The start of a new year is always an expectant and exciting time to plan and dream for what God has ahead in the coming year. As you look at the 2023 calendar, I’d like to offer a few things to keep in mind as you think through vision, strategy, and planning for your ministry to women.
1. Celebrate the value and contribution of women in your church family.
Women make up more than 50% of our faith families and are often found serving both inside and outside the church walls. Women often have unique needs that, as church leaders, we have an opportunity to help shepherd and develop them as members. Everything we do for women comes from a heart of wanting to move them closer to Jesus. When we remember that God is working, moving, and using women in their families, workplaces, and communities for His redemptive purposes, we remember the “why” behind the “how.”
2. Evaluate needs and past events, and dream up fresh starts.
You can’t help lead your women if you don’t know where they are or what they need. The beginning of the year is a great time to have intentional conversations to figure out what holes are in your ministry as well as where your women are spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I’ve done this a few different ways:
a. If you have a standing women’s ministry team, use them to have conversations with women in their small groups and areas where they serve to have specific conversations with women in the church.
b. Have a brainstorming session with key women of all ages and life stages over a meal to share what they are hearing and seeing in women of the church and how to increase involvement.
c. Send a survey out through email and social media.
d. One other practical way to do this is to have an evaluation form after events throughout the year that help to get feedback after events and studies.
Through the feedback of your women, you will have the tools and information to see if some of your longstanding events need to be tweaked or maybe even scrapped from the calendar altogether, and you will have a guide to help you envision new ideas.
3. Complement, don’t compete with other ministries and the overall vision of the church.
Ministry to women is only a part of the overall discipleship structure in your church. It is important to make sure that we aren’t competing with other ministries in the church and finding ways to naturally have them intersect for the overall health of the church. One big way to think through this is how children’s and women’s ministry feed off of one another. For example, my women’s Bible study numbers directly affect how many kids we have in our children’s activities, and so in planning, we make sure that our start and end dates align with both our student and children ministries. One other practice that is helpful when planning is to lay out a weekly calendar of what our members will be asked to commit to. A few well-executed events are better than an overcomplicated and busy calendar.
4. Plan with purpose & intentionality, offering a diverse offering of spiritual formation, community and connection, and opportunities to serve.
The church’s main purpose is to equip and make disciples. A core tenet of growing disciples is through Bible studies, training, conferences, and discipleship groups to help bring the Word alive. At the same time, if we only spend our time in environments where we are only growing in knowledge, we are missing key elements to our formation.
Community and connection are some of the key distinctions I see in ministry to women where we are able to help foster multi-generational relationships and offer moments to connect over shared experiences. Finally, opportunities to serve together help to reinforce the mission of the church and are ways women can use their talents and spiritual gifts for the good of others.
5. Keep all women in mind, especially those outside of your own demographic.
There is a natural tendency to plan around the roles of women being moms and wives, and in doing so, we leave out so many in our churches who are walking through different seasons. As you plan your calendar year, make sure that you are looking through the lens of a teenage student, a single young professional living away from family, and the widow who can’t drive in the dark. As a ministry to women, the goal is to see, meet, and lead all women under our care.
I’m cheering for you as you expectantly serve your women, churches, and communities this upcoming year. I’d love to hear what you are looking forward to most! Leave a comment below or shoot me an email at [email protected].
Posted on January 6, 2023
Jacki C. King is a respected and popular Bible teacher, conference speaker, and ministry leader. She has a passion for seeing women fall in love with Jesus and His Word while challenging them to be on mission in their homes, workplaces, and communities. Jacki is a native Texan who now lives in Central Arkansas with her husband Josh, who is a Lead Pastor, along with their three boys. Jacki holds a bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies and Ministry to Women from Criswell College and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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