I was 34 years old when I stepped into my first role as a Women’s Ministry Director.

I had taken on a position that had been vacant for 1 ½ years.

After much resistance and a great deal of prayer I could no longer deny God’s calling. He had lined up my circumstances, given me scriptural confirmation, and placed inside my heart a sense of peace that surpassed all understanding.

My years leading a local mom’s group and MOPS provided some preparation. Yet it was as if I had been called up from the minor leagues into the major league.

This was BIG.

I knew I was in over my head.

Those three years were a giant learning experience riddled with mistakes. Thank God for His grace and His willingness to use and stretch me.

I wish I had known an experienced women’s ministry leader who could have held my hand over coffee, prayed for me, and shared wisdom gleaned from years of experience.

Perhaps you’re a new leader longing for some wisdom from someone who’s been in your shoes.

Well you’re invited dear one, to learn from my mistakes.

Go grab yourself a cup of your favorite coffee or tea and let’s chat!

From the practical to the personal, here are 11 things I wish I had known as a new women’s ministry leader:

1.Have regular meetings with the Pastor who oversees your position – even if doing so your hands shake uncontrollably and you want to throw up. Learn to give them the level of detail they desire. Establishing a good working relationship will pay off in spades later! See Hebrews 13:17.

2. Never criticize another church member, ministry leader, Pastor, or event publically – no exceptions. Don’t tolerate a gripe session amongst your team either. If you’re prone to grumbling, confide in the Lord. He can take it. See Ephesians 4:29.

3. Track every expense, especially donations, so you can justify a requested budget and any needed increase. Be good stewards with that which you have been given. Sometimes this means you will have to put your foot down. See 2 Corinthians 8:21.

4. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. When you fill a role or need God has not specifically called you to you are preventing someone else from being obedient and serving. Resist the temptation to step in even when it seems absolutely necessary. See Romans 12:4-8.

5. Expect spiritual opposition. Satan does not want women to gather and grow. He will attack your marriage, health, relationships, confidence, etc. Stand firm and trust God. See Ephesians 6:12.

6. Don’t rush to make decisions. Take the time to blanket your ministry and team with prayer. If your team does not have unity on a decision take the time to address their concerns. God’s timing is always better than our own. See Proverbs 3:5-6.

7. Don’t lock horns with the church admin responsible for church communication. She/he won’t be eager to send out last minute or important women’s ministry information and may even delaying doing so. Be kind and appreciative, always respecting their time and position. See Ephesians 4:31-32.

8. God may not fill all the positions on your team. Trust His timing; remain steadfast in praying for that future team member. See also #4. See Lamentations 3:25.

9. Be generous with words of encouragement. Sincere words of appreciation will boost the confidence of your team members. Your praise can boost their productivity. Handwritten notes are powerful. See 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

10. Every woman in attendance matters and she wants time with you. Be intentional – circulate around the room. Step away from the women’s ministry team clique. Learn as many names as you can. Warmly greet your women outside of women’s ministry events – in service, the parking lot, and at the grocery store. Love people. See John 13:35.

11. Don’t neglect your spiritual growth or relationships to do ministry work. Set some healthy boundaries. Delegate. Press pause. Honor the Sabbath. Don’t stretch yourself or your team thin. Love God. See Hebrews 4:10-11.

Whether or not God has recently placed you in the role of women’s ministry finding another women’s ministry leader with which you can share, pray, and brainstorm can spur your growth and give you much needed perspective. Consider connecting with another leader so that iron can sharpen iron (Proverbs 27:17).

Leaders, I’d love for you to chime in! Please comment below with the advice you have for new leaders.

You may also want to read:
How to Frustrate Your Team
The Most Critical Mistake a Team Leader Can Make
How to Build a Women’s Ministry Team
How to Recruit Women’s Ministry Team Members

One year ago: A Fresh (and much needed) Perspective on Mentoring
Two years ago: 6 Questions Your Women Will Have about the First Day of Bible Study
Three years ago: The Best Women’s Ministry Theme Ever
Four years ago: Calendar Planning: 3 Critical Questions