For some of us (myself included) food is a big deal.
Welcome to 31 Women’s Ministry Tips!
Tip #7 is all about transforming your coffee station from boring to extraordinary.
It’s become a fixture in many churches.
It’s expected at most morning Bible studies.
It’s prepped in big pots to wake up your MOPS mommas.
It probably goes without saying that most of your women find a good cup of coffee a treat.
Coffee is not necessary, but it is most appreciated.
Here are 5 ideas to take your coffee station from ho-hum to extra-special:
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1. A couple of flavors of liquid coffee creamer – big bottles are best but the shelf-stable little creamers are good too. French Vanilla is almost always a hit. Consider adding a seasonal flavor during the holidays.
2. Pretty serving pots. Our team invested in a 60-cup pot like this Hamilton Beach 60-Cup Coffee Urn. They look so nice you don’t feel like you need to hide them in the kitchen! Consider two – one for hot water for tea, cocoa, or hot cider and use the other exclusively for coffee.
3. Styrofoam travel cups like these Dixie Paper Cups and Lids are a big hit. Lids prevent spills and allow women to take a second cup of joe with them as they leave.
4. Stirrers They are dirt cheap. Set them out in a pretty cup, basket, or small pot.
5. An array of sugar packets. Many of your women are particular about their sugar substitutes. Your women will love if you have their favorite brand – I suggest stocking Sugar, Splenda, Truvia, and Sweet ‘N Low. If you have the budget, you might want to get the Mind Reader “Organizer” Coffee Condiment Caddy to make it easier to set up your coffee station each time.
If your event is in the afternoon or evening, one pot of regular and another of decaf is always nice. The later the event, the more decaf and less regular you’ll need.
Your turn to share: Do your women expect and enjoy coffee at your Women’s Ministry events?
You may also want to read:
31 Women’s Ministry Tips
3 Easy and Creative Ways to Serve Fruit at Your Next Event
Addressing Food Allergies & Diets
Fellowship Food Fix
10 Tips for Serving Food Faster
The speed at which food is served at Women’s Ministry events can make or break your schedule and your guest’s experience.
Getting food out fast is a challenge!
I’ve got 10 tips to share with you today to help you get food out faster.
1. Set up double buffet lines. Pull those tables away from the wall and have lines going down both sides of the table.
2. Call tables up to get food. Your guests can visit while they are waiting and it eliminates standing for long periods of time which can be difficult for some of your older women.
3. Place your salads and desserts on the table before the event begins. It also removes the temptation to over-decorate the tables.
4. Increase the number of servers and kitchen help. Enlist youth and college students if you are struggling to find men in your church that are willing/able to serve. A good rule of thumb is at least one server per table – 2 is even better!
5. If you are distributing box lunches or pre-packaged meals set up multiple pick up stations.
6. Utilize separate beverage and dessert stations with pre-filled drinks and plated desserts. Place someone there to re-fill and pour to keep things moving.
7. Buffet style for a large group? Set up multiple buffet stations (with the same foods). The more lines you have the faster they will move.
8. Pre-portion any food you can. Cut cakes, brownies, pies, quiche, casseroles, etc. so that your women can scoop rather than scoop and cut.
9. Put a suitable serving utensil with every single dish. Load up on utensils at The Dollar Store. This is a great help for those with food allergies too.
10. Juggling silverware at a buffet slows down the line. Either place the silverware on the tables or wrap it all nicely in a napkin so it’s easy to carry.
Your turn to share: What do you do to speed up the food service at your events?
Do you all struggle as much as I do with selecting foods for events?
There’s so much to take into consideration.
There are women who must follow a low-sodium diet, a low-sugar diet, or a low-fat diet.
There are those that have food allergies such as dairy, eggs, or peanuts.
Others have a gluten intolerance.
There’s also a lot of women that are just trying to eat healthier.
God has been softening my heart over this issue for close to two years.
At our church back in Kentucky, three dear friends had to be on gluten free diets for medical reasons.
I got to see first-hand their struggles during church potlucks and women’s ministry events.
When someone you love has little on their plate and yours is overflowing, that’s hard.
God used this experience to remove my
sorry sinful attitude about dealing with special diets and food allergies at women’s ministry events.
My old way of thinking: It affects so few women; surely they are used to dealing with it and will make their own needed arrangements. (I know – that was awful and extremely insensitive!!)
My new way of thinking: There needs to be effort made so that all women have something on their plate they can enjoy.
I’m not asking you to become gluten-free, low-sodium, or health food experts. But I am going to share some food ideas with you.
