains and woes and we try to tell our stories, explain our hurts, but few rarely and really understand.

They listen, sometimes, for a while, but still we often still feel misunderstood.  Even our closest confidants sometimes just don’t get us…so who else can we go to?

(sing or read the following four lines)

Where could I go  oh where could I go
Seeking a refuge for my soul
Needing a friend to save me in the end
Where could I go but to the Lord

God’s understanding has no limits, and because His word says so, I say to you, God understands you.

As we sing our last song tonight, soak in these three realities whether by singing, praying or kneeling in silence:

God Sees You

God Remembers You

God Understands You

Amen.

Click here to download a printable version of “The 3 Realities of God for Women” (along with several other helpful ministry resources).

Then a solo of The More I Seek You was sung during a time of reflection.

Needless to say our women loved it!  So many of them commented with I NEEDED THIS!  And, that’s true, we do need time in God’s presence, and corporate worship like The Soaking provides for such a moment.  Consider hosting one for your women.

If you have done something similar, I would love to hear about it, as we are planning for another one in January.  Thanks!

Update:  Here is a second edition of The Soaking.

Many blessings,

~gina

P.S. If you like this post, then you may like this to use during your own private worship/prayer service.

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Award-winning author Gina Duke is a wife, mom and the 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. You may also follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TheGinaDuke.

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34 Comments

  1. This sounds awesome! I love music and am in our church’s praise and worship band, so this would be right up my alley. Good for you listening to God’s voice and following through with what He put on your heart. Thanks for sharing!

    1. So glad you are inspired by this, Erin. I hope you get to try it. We have already scheduled our next one for late January, and even tonight, one of the ladies was telling me how much she needed it and loved it. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. sounds wonderful. Great choice of songs. And beautiful script. I’ve been wanting to do a night of worship for a long time (not just for women). Unfortunately, if those “above” you don’t share your vision, it gets pushed down. I’ve also had scripts that I’ve written for quick skits (that I’ve been told are good by many others, and I have the willing fellow actors, all of us “semi-professional actors) and my emails are usually not even answered. Not interested in a drama ministry I guess. Didn’t mean to dump here. I guess I have unresolved issues. I thought I’d dealt with them and forgiven, but when I hear of something like this, how an idea blossomed and was met with enthusiasm, as much as I’m thrilled for you, it still stings I guess, that my ideas seem to constantly be squelched. That’s why I love blogging! Nobody can silence me! I would definitely come to your soaking night if I lived closer. I’m so glad that so many women felt the need and were blessed.

    1. Mary, I know how you feel, as I, too, went through a season where I felt no one was listening to my ideas. Because I typically host a Wednesday night service, I have some latitude to determine how that service time is used, but I still got approval before doing something that greatly deviated from our norm. I can feel and empathize with your frustration. I wrote a post about journey…http://77.104.162.72/~ginad732/2014/08/womens-ministry-wednesday-my-story-of-how-god-opened-a-great-door-of-effective-work/

      I encourage you to save all of your ideas because you never know when God is going to open a door for you to utilize your ideas! Thanks for reaching out. ~gina

  3. Gina,

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful message with the Saturday Soiree Blog Party! From the song selection to your inspired message, I loved it and will be featuring this post this week!

  4. We have done this twice with the ladies of my church and it has been incredible! We had our first “Ladies Night of Worship” to end our Spring Bible Study and another one this past September to kick off our Fall Bible Study. We invited Any Lady – Any Age – Any Church in our community and women from all around our community came as the Church to worship! Instead of having a reading (which by the way, loved yours – I may have to “steal” it!), I had someone share their life story with our women. This was a great time of hearing a story of healing and restoration. One thing we did for our first night of worship, I had a cross placed at the altar and placed pens and sticky notes around the cross. At the end of our service, during a time of reflection, I asked the women to come to the altar, take a sticky note, write that sin that the Enemy constantly reminded them of, or that failure, or whatever burden they were dealing with – and place that note on the cross – and leave it there! I took a picture of the cross after – and just seeing all those sticky notes placed on the cross was so powerful.. Such a reminder to leave it all there. For our Fall night of worship, I had communion at the end. Powerful! We have decided that this will definitely be something we do every Spring and every Fall. There’s just something about a room full of women worshiping our Great God together. Praying your next one will be incredible!

    1. Patricia,
      Thank you for sharing your ideas. I may steal some of yours, too, for future soakings. We only opened it up to our women, but told them to feel free to invite others. One of the pastors of another church sent some of their women, and another pastor told our pianist that he wants to send some ladies from his church. We were surprised, but very excited to worship with other women of faith. It’s just proof that this is so needed. Thank you for your prayers. We are doing another one in January, and then see what God does next. Thanks for stopping by!
      ~gina

      1. Gina, please feel free to steal my ideas! They truly came from Him anyway. I am so very excited for you in knowing how this can impact your church and those in your community. My pastor’s wife meets with other pastors wives in our community, so she, of course, invited them and they in turn invited the women of their churches. But, we have also used it as an outreach to the women in our community. And of course, our women just love it. I so love that you call yours The Soaking. We have called ours Come to the Well. I am, by the way, in the neighboring State of Arkansas, just outside of Little Rock.

