I was blown away by the thousands of comments that were submitted by the 1140 women who to the survey on women’s ministry events and activities.
Some surprised me. Some broke my heart. Some made me wish I had a way to follow up and ask more questions.
It’s impossible for me to share all of the comments with you as there are over 3,400 of them!
I’m going to do my best to give you an overview.
Some are comments that were made repeatedly and some were just noteworthy.
I pray they’ll give you another level of insight and understanding about what women are looking for and expecting from a women’s ministry event or activity.
Please note all are direct, complete quotes, with the exception of the correction of spelling or adding punctuation/capitalization.
Let’s start off with the good news!
Here’s what women had to say about how women’s ministry has played a significant role in their spiritual growth.
In a former church, the women’s ministry was my lifeline and kept me sane through my early mothering years.
Studying the Word with other women has been life-changing
Brought me to faith
Encouraged my spiritual growth. Connected me to women who have served as mentors.
Provided community in a difficult stage of life. Now I try to provide that for other women.
Simply being around other women as they work through life issues shows how God truly works in everyday events and through ordinary people.
Having the love and support from other Christian women in my life has given me strength (physically, emotionally, and mentally) to continue on to be a better person. Learning from their life stories and experiences it’s a great comfort.
The mentoring of mature Christian women has influenced my participation and decisions to serve.
I have made an effort to be involved in women’s ministry events and to seek out older women to mentor me. These relationships have been huge for me—offering encouragement, care, and sometimes even rebuke that is based in God’s word.
I gravitate toward women my age, but women’s ministry has helped tear down that artificial divide. I’ve gotten to know and learned so much from women in other generations.
Without the guidance of a discipleship relationship, my marriage would not have improved, my walk with the Lord would be light, and I would continue to flounder as to my purpose in the Body of Christ.
I was at a Women’s retreat when I had realized that I had never had a true relationship with Jesus. My pastor’s wife helped lead me to Christ at that retreat and changed my life forever.
They weren’t shy about sharing “What’s important to you in a women’s ministry event?”
Here’s a look at just a few of their comments.
Content > Theme, Content > Décor
Childcare, scriptural, deep. If I am going to go out with my kids I don’t want it to just be a social club. I need the gospel!
Structured social times, forcing people to mingle with those they don’t know (because I sometimes go to things alone and am not good at meeting new people). Focused prayer and worship time. Intentional conversations and personal sharing time (i.e. breakouts after a speaker or small group discussion in bible study). Hearing from women of all generations/life experiences
Prayer-driven, Spirit-directed; welcoming; organized; current; with space for connection – so balanced and time conscious.
That we have time to talk to other women.
Relevant and relational.
For it to be well-communicated and well-organized event. And that is more than just an event for event’s sake. No need to have events just to fill the calendar.
Great energy, a strong facilitator who is organized, moves it along and knows when to cut off some of the talkers and those who tend to dominate the group.
God is glorified. The gospel is given. The Scriptures are included in the event. God-centered and fellowship with others encouraged.
Comments worth wrestling over.
Ditch the secret sisters, the teas, and crafty stuff and focus on the meat.
Lots of old thinking – not much consideration for how our daily lives have changed. “This is how we’ve always done it” comes up way too much in our meetings.
Emphasis presently seems to be on the correct procedure as a business meeting and not on meeting spiritual, relationship, emotional or physical needs of its’ women.
The pastor only allows 2 events per year and women’s small groups the rest of the time.
The leadership is a small nasty little click. They exclude ladies and seem to be small-minded and myopic in their ability to see and understand the needs of others. Very Sad indeed.
Leadership is typically about who is queen bee and who that queen bee likes.
The majority of our women’s events would be appropriate for women of different ages, but the publicity is so antiquated that it does not reach many younger women.
Older women who have lots of head knowledge but little grace and charity head our women’s ministry. They have forgotten the demands and needs of younger women, particularly mothers of young children.
I generally think women’s ministry events are cheesy. They’re very inward focused and not as focused on reaching people for Jesus, but just feeding ourselves.
Crafts are terrible! If there are crafts I am not going.
I don’t like it if it’s full of little kids because I’m past that stage so I want them to have childcare for other people’s kids. Sounds rude, but it’s honest.
Very little enjoyable time. Seems like you just sit there and listen to a video or another woman talk.
I haven’t found one with mature women that don’t use it as a tool to gossip/do other damage.
I can’t get a ride.
Teaching the truth unapologetically. The better we know God, the more we’ll worship Him and serve others. We can try teaching women to be better women, but only transformational gospel teaching will change their lives.
Too often the teaching is surface-level; directed primarily at moms; or assumes a homogenous audience, with similar interests, outlooks, culture, and calling. Sometimes the teaching is more concerned with keeping the status quo or not stepping on toes rather than actual life and actual faith.
I feel like they go out of their way to be extra feminine…i.e. Décor, topics. Just be normal.
The speakers/leaders having poor or lacking theology, but rather sharing a “feel good” message instead of good, solid truth about God. I firmly believe, through experience, that a right view of who God is will order our lives in a way that honors Him. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for community building events and informal, “fun” occasions, but women’s conference speakers that share a fluffy message turn me off.
Too much fluff and socializing. Not starting on time or ending on time. Sometimes not beginning and ending in prayer. Crafts – ugh!
We have an event that is near Christmas, in my opinion, it is too extravagant and costly at a season when funds are tight. The cost prohibits some from going. The cost and location is also a factor in the women’s retreat – it is an hour away and is too expensive for some to come. The previous women’s ministry held the retreat at our home church every other year to meet the needs of women who didn’t want to travel and stay overnight at a remote location.
When margaritas show up at a ladies event for Cinco de Mayo, when it’s just a social event, when it’s just books that I could read on my own.
There is little conversation, little chance to pour into each other. Just the video lady.
I love the women at my church, but they aren’t very Bible literate and are more interested in social events than spiritual growth.
Due to dietary issues, if there’s a menu that I can’t eat and no alternative, that keeps me away.
My previous church the last year we were there really made an effort to be intentional with everything we did. We asked ourselves does this connect people and does this connect people to Jesus. We saw a HUGE change in our women and those that attended our events including myself.
It seems the “You are special” topic is beat to death.
I’ve never really joined the women’s group because of feeling as though I don’t fit in.
I am praying God will highlight those comments that your team needs to pay attention to. While we cannot please everyone, we can take steps to cast our nets a bit wider, work harder, be mindful of our purpose, and try to ensure every woman that comes feels welcome.
I’d love to hear which comments encouraged you, convicted you, or surprised you!
You may also want to read:
Part 1 – What Women Wish You Knew About Your Women’s Ministry
Part 2 – What Women Wish You Knew About Your Women’s Ministry
Why Women Aren’t Coming to Your Women’s Ministry Events
How to Get Women to Show Up
How to Engage Multiple Generations
One year ago: Book Review: Free of Me
Two years ago: Is your event budget realistic?
Three years ago: Where should you go for your women’s ministry retreat?
Four years ago: Gathering Prayer Requests
Five years ago: Minty Thank You (Free Printable)