The basic thing to remember with gluten-free is that if it contains wheat – it contains gluten (other things contain gluten too, but that’s the first rule, if you will).
Here are some food ideas almost every woman will appreciate (whether they are trying to stick to a diet, avoid gluten, or eat healthy):
What practical things can you do to make meals enjoyable for all of your women?
That little bit of extra effort will leave those women feeling loved and included.
I can’t end without sharimg that this has become a personal issue for me… This spring I needed to remove gluten from my diet. I now know first-hand the challenges of eating away from home.
Your turn to share: How do you handle food allergies and special diets at your Women’s Ministry events?
Food costs can quickly sink your Women’s Ministry budget for an event.
I know a team that grew tired of making food for every event so they decided to add a line to their budget.
They budgeted around $125 for food from Sam’s Club.
Which is okay. Except this was for a gathering of only about 25 women.
Ya’all that’s at least $5 per person for snacks.
For most of our budgets that’s too much…
My heart sinks thinking about how half that money (really, more) could have been used to buy supplies for a Missions Project or some other cause…
Asking your own women to bring food does two things:
Why you should ask your women to bring food:
That being said, some women would stay home if you required them to bring a dish.
You need to build a Food Team.
My 2-in-1 Door Prize/Volunteer Form is the easiest way I know to build volunteer teams.
You will also need to recruit a Food Team Leader. Your Food Team Leader will be responsible for calling the needed number of women 2 weeks prior to the event.
When your women bring food to your fellowships you get a great variety, give women the opportunity to serve, and keep your expenses to a minimum.
How do you handle food for your fellowships?
Need a quick and easy solution for the food for your next women’s ministry event?
Set up a Food Bar!
I love the ease of self-serve and the pretty rows of little bowls, plates, and food!
With allergy and food issues becoming more common, food bars often give these women options that might not otherwise have.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert – I’ve got ya’ covered! Let’s take a look!
Individual Fruit Pizza Bar – keep costs low by choosing fruit that’s in season.
DIY Smores Bar – Be sure to click over to see how they set up the roasting station.
Do me a favor and get permission for open flames – okay?
A Chili Bar – what a great lunch/dinner idea for your ladies!
Did you know you can cook baked potatoes in a crock pot (wash, dry, wrap in foil, 4 hours on high)?
I like the fries and hotdogs as options too.
Or keep it simple and just go with chili and toppings. Maybe a mild, spicy, white, and vegetarian chili…
I’ll admit, I don’t know how to make crepes and this Crepe Bar
may be more work that someone would want to take on, but this is SO elegant!!
Early morning events have been a big hit with our ladies.
Click the link to see all the topping ideas for DIY Breakfast Burritos.
Another great lunch or dinner idea – a Baked Potato Bar.
Love that this could be vegetarian and allergy friendly.
Store pre-baked potatoes in coolers to keep them warm.
Whether you offer the Trail Mix Bar as a snack during a retreat or conference or make this their favor,
I love that women can customize their mix to include their favorites!
We had a mini-version of this Yogurt Bar at our last conference.
We served vanilla yogurt with granola and thawed frozen fruit.
Our GSF store has some smaller bowls that were perfect – not too big, not too small.
For more great food ideas check out my Feed the masses! Pinterest Board:
You may also want to read:
I’m always on the look out for creative ideas for serving food at our women’s ministry events.
I personally like to balance the offerings with something sweet, something salty, and something healthy.
Often those sweet and salty treats are off limits for women with allergy issues and those who are on diet.
Fruit is a great healthy option for those women who might not be able to eat anything else on the snack table.
Be sure to let me know if you use one of these ideas!
I love, love, love this idea!
I can think of so many fun fruit possibilities – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwi, peaches, pineapple, raspberries, clementines, … Use what’s in season – not only will it be more affordable, but it will taste better! Oh, and don’t skimp on the homemade cream cheese icing. Mmmmm….
Feature this on a round table as a serve-yourself dessert.
First of all these little cups are way too cute!
Again, go with what is seasonal. Avoid things like bananas or apples that will brown. If needed, enlist some help in cutting up the fruit.
Perfectly portioned, these cups will also keep your food line moving quickly.
Totally love these for a breakfast, brunch, tea, lunch, or summer dinner and for events of almost any size.
I would recommend making these fruit kabobs about 1/3 of the size pictured above.
They are super portable. No silverware necessary!
If you’re going to use bananas make sure you serve them immediately so they don’t brown.
Wouldn’t your team love if you brought these to your next meeting?!