In the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to attend several women’s ministry training events and courses in person and online.
My experience has varied widely, even within the context of a specific event or online resource.
Some have knocked it out of the park. Some started off strong and then fizzled. Others were downright disappointing.
While I ask God to give me one thing from each session to take home, ideally I’m seeking training that offers the greatest return on my investment. There’s no sense in repeating the experience if it wasn’t very beneficial.
I know first-hand the struggle of finding training that is:
Today I want to share some questions and thoughts that may be helpful to you as you weigh the pros and cons of different women’s ministry training opportunities.
10 Key Questions to Ask When Seeking Valuable Women’s Ministry Training
Are you able to commit the time necessary to reap the rewards? For several years leaving our two young boys alone home with my husband for several days to attend out of town training was not logistically possible. If you’re already feeling stretched-thin, a 6-week course with weekly required homework and videos may not be manageable. Is a self-paced, online course best for you in this season?
What’s the actual financial commitment? Is this the first course in a series of 12? Does the ticket price include meals or lodging? Will you need to fly and rent a car? Is this something you can pay for out of your pocket? Is this something the church would pay for if you asked?
What do you need and is that what will be delivered? We need to be good stewards of our time and money and not just make a selection based on the famous author that will be speaking or the proximity to our home. Look for something that’s an all-around good fit for your specific needs.
Are you getting a good value for your investment of time and money? It’s difficult to predetermine the value of an event you’ve never attended. However, you may be able to speak with previous attendees or students. Take a close look at the schedule. If you’re looking for training and not just encouragement, be certain both will be offered. Check out their website and social media accounts. Do they consistently deliver excellent content?
5. Presentation Style
What presentation style will you benefit from most? If you’re not big on lectures, make sure you’re going to have some sessions that offer smaller group discussion. Do you want workshop options? Is worship music important to you? If it’s an online training, check out the type and length of videos and other materials such as worksheets that may be offered.
Who is presenting the material? Do they have experience as a women’s ministry leader in the area you are seeking training? Do they have experience or a reputation as being a good teacher? When you encounter an excellent presenter, be sure to tell others!
Are you looking for a small event or large event? Events with 1800 leaders in attendance offer a completely different experience than a conference or retreat with less than 100. Most leaders find it can be more difficult to build relationships and make connections in a large group than in a smaller one.
Is the venue all-inclusive? Where do you meet, eat, and sleep? Are you only coming together for programming and then heading back to separate hotels until the next day? Some leaders prefer all-inclusive events that allow them to continue connecting with leaders outside of the hours that are programmed.
What do the presenters believe? Make certain the presenter or group shares your same beliefs, or close enough that you are comfortable attending. Understand the doctrine of the denomination that is presenting the training. Pay attention to the things they share on social media and read their statement of beliefs if they have one. Popularity does not ensure sound theology.
Where is the event located? This isn’t always a deal-breaker, but it can seal the deal! Sometimes a training or retreat location is just too good to pass up!
Where can you find women’s ministry training?
- Women’s Ministry Toolbox, of course! Details posted below.
- Local, state, and national denominational offices will often host training that would be a great fit for you and your team. In addition to those labeled “women’s ministry training” look closely at discipleship, missions, prayer, evangelism, etc. as those trainings will often offer a break-out session or two geared towards women or women’s ministry leaders.
- Google will yield some results, but remember to examine what they are really offering and try to find someone who has attended or utilized that resource that can provide outsider insight.
- Ask other leaders which trainings, courses, and conferences they have found beneficial. That’s a great question to ask in our free Women’s Ministry Toolbox Community Facebook Group.
As you search and seek out women’s ministry training, I would be honored if you would prayerfully consider the online and in-person training I offer through Women’s Ministry Toolbox.
As a former elementary school teacher with over 20 years of experiencing ministering to women, my ministry experience at 5 different churches, educational training, Bible Study Fellowship training, and theater background combine to present trainings that are rich, interesting, and interactive.
Women’s Ministry Toolbox Training Opportunities
1. Gather and Glean Women’s Ministry Training and Retreat – As the Lord leads, we hope to offer at least one training each year in a different location. This year we’ll be meeting in northern Alabama at Lake Guntersville State Park on September 26-28, 2019. You’ll find more information here. Tickets are limited to the first 70 leaders that sign up.
2. Personalized Team Training – Sometimes you need someone to come in and sit down with your team. I’d be happy to come in and lead training for your team. You can find a list of possible training topics here. Contact me for more information.
3. Online, Self-paced Training – I’ve been working hard to build my library of online training materials for you, and I’ve just dropped the prices for the summer! Be sure to check out the Bible Study Facilitator Training Course, Women’s Ministry Event Planning 101, How to Select a Bible Study for Your Small Group, How to Select and Find a Speaker (free email course), and the Prayer Warrior Boot Camp (strengthen your prayer life). If you have specific ideas for other trainings I can add to the library, let me know!
May God lead you to the training you need for the season you are in!
One year ago: Gospel Mentoring: When Mentoring is a Culture, Not a Program
Two years ago: 5 Keys to Nurturing Your Team
Three years ago: The Beauty of Events at Other Churches
Four years ago: How to Love Your Neighbor (without being weird)
Five years ago: Mission Project: Bless Them With Band-Aids
Six years ago: Icebreaker: The Great Candy Pass