Sometimes I am my own worst enemy.
I make choices and speak words that hurt others and hurt the ministries in which I serve and long to see flourish.
In some cases the Holy Spirit is quick to convict me and I repent and attempt to sin no more.
In other cases, I’m so blinded by pride I can’t see the harm I’m causing.
Perhaps you can relate…
Today, I want to ask you to spend a moment in prayer. Asking God to reveal anything that you may consciously or unconsciously be doing that may be hurting your church or your women’s ministry.
Lord, you are the God who sees everything. You know the true motivations of our heart. We confess that at times we harm the very ministry you’ve entrusted to us. Help us to see our actions from Your perspective. Allow us to see any and all areas where we need to make a change so your ministry can thrive. We want nothing more than to serve you and bring women to the foot of the cross. Amen.
Let’s prayerfully tackle each topic, placing it before the Lord for His assessment before we decide it doesn’t apply.
Stick with me! I’m preaching to myself here even more than I’m preaching to you.
As you read remember Proverbs 28:13, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”
It’s time to rip out some weeds that are choking the flowers in our gardens!
8 Ways Women’s Ministry Leaders Hurt Themselves
1. We refuse to support other women’s ministry programs in our area.
We act like it’s a competition with fabulous prizes. Shouldn’t we rejoice if women attend a church – any church?! Some leaders even go so far as to bad-mouth ministries at other churches. “I’ve heard their Bible studies aren’t run very well.” We forget that attending events at other churches can be beneficial – read this post!
2. We choose not to welcome women that are different than us.
If they don’t look or act like us, then we don’t make them feel welcome. This includes excluding women based on their race, income, church history, career choice, educational choices for her children, marital status, church attendance, and clothing options.
3. We treat our denomination as superior to others.
We put down, usually subtly, the church down the street because they worship differently than we do.
4. We refuse to train others to take over our ministry.
We should always be training our replacement. When we fail to prepare our team for our absence, we place the future of the ministry in jeopardy. I know from experience how God can quickly move one out of state! Some leaders keep their team weak so they can’t operate on their own.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
5. We never invite anyone else to share the platform.
We make ministry about us. We should never be the face of women’s ministry, God is.
6. We mark our territory.
Rather than sharing church spaces and rooms with other ministries, we go to great lengths to let everyone know this is our space and they are not welcome. Some teams decorate rooms in such a way that no group would dare open the door.
7. We refuse to invite younger women to be part of the team or planning process.
We create excuses: they haven’t been a Christian long enough, they don’t have enough experience, she’s a young mom and doesn’t have the time.
8. We forget our position and subvert authority.
How often do we “forget” to request permission through the proper channels? Do we meet regularly with the Pastor? Are we open and willing to their suggestions?
This was not meant to be a guilt trip, but a reminder that our actions sometimes have a negative effect.
I pray the Holy Spirit will be quick to convict and correct us.
I am thankful that God redeems and restores. He can use our mistakes for His good. And He knows these real-life stories can make for some great testimonies!
We can make the choice to speak kindly, welcome others, swallow our pride, and change our attitude.
This post was inspired by this post by Chuck Lawless.
You may also want to read:
The Beauty of Events at Other Churches
8 Reasons to Develop a Strong Women’s Ministry Team
The Most Critical Mistake a Team Leader Can Make
5 Mistakes Leaders Make When Building a Women’s Ministry Team
11 Things I Wish I Had Known as a New Women’s Ministry Leader
One year ago: The Most Critical Mistake a Team Leader Can Make
Two years ago: The Biggest Mistake Women’s Ministry Teams Make
Three years ago: Lazarus Awakening Bible Study
Four years ago: The Door Prize Basket
Five years ago: Christmas Icebreaker Questions (Free Printable)