Tip 29 – Creating Expectations and Setting Precedence

Welcome to 31 days of Women’s Ministry Tips!

Prepare to get your toes stepped on today! We’re going to take a close look a the expectations and precedence we set in our ministries. Often without meaning to!

The decisions we make as a team don’t just impact the event or activity we are working on, they have the potential to affect future women’s ministry events and activities.

Tip 29 Creating Expectations and Setting Precedence

If you give out generous door prizes ($25 gift cards or baskets) your women will expect the door prizes at every event to be of that caliber.

If your retreat is scheduled at a swanky hotel with a nationally known speaker, your women will expect subsequent years to be similar.

If your team provides an extensive breakfast buffet for your first Bible study or MOPS meeting in the fall, they will feel the pressure to go over the top with their food items when it’s their turn to bring them in.

When we fail to KISS – keep it simple sister – we burden the women in our churches and community.

Instead of providing hospitality, we have created a competition.

Instead of providing hospitality we’ve created a competition.

We must model – and must train our team members to model – realistic expectations.

Make some decisions as a team and stick to them.

Yes, we want our women to feel loved on and comfortable, but discuss as a team what that looks likes.

Take some time at your next team meeting to discuss what expectations and precedence you have created in your ministry. Decide if you need to dial things back in any area.

Pray and ask God to show you and your team any areas in which an overabundance is creating an uncomfortable situation for the women you are trying to reach.

  • Do some of your women view lavish decorations as poor stewardship of your budget?
  • Are your women really hungry for breakfast at 9:30 AM? Or do you just feel you need to provide food because it’s always been done that way?
  • Are you leaving women out by hosting expensive retreats when you could find less expensive accommodations?
  • Are your women intimidated to be a table hostess because the decorations are elaborate and china is expected?
  • Is God directing your calendar or is that just the way it’s always been done?

Keep It Simple Sister

Create a list of what you will and what you won’t do.

Maybe that means:

  • You won’t serve fancy punch unless it’s a baby shower.
  • Your team will decide to use paper products and plastic cutlery for events rather than the church dishes and silverware.
  • There will be a $10 limit on all door prizes. Mine has been $5.
  • Setting a spending limit on the décor for your table events.
  • Limiting your food offerings – two dessert choices, one kind of bread, no more than two types of breakfast casseroles.
  • There will never be a charge for childcare.

Our church back in Kentucky provided doughnut holes and coffee every single week between Sunday school and the service. Week in and week out. I knew if we didn’t get a good breakfast the boys could snack at church.

Except the one Sunday that there were no doughnuts.

No warning. No alternative snack.

The staff had decided to use the money that was normally spent on doughnuts for both campus that weekend to support a missions project (I can’t remember what exactly).

All I remember is that day we hadn’t had a good breakfast and we were cranky and hungry as we left church.

I supported their decision, but would have greatly appreciated prior notification so I could have made plans accordingly.

That being said, be careful to communicate any changes to your women. You don’t need to apologize or explain unless God leads you to do so.

Your turn to share: What expectation has your team created that God is pricking your spirit about?

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  1. Mary, I can relate! 😉 Lord help us all to remember why we are really here!

  2. Oh, these ideas really hit home with me because I find myself wanting to go over the top on whatever I do and this isn’t always a good idea. Lord help me to find a balance on these functions and remember why we are really here. Thank you for your wisdom and insight.

  3. Bless your heart! Sometimes we’re the ones that let things spiral out of control, but sometimes that was God’s plan all along. Since your heart longs for nice and simple I am praying God will show you some ways to keep some of your retreat pieces simple and nice. Maybe it will be with the décor, favors, program, etc. May God bless your retreat and your women!

  4. Boy oh boy did this speak to me! A simple, laid back women’s retreat has this year started to feel like a conference with multiple breakout sessions, speakers and a panel. My heart is for something nice and simple, but I will take you advice to heart as I pray and plan for next year to put some safeguards in place.

  5. Debby, usually we do a combination of building part of the cost into our event (adding an extra $1-$2 to the cost) and budgeting for the childcare workers. I know of several churches that put out donation baskets specifically for the childcare workers too. Hope that helps!

  6. Wow! This stood out: “There will never be a charge for childcare.” What a luxury that would be! How do you do that….besides making the moms take turns doing childcare? When we have made the moms take turns, we find moms dropping out, because it is just easier to stay at home with their kids. And it is always difficult to find childcare for our morning Bible studies–thank goodness for homeschooled teenagers. But I would be very interested in options you have used to make “no charge for childcare” a reality.

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