Our world of technology gives us access to more ideas than we can ever implement. Often I find myself overwhelmed as I read blogs and articles about ways to shape women’s ministry. There are so many great ideas that go beyond the perspective that women’s ministry consists of old lady teas, style shows that cater to the slim and materialistic, and gossiping prayer groups. Where do you start if you are beginning a new ministry or revamping the current one?
The phrase Keep It Simple comes to mind—and I don’t add the stupid in, but when we think we can do it all, we may border on it.
Two temptations often lead to taking on more than we can handle, especially if the church is small and/or short on budget. The first is trying to please everyone; people-pleasing must be overcome by God-pleasing. The second is the dream that the group can handle many things well. That isn’t reality and it often ends in disaster for the women of the church.
How is it possible to keep it simple when our culture provides endless ideas for what we should be doing as women?
Begin with FOCUS, the place where all healthy ministry begins. What is your purpose? Why are you there? What is the greatest need for your group? What can you provide that is lacking? What part of the church mission can you add to?
Your answers must arise from much prayer. What has God placed on the hearts of those who are leading, both the church leadership and the women who are attempting to create or redesign your women’s ministry? Use a survey to discover what the women you already have think, and ask God what he wants to say through their input. (Contact us for a sample survey.)
Your God-given focus (or you may call it a mission or a purpose) will point you to a simple ministry. It’s simple because it doesn’t attempt to be and do all things. Pursue only what aligns with your focus; everything else is thrown out. There is another church, another group of women, another place where God does other things; you follow his focus for your particular group.
If you are revamping a current ministry, consider taking a year without programmed ministry so that when you implement something new, you begin without the baggage of what came before.
Of course, some will dislike the decisions and many will grumble about you—think Moses. But if you have spent time letting God lead you to his focus for your particular church, you can entrust the problem to God.
Our next post will discuss the next step, strategy.
How has your ministry been hampered by trying to do too much?