How often do you meet with the Pastor or Elder who oversees the women’s ministry in your church?
Monthly? Quarterly? Twice a year? Annually?
Do you feel you meet too much? Not enough?
Maybe the idea of meeting with your supervising pastor makes you want to pass out. I can relate. I used to dread meeting with the Pastor that oversaw our women’s ministry team. I was afraid of saying the wrong thing, not having the right answers, and presenting an idea and getting a big, fat “no.”
Instead of meeting regularly, it was up to me to reach out when an issue came up, or I had to be summoned to the Pastor’s office if he had a concern. No wonder I was a nervous wreck! Had we met regularly, it would have greatly reduced my stress level, and our women’s ministry would have benefited.
I suspected few women’s ministry leaders meet regularly with their supervising pastor and included a few specific questions on a recent survey of 250 leaders to test my theory.
Unfortunately, my suspicions were right. Of those surveyed, 28% said they rarely or never meet. But 33% said they did meet regularly (quarterly, every 2-3 months, or monthly). However, that also includes 17% of leaders surveyed who are the spouse of a Pastor on staff.
Many leaders commented that they meet “as needed.”
Meeting when needed is a good thing, but there is also value in meeting consistently.
This is not about “micro-managing” or a lack of trust as some leaders hinted.
Women’s ministry is a ministry of the church. Meeting regularly with our Pastor ensures we are working together to further God’s Kingdom and encouraging the spiritual growth of our women.
Let’s examine 8 benefits of meeting regularly with your pastor
1. Prayer support and coverage
Meeting regularly allows you to share specific prayer requests. Your Pastor can’t pray specifically for the women’s ministry if they don’t have the details. We all need as much prayer coverage as we can get! Ask your Pastor to share your requests with the rest of the church staff when applicable.
2. Protection when conflict arises
When accusations are made, or rumors fly, a good working relationship benefits everyone. If you’ve already made them aware of the situation, they may be able to respond immediately. If they don’t know you or know what your team is doing, the situation will likely take a lot more time to work out, and it could get worse before it gets better.
You want your pastor to be able to say with confidence when a problem comes across their desk, “that doesn’t sound like Pat. Let me talk with her and then I’ll get right back to you.”
3. Regular assessment
Women’s ministry should support the mission of the church. It’s important to assess how well that’s going regularly. If the church staff or your Pastor does not believe the women’s ministry is supporting the church’s mission, the future of women’s ministry could be in trouble! Meeting regularly allows us to communicate that we are part of the team and discuss ways we can support the current focus and projects of the church.
Your Pastor may be unaware of the impact your of your events and Bible studies – take the time to tell them.
4. Different perspective
Your Pastor sees and hears things that you never will. Based on previous experience and insider knowledge, your Pastor may be able to provide some much-needed prespective on a sensitive situation. Before jumping to conclusions or making assumptions, get their input.
5. Unity between ministries
Silo-ministry syndrome is a big problem in many churches. Everyone is so busy doing their own thing that they fail to work together. Ask how you can support and serve alongside other ministries in your church. Unity benefits the entire church.
As God gives you glimpses of women’s gifts, you may be able to help them connect and serve in another church ministry.
6. Good news reports
Regular meetings allow you to share what God is doing through your ministry. Women’s ministry adds value to the church, it is a bridge into membership, and it’s an opportunity for salvation. Tell your pastor how many women accepted Christ at your retreat. Tell your Pastor about the marriage that was restored. Share your wins!
Issues will come up that require seeking wise counsel. Your Pastor may have advice or experience that will help you and your team work through this issue in a way that honors Christ. See Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs 12:15, and Proverbs 19:20.
8. Biblical obedience
Hebrews 13:17 makes it clear we are to submit to our leaders in the church. “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” We all benefit when we are obedient to God’s Word.
Even if your pastor trusts you and your team to minister to women without regular meetings, I want to encourage you to schedule a short 30-minute meetings quarterly.
You may need to make an official request to meet with your Pastor. Explain why you’d like to meet with them – use some of the benefits listed above. Hopefully, they won’t need to be convinced that meeting regularly benefits everyone.
If you are an unpaid volunteer, like the majority of leaders surveyed, there may be no precedent for meeting with your supervising pastor. Ask the Lord to help you word your meeting request. Start by requesting just one meeting and go from there.
Quick Tips for meeting with your pastor:
- Keep it brief. Make notes about what you want to discuss.
- Consider providing questions in advance so they can be prepared to answer them.
- Keep your emotions in check.
- Share more stats and facts than stories.
- Be gracious and grateful.
- Accept the answer and process it later.
- Thank them for their time.
If your Pastor is unwilling to meet, pray over the situation and send brief status updates quarterly. God may change their heart and mind in time.
How have you found meeting regularly with your Pastor to be beneficial for your women’s ministry?
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