Today, I will share a successful method for building a consensus when selecting ministry projects. Happy Women’s Ministry Wednesday!
For many years, we ran our women’s ministry with a team-based approach. We had eight ministry teams made up with as many as eight women at a time. They would meet monthly to choose a new ministry project.
We highly encouraged our women to come prepared to present ideas that were compatible with their team’s purpose. As you can imagine, the women came with many great ideas that they were each truly passionate about.
In instances where more than one idea begged to be chosen I did not want them to take a vote to determine the project. Voting always means that someone wins and someone loses, and that really doesn’t sound like ministry to me.
Besides, voting can be tainted by peer pressure and manipulation because at the end of the day, we are all still people whom are affected by the influencers of our lives and in teams. Instead, I wanted the group to come to a consensus, but not just for the sake of having a consensus.
Ministry work is too important to approach without thoughtful consideration. This consensus building method alone is a gift to those who want to advance the kingdom with their ideas.
Click your Consensus Form worksheet! OR simply follow the method below.
When faced with projects that the team cannot come to agreement on, make a list of each one. Then utilizing the weight key, discuss and weight the criteria below.
2 – Minimal 4 – Average 6 – High 8 – Exceptional
How urgent is this need? Since the women made their plans on the first Wednesday night of the month and had the rest of the month to complete, the urgency of the need could have a direct impact on the projects do-ability.
At the same time, you may compare it the urgency of the other projects, and weight it higher.
How great is the need? You may have a widow who needs encouragement and a single mom with kids whom is deathly ill and in need of meals. The idea with the greatest need should be weighted higher.
Which idea has the greatest potential for a spiritual return on investment? Every ministry project idea should hope to make a spiritual impact; otherwise, why consider it all? Spiritual impact always trumps physical/material impact. We would rate an idea about a for sure event where we would be ministering to at-risk, unchurched teenage girls over hosting a general outreach initiative where the number of those we may reach would be unknown.
How do-able is the project given time constraints, resources and the availability of the women for this project? Sometimes there will be an idea that is just too challenging, and that needs to be discussed openly and plainly. It doesn’t mean that it is a bad idea, but maybe not the right project for this ministry team at this particular time.
How well acquainted are the women with the project’s benefactor’s? Your team will be much more committed and enthusiastic about serving people they know. And commitment and enthusiasm are critical to any ministry project’s success.
How comfortable are the women with this project? This is not about only doing what feels safe, but the overall comfort level that this is the right project. There may be aspects of the project that some may be concerned about, and this is the place where you give those concerns a voice in the consensus building process.
Once complete, talley up the weighted scores and the one with the highest number is the team’s consensus!
This is a great exercise for your team to go through. Activities like this will help your women grow and mature in their ministry planning methods. It is also great for team-building. Everyone will feel good about the project selected and will capture their commitment and excitement as if the idea were their very own.
Spur on, ladies!
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24
Hey, Women’s Ministry Leaders/Directors/Team Members!
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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.