This article is excerpted from Women Reaching Women: Beginning and Building a Growing Women's Ministry.
Lifeway seeks to equip, enable, and lead women by:
- SERVING the churches who already have a strong women's ministry and helping churches who want to begin and build growing women's ministries.
- ENCOURAGING women in your church to bring unchurched and non-Christian women to a personal relationship with Christ and His church, discipling them, and equipping them to become disciplers.
- PROMOTING ministry that will equip women to reach out and meet the unique needs of other women in the name of Christ.
- PROVIDING churches with Bible-based spiritual growth and discipleship resources, leadership training, and a structure of networking that will strengthen, enrich, and equip women's ministries across the Southern Baptist Convention and beyond.
Why have a women's ministry?
- To help churches grow numerically and spiritually.
- To help women feel accepted when they join your church.
- To open the door to meaningful relationships.
- To encourage women to discover, develop, and use their spiritual gifts.
- To minister to today's woman.
- To provide vision and networking for both inreach and outreach ministries.
- To offer “woman-to-woman” understanding.
- To offer “woman-to-woman” lay counseling.
- To encourage spiritually older women to mentor (teach) spiritually younger women.
- To follow Jesus' example of ministry to and with women.
- To help women fight spiritual battles.
- To affect families as women's lives are drawn closer to Christ.
How to begin an effective women's ministry
- PRAY with others who have a heart for reaching and discipling women in your church and community to discover where God is already at work.
- SHARE your vision with your pastor or other staff member.
- FORMULATE A PURPOSE STATEMENT that supports the overall purpose of your church.
- ASSESS NEEDS by taking a survey or interviewing women to discover women's needs and how they would like to become involved in ministry.
- DETERMINE PRIORITIES using your assessment as a guide. Start your ministry small and continue to grow and build as needs change. Biblical discipleship studies, prayer, praise, and worship are foundational to all other ministries with women.
- SECURE FACILITIES AND CHILD CARE to create an atmosphere that encourages women to attend and return. For mothers of preschoolers, child care is essential.
- PROMOTE AND PUBLICIZE through church newsletters and bulletins, direct mail flyers or brochures, public service announcements on radio and TV, news releases in local newspapers, and phone contacts.
- LAUNCH MINISTRY with a special event.
- EVALUATE all aspects of your ministry. Variety and flexibility are key issues in keeping the ministry fresh and vital for the women in your church and community.
A balanced approach to spiritual growth in women's ministry
All ministry must be centered on God's Word and our relationship to the God of the Word. This takes place on Sundays in Bible study and discipleship training as well as at various times throughout the week in large and small groups. Spiritual growth must always be the ultimate goal when addressing needs that are: relational (social, family, communication, witnessing, service, fellowship); physical (health, nutrition, addictions); emotional (self-esteem, depression, crisis counseling); and mental (decision-making, time management, finances, leadership skills). There must be a balance between growth and service opportunities available for women. They must be challenged to put what they have learned into practice and use it to serve the Lord.