  5. Gina, this is one of my most favorite ideas from all the great things you have shared so far on your site!! I love what you all called it – soaking…makes me want to show up and soak it all in.

    I can’t think of a woman in my church that wouldn’t be drawn into the idea of soaking. We’re all so busy – but we desperately need to soak in God’s presence.

    Thank you for sharing in such great detail so that we can create one in our churches too!

  6. Hi, Thank you for posting your soaking night/ worship. The lady that sent this to our women”s ministry site is now our President of Women”s Ministry. She has asked me to write down what my vision of this would look like for our ladies night. I have worshipped all my life , but not in this kind of capacity. This is a great need for many to experience. I am Thankful for what God is doing. You have stepped in a great place to encourage others to serve thru worship, Thank you again for letting Gods’ presence lead you here. Pamela

    1. Pamela,

      How exciting! This women’s night of worship was such a natural idea to me because I love corporate worship so much, but it took some convincing of the pastor I report to. After I described it and we debated it a little, he said, “You’ve got to do it!” PTL!!! Our women have been loving it. We have been doing it about every other month and will do it again this coming Wednesday. I may do another post about it and add other scripts sometime soon. Thank you for your encouragement. I hope your soaking service goes wonderfully.

      ~gina

  7. Hi Gina
    I found you on Pinterest and saw the Soaking info. We are about to do our first Soaking tomorrow night. I personally am very excited about it. We will be following your format exactly and I look forward to doing your reading. If this goes well I plan on doing another on in the fall, part 2.
    Blessings and I love your website. I would love to do more of what you have on here.
    Kathy

    1. Kathy, that is sooo exciting. Prayers for its success! I have loved doing ours. Where are you from? Thanks for sharing, Gina

  8. The Lord was leading me to do a worship service and as I was searching online for something I found you. This is something put of my comfort zone but I felt the Lord leading me. I used your reading as a guide. I had a lady come give her testimony. My son (he plays the guitar) and a young lady that sings lead the worship. It was an awesome evening. Thanks for the guidance. I am looking forward to doing another one later on.

    1. Tracey,
      Thank you for sharing this with me. I can’t believe how women have been drawn to this idea of having a women’s night of worship. I loved it, too. Praise Jesus! ~gina

  9. Since I first saw this on my Pinterest I have not been able to get it off my mind or heart. After relentlessly fighting the Holy Spirit, I have booked the date and gotten more speakers and I will be presenting your “soaking” to a group of women in a day of worship. I’ll keep you posted. Thank you so much.

    1. Juanita,
      Thank you for sharing! Your women will love it!!! Truly it was inspired by the Holy Spirit when we did it and I am glad He is prompting you toward the same thing. So many other women’s group have done this and loved it. Yes, please keep me posted.

      ~gina

  10. Ever since I came across this post about your worship night, I keep coming back to it. I would love to do this with my women’s ministry but we don’t have anyone to sing the songs. I thought about using recorded music but I’m not sure we would get the same worship environment. Has anyone ever did this event using recorded music?

    1. Hi, Tera! So sorry I have overlooked your comment. You know, years ago when my Wednesday night women’s group met in our fellowship hall, I did do a service using YouTube videos that showed the lyrics of the songs in preparation for Resurrection Sunday. I was pleasantly surprised to see tears running down the faces of women who worshiping to those videos. So, yes, I do believe you can do it. Thanks for stopping by and God bless! ~gina

  11. Hi Gina woke up this morning with this idea of a woman in worship conferences. I couldn’t think of anything els today I was just so full of excited and start putting it on paper. Was thinking just now of a theme and thought in would Google and see what comes up. I love this soaking in His presence. Was hoping to borrow your theme. Lol. I’m no preacher or titled woman just a ordanary woman working for our Lord. We a small church so we haven’t had a service like this before but I’ve been to one. I’m hoping as I go to sleep God will give me revelation and wisdom in doing His work. I’m just so excited when I just saw your theme.

    1. Hi Nadia,
      I’m a member of a small church also and I would love to have a service like this. I have spoken to a few other ladies of our church and prayerfully, we will have the service soon.

  12. We haven’t found a church home yet (we have been in the Memphis area for a while now and left the church we were going to for a number of reasons, GREAT church just not our church). Lately felt like God has been telling me to get with friends and do a women’s retreat or a day like this. I just don’t feel like I have much to offer but want to obey what God is telling me to do.
    Any help/thoughts/ideas appreciated.

  13. Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information with us. It’s rich and I believe we really are at a time where we need to experience God in a more genuine and personable way by soaking in his presence.

    This truly blessed me and I can’t wait to share this blessing with the other leaders of the women’s ministry group I lead and I pray they will be truly blessed as well.

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