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March Madness–in Ministry?

By March 20, 2015June 16th, 2016No Comments

march-madnessYes, this time of year brings out madness in basketball and also in women’s ministry. When I led a women’s ministry, March meant a crazy calendar and some big to-do items.

How does the calendar build into the craziness?

First, it seems like every woman has a different school schedule for her kids’ spring breaks. If you live in a small town, this won’t happen—and you should be so thankful! But here in the city, churches draw women from more than one area or private school, and it seems that they all like different dates off. That makes it difficult to schedule church events and a break from our weekly small groups and Bible studies. Which week do we break?

That brings up another stress: encouraging women to return after the break. Many of us—probably most but I will give us the benefit of the doubt—have a hard time preparing our week’s study for the week after a break. (I admit this is hard for me. If I am not the teacher or in charge, I usually try to cram a week’s study into one night!) So we skip the group and then it becomes a habit to not do it at all. So how as leaders do we get them back? That means phone calls and extra prayer.

And what’s on the March to-do list for the ministry leader?

Many churches have spring retreats just ahead, and there are lots of details and preparations yet to be done. We end up just wanting the retreat to be over rather than being refreshed by it. For those in charge there is no retreat in a retreat.

At the same time, we must be in the midst of recruiting women for the various roles for our ministry team. Our team served from May – May to coincide with planning for a school calendar year. Every May we did a day or weekend retreat for the new team, bringing in the previous team for at least the morning. To have all the right women in place by May meant actively talking to women by March, or even earlier. (And of course, they take vacations at spring break—and likely a different week than you do!)

And we continue our regular ministries while we work toward the future. Meeting needs of women, preparing to teach, organizing spring events, etc., etc., etc. . . . .

How to deal with the madness?

We can’t forget to rest physically and spiritually. It’s a wonderful time of year for a real retreat—not one that you are working on for a group, but a personal retreat away from the church and ministry demands.

It may sound crazy when it’s a mad month, but take one day soon and do it. Go to a park, an empty church (but not your own), a friend’s empty home or patio, or a library if all else fails. Take only a devotional, your Bible, a journal, and a pen. Leave you phone in the car and only check it once in the middle of the day—if at all. (If you are young, pretend you lived in the old days when we had no phones except at home and people could not reach us everywhere.) Pour out the madness before God and rest in his presence and his Word.

Get supportive prayer and encouragement from other believers and trust the results to God.

How have you learned to deal with the madness?

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