Below you’ll find the transcript for Episode 11: How to Build a Women’s Ministry Team from the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast.
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Welcome to the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast. I’m Cyndee Ownbey, your host and women’s ministry mentor. I’m the founder of Women’s Ministry Toolbox and the author of Rethinking Women’s Ministry. The Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast is a podcast for women’s ministry leaders and team members of all stages (from new to seasoned) serving in their local church community. If you’re looking for hope and inspiration, you’ve come to the right place! In addition to discussing the nuts and bolts of women’s ministry, I’ll be asking seasoned women’s ministry leaders to share their best tips and the lessons they’ve learned. Together we’ll learn to build a flourishing, Christ-focused women’s ministry.
Episode 11: How to Build a Women’s Ministry Team
Welcome to episode 11, How to Build a Women’s Ministry Team. In today’s episode, we’ll discuss how many team members you should have, what roles and responsibilities you should put in place, and how to ask women to serve on your team. You’re going to want to grab a pen and take some notes.
Now, before we begin, I have a confession to make. I struggle with teams. I really like to do things myself. I have a hard time delegating. I know that if I do it myself, it’s going to get done the way that I want it to get done. And I feel like it takes a lot of time to share my vision. Sometimes people let me down, and they don’t get the task finished so I end up doing it myself anyway.
But I’ve learned over the years that God wants us to use women’s ministry teams because they are practical and they are biblical.
Practical reasons to build a women’s ministry team:
- When we have a women’s ministry team in place, that means the work is shared. We cannot possibly do everything ourselves, even if we think we can – trust me, I have tried.
- When other women to serve on the women’s ministry team, we’re giving them an opportunity to serve and to use the gifts that God has given them to be a blessing to others.
- We don’t know when we might not be able to continue serving. Your husband might get a new job, and you might have to move very suddenly. You could get sick. A number of things could happen that would necessitate you stepping out of your women’s ministry role. If you don’t have a team already functioning and working, ready to carry on without you, your women’s ministry program is going to cease. We don’t want it to come to a standstill because we didn’t put a team in place.
Biblical support for a women’s ministry team:
Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors, they succeed.”
Ephesians 4:16 (NLT) says, “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”
Let’s get down to those nitty-gritty questions that I know you have.
How many women should serve on your team?
That’s a question I get a lot from leaders. Let me give you some guidelines that I think will help.
Gina Duke, a friend, author, and former women’s ministry leader, recommends that you have one woman for every hundred women in your church.
If you’ve got a large church, you may want to max your team out around maybe 12 team members with teams serving underneath each one of those team leaders.
In a smaller church, you may find a team of about four, really helps to distribute the responsibilities, and then you just recruit women as needed to help.
Every church is unique. When we were in a church of about 200, we had five of us on the team, and that worked well. It was God’s design for our church.
So don’t force a number. Don’t force a formula. Trust God to grow your team as He sees fit. And it really is okay for roles to sit empty as you wait for God to fill them with the right person.
What roles do you need on your team?
Most women’s ministry directors find it’s helpful to ask women to serve in a specific role or area of gifting. That keeps women from stepping on other’s toes, people know what’s expected, and it reduces the issue of knowledge transfer.
Here are my top five role recommendations:
- Women’s ministry director. You may decide that one or two people need to share that responsibility. They are the person or people that are in charge. They communicate with the church staff, they set the agenda, and they cast the vision.
- Publicity coordinator. That includes coordinating your social media.
- Bible study coordinator.
- Hospitality. Under that, I put food and decor.
- Event coordinator. Someone that coordinates retreats, conferences, banquets, et cetera.
Some women’s ministry teams find that dividing responsibilities with each new event or activity they plan works for them. However, I want to caution you a bit; as I mentioned before, you’ve got to transfer that knowledge from one person to the next. Changing your point person can frustrate or confuse your church staff. If Susie was in charge of publicity for this event, but all of a sudden, Tracy’s in charge of the next event, they can get a little confused on who to go to for questions.
