Below you’ll find the show notes for episode 77, Challenges and Prayers: Navigating Women’s Ministry in 2024 from the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast.
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Challenges and Prayers: Navigating Women’s Ministry in 2024
What challenges are women’s ministry leaders facing in 2024?
While I’ll share a few of my personal thoughts, most of what you’ll read in this post are the comments and thoughts of other leaders serving in their local church.
Let’s start with the challenges.
I asked the leaders in the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Community Facebook group what they see as their biggest women’s ministry challenge in 2024.
Leaders had a lot to share – there were over 140 comments! I’ve combed through the responses and I’m going to highlight some of those answers – many of which were shared repeatedly. Take a look and see which of these challenges you’re facing too.
While I’ve got suggestions for meeting all of these challenges, I want to encourage you to search the Women’s Ministry Toolbox website for posts on the particular challenge you’re facing.
My goal today is not to solve these problems, but for you to know you are not alone.
Many leaders can relate to the challenge of women not prioritizing the study of Scripture or the body of Christ.
This can be so frustrating, especially when we intentionally offer multiple opportunities for women to study God’s Word together.
Related to that point, attendance is another challenge leaders are trying to overcome.
People are so busy. Families with children in sports don’t have time for another night at church. It’s hard to get women to commit. It seems as if some women don’t see the value in what women’s ministry teams are offering.
So many leaders are struggling to get every age group to participate.
In many cases, it’s a lack of younger women, but in some churches, it’s the older women who don’t want to serve, teach, disciple, or mentor.
Because this is almost a universal problem, I do want to pause and point you to a couple of resources. If you’re struggling to reach the younger women in your church, be sure to check out my post Bridging the Generation Gap – How to Engage Younger Women in Your Women’s Ministry. My book Rethinking Women’s Ministry is also packed with ideas to help.
Another challenge that resonated was recruiting volunteers and teachers.
Few women are willing to step up and do the work. Some leaders shared that they can find women willing to help, but no one wants to lead.
On the more personal side, trying to avoid burnout is a challenge for leaders.
Striking that balance between ministry and personal life – whether you’re a volunteer or paid – is hard.
Can you relate? Was there one challenge in particular you’re facing? While it would be nice if everyone attended everything and there was no shortage of willing, solid leaders to choose from, that’s just not reality.
If there were no challenges to overcome, we wouldn’t need God’s help!
I’m reminded of the oft-quoted verse, Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. When things are hard, we can be content because we know God will give us the strength to endure the things He has called us to do.
While there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution I can share, there is a one-size-fits-all tactic every team needs to employ, and that is prayer.
Only by God’s grace, provision, and direction, will we make progress.
If you were discouraged reading about the challenges of women’s ministry, I pray these prayers will be an encouragement to you. I think you’ll find as I did that the hearts of women leading and serving in women’s ministry in their local church are hopeful, expectant, and tender.
On the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Facebook page, I asked “What is one desire or prayer you have for the women in your church for the new year?”
I was blown away by the depth of the comments. Once again most of these comments were echoed by other leaders.
Here are a few of the prayer leaders have for the women in their church:
- That they would grow in their relationship with the Lord.
- That their willing endurance in faith through the hard stuff would produce an unshakeable hope and contagious joy in Jesus.
- May the Lord have His way with them, transforming them from the inside out. That their eyes would be open to see Him.
- That they will grow in the knowledge of God’s Word and their faith in Him through Christ Jesus.
- For unity, for closer connections, for servant’s hearts towards each other. To minister to one another’s needs.
- They would hunger for God’s Word.
- To go beyond the surface level – digging deeper for deeper growth.
- To realize that eternal decisions and conversations are far more important than all other things that clamor for their attention.
- To see the need for fellowship with each other and to desire to grow in their relationship with the Lord (to attend studies that are offered to help with that growth).
- They know that they are always loved and never alone.
- To deepen and develop their prayer lives. In private, in small groups, and corporately. May they see it as important as breathing and cherish the opportunities!
- To know that there is something more. The Lord isn’t finished with them! There is more to share, more to love, more to their relationship with Jesus, and a need to share the gospel more.
- That they would love God first with all that is within them.
Are those not the most beautiful desires and prayers?!
Did you catch the repeated themes of growing in relationship with God and each other, hungering for God’s Word, going deeper, praying, loving one another, and transformation? Yes, please, Jesus!
What are your prayers for the women in your church?
Are you asking God to do big things in the lives of your women this year? How are you making ministry plans that align with those prayers?
Today’s Toolbox Tasks:
- Talk as a team about the specific challenges you’re facing this year.
- Spend some time in prayer, asking God for His provision and direction to overcome those challenges.
- Make a list of specific prayers you have for the women in your church.
- Check your ministry calendar and make any needed changes or tweaks so that what you offer aligns with those prayers.
I pray 2024 will be a year of great growth for your women and for your ministry.
You may also want to read:
Bridging the Generation Gap: How to Engage Younger Women in Your Women’s Ministry
Overcoming Women’s Ministry Burnout: Tips to Refuel and Renew Your Passion
Why Women Aren’t Coming to Your Women’s Ministry Events
How to Find Volunteers
21 Prayers for Women in Your Church or Small Group
Teaching Women to READ the Bible
10 Ways You Can Encourage Women to Read the Bible