As we discovered in last week’s post, there are a lot of different things we could do and should at our women’s ministry meetings.
While we may find a formula that works well, it can be easy to fall into a rut or to neglect the vast needs of our women if our women’s ministry meetings follow the same format each time we meet.
So how do we mix things up keeping it interesting, yet stay true to our mission and purpose? We prayerfully offer different types of women’s ministry meetings.
Offering different types of women’s ministry meetings:
- Keeps the focus on Christ
- Ensures we meet the different needs of our women
- Provides much-needed variety
- Keeps our ministry from becoming stale
- Creates a schedule that’s more balanced
You may find it helpful to categorize the types of meetings your team offers. In doing so, you may find your offerings are a bit heavy on fellowship and lacking in developing the spiritual disciplines. Or you may find the opposite is true, your offerings are almost always deep, providing few entry points for women who are not believers or are new Christians.
Before we start tallying up your current women’s ministry offerings, let’s define several different types of women’s ministry meetings.
I’ve broken down women’s ministry meetings into five basic types:
- Spiritual disciplines
- Biblical encouragement
- Practical skills
Let’s look at what falls into each category.
5 Types of Women’s Ministry Meetings
1. Spiritual disciplines
Women learn, experience, and practice a spiritual discipline. Prayer, worship, meditation, fasting, journaling, Bible study, and evangelism all fall under this umbrella.
Imagine the spiritual growth you could stimulate in your women by offering in-depth teaching on a spiritual discipline!
Possible meeting topics include Bible Journaling, Prayer, How to Study the Bible, How to Honor the Sabbath, Worship and Prayer Night, and How to Share Jesus without Fear. Both in-house and professional speakers can be used to deliver the content.
2. Biblical encouragement
Women are encouraged by a teaching or testimony that highlights God’s faithfulness and presence. God’s Word is central to the message and application of biblical truth is encouraged.
Biblical encouragement meetings will often be centered around personal testimonies and stories of spiritual growth – things like finding hope in difficult circumstances, finding freedom from sin, learning to live joyfully, grace, etc. Most of the topics speakers list on their websites would fall into this category. Those meetings will offer encouragement for an issue your women are struggling with.
Examples of meetings offering biblical encouragement include guest speakers, personal testimonies, speaker panels, and topical teachings.
Sharing stories of hope and healing offers encouragement, but great care must be taken to keep the focus on spiritual transformation and Christ rather than emotions and the flesh.
3. Practical skills
Women learn, experience, and practice a practical skill.
What do your women want to learn how to do? You may have women in your church that can teach these skills, or you made need to find a professional from the community.
Examples of practical skills meetings include painting parties, organizing, fashion tips, flower arranging, knitting, chalk paint, budgeting, canning, making jam, marriage workshops, meal planning, and discipline workshops.
Whenever possible content should be framed through the lens of the Bible. An easy way to add the Gospel to a skill-based meeting is to have a woman share a testimony that ties in with the topic. For example, someone may have a relative that canned who also encouraged their faith. Another way to link the Bible to a skill-based meeting is to have a short lesson on what the Bible has to say about the topic. What does the Bible say about budgeting? What does the Bible say about being a good steward?
Meetings that focus on a practical skill are often optimal outreach events.
While we want to encourage our women to serve in the community, offering service opportunities at the church that connect women to the community benefit our women too.
Invite a ministry partner to share briefly about what they do. Finish your time with a hands-on project that will support that ministry in a meaningful way.
Ideas include sandwiches for the homeless, no-sew fleece blankets for the women’s shelter, pillowcase dresses to send with to a missionary or those going on a mission trip, notecards for local teachers, and cupcakes for emergency responders. Check out this list of 60 service projects for more ideas.
Introducing your women to local ministries allows them to discover new places to serve.
4. Fellowship Focused
This may be the type of meeting you assume is the most popular based on past attendance. It may even be tempting to offer more fellowship focused meetings than others, but I want to discourage you from doing so.
Offering too many fellowship-focused events could very easily water down your mission to share Christ and stunt the spiritual growth of your women.
Fellowship focused meetings should be sprinkled lightly throughout your schedule, not applied liberally. Women repeatedly shared on last fall’s survey that they want depth, not just a social event.
Fellowship focused meetings include game nights, potlucks, holiday celebrations, and movie nights. Fellowship focused meetings might appear secular at first glance, but should always point women to the Gospel. Sharing a testimony is an easy way to encourage women at these events to remind them of the hope and freedom that can be found in Christ.
Fellowship focused events can be a bridge for women to attend other events you offer. They are often the easiest events for women who are new to attend. Be sure to invite the women in attendance to your Bible studies and next event.
It’s quite possible your meeting may not fit neatly into one of the categories above. Maybe it’s a combination. That’s okay!
The goal is not to offer one of each type of meeting each quarter or every other month.
We’re not striving for an equal balance of different women’s ministry meeting types, but we are striving for a variety.
Categorizing our meetings helps us to see the big picture and highlights any holes in our programming.
Our women’s ministry team in Kentucky discovered we had a large hole in our meeting schedule. We needed to add some service focused meetings and doing so made a dramatic impact. You can read a bit about it here.
Meeting the needs of so many different women isn’t an easy task, but it’s not impossible either.
Offering different types of women’s ministry meetings is one way to try to better meet those needs.
Next week we’ll wrap things up with a look at 5 Keys to Great Women’s Ministry Meetings.
You may also want to read:
What should we include in our women’s ministry meetings?
How to Create a Women’s Ministry Mission Statement
How to Select Your Verse and Theme for the Year
Women’s Ministry Themes
But did you tell them about Me?
Why Women Aren’t Coming to Your Women’s Ministry Events
How to Get Women to Show Up
One year ago: 10 Tips for Resolving Conflicts
Two years ago: Summer Reads
Three years ago: How to Host an Operation Christmas Child Packing Party
Four years ago: The Next Big Thing in Women’s Ministry
Five years ago: 10 Reasons to Host a Summer Event
Six years ago: Fellowship Idea: Coffee, Cake, and Comedy Night