While your natural team leaders will always step up, your quiet team members sometimes suffer when it’s just more of a “who wants to be in charge?” rather than this is your role, and this is how we need to help.
You can find sample job descriptions in my Women’s Ministry Binder Essentials in the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Shop. They’re also in my Rethinking Women’s Ministry Workbook. (I’ve got a lot more listed there that you may feel is necessary for your women’s ministry team. That’ll help you flush those roles out just a bit more.)
As our weekly session drew to a close, the facilitator of our summer Bible study simply asked, “Would someone like to close us in prayer?” You could have heard a pin drop. Out of a group of over 20 women, no one dared to move or breathe. I was both shocked and saddened. Did no one have the confidence to pray out loud? At our very next women’s ministry team meeting, I suggested we offer a workshop on prayer. Our women needed help. Chances are yours do too! The Prayer Warrior Boot Camp that we offered to stretch and strengthen our women’s prayer muscles is available for you to use in your church. The Prayer Warrior Boot Camp Kit includes everything you need to do and say. Visit prayerwarriorbootcamp.com to find out more.
How do you ask women to serve on your team?
I do not recommend that you ever place an ad on Facebook, in an email, or a church bulletin with an open invitation, letting women know that you have open spots on the team. If you do, you have to take whoever volunteers, and that may not be the woman that God is calling to serve in that position.
Many years ago, I was on a team, and my co-leader asked a friend to serve in a role that was empty. Initially, it was not a problem. However, this team member struggled to abide by the budget that we had set at the beginning of the year.
We had a set amount that could be used to help with breakfast supplies for our women. She said that she was going to take care of breakfast. No problem! She went and got two trays of chicken minis from Chick-fil-A. As you may know, those are kind of pricey. Our budget for the whole semester, probably eight meetings, was $75. She spent our entire budget for the semester on those chicken minis, which caused tension and frustration. We worked through it. Somebody stepped in and covered the cost in the end so that it wouldn’t negatively affect our ministry budget, but it made things much more difficult for the rest of the year. We never stopped to pray. We never prayed to see if she was the right person, and I live with that regret to this day.
Let me walk you through how I have learned to ask women to serve on our women’s ministry team. This was taught to me by a mentor. She helped me put this process in place, and it absolutely works.
I will share two steps of the process with you here to try to keep it simple. If you want the full details, you can find them in my book, Rethinking Women’s Ministry.
How to Ask a Woman to Serve on the Women’s Ministry Team
1.Make a list.
Prayerfully put together a list of names and then submit that list for approval to your pastors. They may have information you do not know that might disqualify someone from leadership, or maybe just put a pause on asking them to serve in leadership. You want to get their approval.
Please call them. I want you to ask them to pray and call you back by a specific date, and then I want you to end your phone call by praying for them. We want to make sure that we are seeking the Lord’s will as we build our team.
Today’s Toolbox Task:
- If you don’t have roles or responsibilities, I want to challenge you to develop some. Take your time as you work to figure out how women who are currently on your team want to serve going forward, then you can see where your gaps are.
- Review your current team structure. Is it working? Do you need to add a team member? Maybe you need a social media coordinator, or perhaps you need to restructure the whole thing. I encourage you to be prayerful and not rush through this process. Just because someone is willing to serve does not mean that they are called to serve.
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Women’s Ministry Toolbox podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, would you consider leaving us a rating and review in your podcast app? This helps leaders just like you find this podcast, and it also helps them to know whether the podcast would be a good fit. Just open your podcast app, go to the show, and then scroll down until you see the ratings & reviews option. From there, you can tap to rate and then write a review. It really is a huge help – thanks so much! May the grace of God carry you through difficult ministry seasons, may He direct your steps as you seek to make Him known, and may your love for the LORD be apparent to every woman you serve.
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You may also want to read:
How to Recruit Women’s Ministry Team Members
10 Dangers to Running a Women’s Ministry Without a Team
8 Reasons to Develop a Strong Women’s Ministry Team
8 Great Team-Building Icebreakers
How to Get Your Team on the Same Page