Feel like your last event was a ministry fail? Don't be so quick to dismiss your seemingly failed event! Take these 8 steps first.

Have you ever been disappointed by the turnout at one of your women’s ministry events?

I have. I’ll never forget the event our women’s ministry team held that one person showed up to attend.

For months our team had been planning and promoting a toy and clothing swap. Our church hosted a large preschool program during the week and we believed this was the perfect outreach event.

We distributed flyers to the preschool families, publicized the event heavily to our church members, and collected a large number of toys and clothing for the swap.

We were expecting a great turnout.

One of our team members spent hours organizing all of the donations by size. It was an impressive sight!

Despite our prayer and our planning, statistically speaking our event was a total flop!

As we work to process a seemingly failed event, we must be careful not to fall subject to Satan’s schemes.

Satan wants:
  • Your team to feel like a failure.
  • To leave you discouraged.
  • To minimize any and all blessings from the event
  • We must stand firm trusting that God has a greater plan and our response needs to mirror our faith.

Consider the following steps as you lead your team through the experience of what appears to be a women’s ministry fail.

8 Steps to Take after a Ministry Fail

1. Pray

Ask God to give you His perspective on what transpired. Pray individually, but also pray corporately.

2. Sit and Soak

Spend some time just sitting and soaking in God’s Word. Turn on some worship music and allow it to be a balm to your soul.

3. Grieve

You may feel that every minute spent planning, preparing, and delivering your event was a complete waste. Take time to morn. Let your grief be between you and God and then let it go. Don’t let Satan gain a foothold.

4. Remember

Remember that God’s Word does not return void. Every time we share God’s Word it makes a difference. (See Isaiah 55:11.)

5. Reflect

Fill out a Post Event Evaluation Form with your team – note what went well and discuss what changes may need to be made going forward.

6. Modify

Make necessary modifications, don’t just talk about them. Change the date or time. Decrease the cost Get your publicity out far in advance.

7. Acknowledge

Acknowledge that Satan does not want your ministry to succeed. Pray that God would protect your next event and that He would give you the strength to press on when attacks come.

8. Celebrate

Celebrate the good things about the event. Did your team bond? Did you have a great volunteer staff? Did someone accept Christ?

That event we were so quick to label as a failure, was in fact not.

The Missions Team at our church took the clothes and toys to an apartment complex where our church had been doing outreach to the Youth for a couple of years.

Together our women’s ministry and missions teams helped families in the apartment complex “shop” for Christmas gifts for their family.

More than one dear child asked for help in finding a gift for their brother or sister. They weren’t picking out items for themselves, but for others! Families were amazed by our generosity and blessed with much-needed clothing for their children.

God took our “failed” event and used it to bless and build bridges between our church and the parents in that community.

Working together on a project also showed our team the power of operating outside of our silo.

As Romans 8:28 reminds us, “that in all things God works for the good of those how love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

God will use this failure.

Lord, help us not to miss the lesson and the blessings you bring from events that we may be tempted to label as a failure.

You may also want to read:
Why Women Aren’t Coming to Your Women’s Ministry Events
How to Get Women to Show Up
60 Service Project Idea
What to Do with Criticism

One year ago: Summer Icebreaker: Who here?
Two years ago: How to Host a Bible Journaling Event
Three years ago: Teach Your Team to Pray Out Loud
Four years ago: No More Notecard Stress
Five years ago: Christmas: Wrap It Up Game