Below you’ll find the transcript for episode 26, Q&A and Praise Reports from the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast.
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EP 26: Question and Answer + Praise Reports
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.
Today we are wrapping up our series on women’s ministry foundations with a little bit of Q&A.
At the end, I’ve got some praise reports to share with you. Don’t miss them!
Side note: Next week we’ll be moving on and starting a brand new series, also focused on women’s ministry, but on a different topic. So makes sure you check back next week to hear what that topic will be.
I’ve got four questions I’m going to address in this “Question and Answer” episode.
I hope you’ll find tips and information in each one that will help you and your women’s ministry team.
What do we do when the women’s ministry director does not share the same concerns that we do?
A lot of team members that visit my website, listen to the podcast, or who’ve read my book see the need for some changes in the way their women’s ministry program is running. (It often has to do with things like planning, agendas, and just being more intentional.)
The first piece of advice I have for you is to try to put yourself in the shoes of your women’s ministry leader. How would you feel if someone came up to you and told you that you needed to change the way you were doing some things?
I know my response would depend on two big things, the tone of that conversation and my relationship with that person. If it’s somebody that I know and I trust, I would be a lot more open to listening. I’ve worked hard to improve my ability to receive constructive criticism (and I hope your leader has too), but this is really tough for many people! They may just shut down the moment you bring up a concern.
I’ve got three pieces of advice for you:
- Pray. Pray that God would direct your approach and guide your words. Pray for good conversation and softened hearts.
- Build trust. Develop that relationship. That takes time. Invite her to go out to coffee with you. You don’t have to bring up your concerns yet; just get to know her better. See where it is that she’s coming from. It could really help you decide what will be the best approach.
- Plan your approach. Don’t grab her in the hallway. Don’t call her out in front of another person. Don’t necessarily bring up these points at your team meeting unless the Holy Spirit prompts you to. We want to make sure that when we bring up areas of concern, we do so with the right heart, with the right words, and with a level of respect that your women’s ministry leader deserves. God has placed them in authority over you, and we want to give them the respect that that position has earned and requires.
I am praying that if you see things differently and you see room and need for improvement, that God will show you clearly how to approach and when to approach your women’s ministry team leader.
I recently had a women’s ministry leader in a small church ask me how many women she needed to have on her women’s ministry team.
I have an entire episode (11) that dives deep into how to build a women’s ministry team, but I don’t specifically go into this question.
I served in a small church for several years. We had about 125 that would attend on Sunday mornings. We had five women on our women’s ministry team.
The best way to answer this question is to figure out what roles you need in your specific situation.
Do you need someone to coordinate Bible studies? Do you want someone to oversee hospitality? Do you have a mentoring program? Do you need that person on your team?
We need to be really careful that we complement and don’t compete with other leaders in the church.
There are five roles that I recommend you consider for your women’s ministry team.
- Women’s ministry director. You do need to have somebody that’s ultimately in charge, and that communicates with the church staff.
- Publicity coordinator. This person could also coordinate your social media. It really makes a big difference when you’ve got just one person that’s sending out, disseminating, and creating all of your publicity information.
- Bible study coordinator. If you are in charge of Bible studies for the women in your church, that is a key role you will want on your team.
- Hospitality. That can include food, décor, and greeting.
- Event coordinator. If you’ve got a retreat or a conference that you have every year, or maybe you have bigger events, and you just want to pass that off and let somebody else really take charge and organize those.
Your situation is specific. I don’t know the best number of women’s ministry team members for your church and your situation. I pray that God will show you what roles need to be filled and that He will send women to fill those roles if they’re empty now.
We have a guest speaker tonight, and I want to take up a love offering. What’s the best way to do this without it being awkward?
I love that she asked without it being awkward.
My advice: I would place a basket or something similar, maybe a bucket or something, on the table where your women enter (where they stop and pick up a name, and they’re greeted and welcomed by somebody on your team or your volunteers). Put a sign on that basket or bucket; just label it “love offering for tonight’s speaker.” Women will know just by looking at it what it’s for.
While your greeters could say something that’s going to put your women on the spot and it’s going to make it awkward if they aren’t able to give, or they’re not ready to give, they’re going to feel that pressure that they need to put something in the bucket. I suggest that you don’t ask them.
However, when you make your announcements that evening before your speaker comes up to speak, in your announcements, you could share, “We have a basket on the back table for a love offering for tonight’s speaker. We’d appreciate anything you could give.” But just leave it at that.
I don’t recommend passing a basket or bucket to collect your donation around the room, because again, it makes it awkward. Not everyone has extra money in their budget to be able to contribute.
I also encouraged her to send out an email reminder for the evening. You can easily add a note letting women know you’re going to be collecting a love offering for your speaker and that a basket will be on the table as they enter. Many women are going to appreciate that heads up so they could be sure to grab some cash. I think we sometimes forget not every woman carries cash anymore.
Those three ways, sending an email, making an announcement at your meeting, and putting that basket on the table as they walk in, should be sufficient in making sure that every woman understands that you’re collecting a love offering for the evening.
I’ll never forget the Bible study session that left me feeling like we’d spent more time in our Bible study book than in God’s Word. I knew there had to be a better way to do Bible study. Many months of research and study led me to create the READ Bible study method. As you and your women learn how to read, record, explore, apply, and do, your confidence to study God’s Word with the Holy Spirit as your guide will grow. You’ll discover how scripture supports scripture by examining similar and connecting Bible passages. You’ll learn how to dig deep to uncover historical and cultural context that will shed new light and understanding on the verses you’ve read. More than just a worksheet, READ will lead you step-by-step through your study of any book of the Bible in less than 20 minutes a day. The READ Bible study method is available in three formats, a kit for groups, a printable workbook, and a paperback book. Join with the thousands of others who’ve transformed their quiet time by learning how to READ – record, explore, apply, and do. You’ll find more information at www.readbiblestudy.com.
Do you have a devotional on fill-in-the-blank?
Maybe it’s identity in Christ. Something I could use at our September meeting. One for Christmas. Do you have a devotional that I could use next month at my meeting in March?
I never, ever recommend that you share someone else’s words out of a book or that you ever copy someone else’s teaching (that would be a violation of copyright laws, by the way).
Instead, I want to encourage you to pray and ask God to show you through his Word what He wants you to focus on. Every time I’ve done this, God has made it clear. There’s been a verse that I have come across over and over and over again. It will be in my morning quiet time. It may come from the pulpit on Sunday morning. It might be on the radio when I get in the car. Maybe I even just glance at the verse on somebody else’s Instagram post. I’ll start seeing it repeated, and I’ll know that is where God wants us to go.
Once you know what that verse is, or that passage is, take the time to dig into it. Let the Holy Spirit be your teacher before you open any commentaries or any books.
When I’m speaking on a topic or teaching on a passage, I use my READ Bible study method to dig into that passage before I begin writing my notes. I really want to sit in it and know what is it that God’s Word says? What does it say about God?
We want to be sure that we share what God says about the topic and not what someone else says God says about the topic – which is what we do when we grab a devotional from online or read a page out of a book. We don’t need to play the telephone game. God can speak to us through His Word.
Personal testimonies are a great alternative to devotionals. Be sure to check out episode 21 for more information on sharing personal testimonies.
I really wanted to wrap up this post with some praise reports.
I feel like things are really heavy right now, and we may be discouraged. A lot is going on in the world, but God is on the move, and He is at work throughout your women’s ministry programs.
I want to share with you two stories that leaders sent to me recently.
Praise Report from Jessie:
“We hosted our first women’s retreat in February of this year. Two women did not own Bibles, and our women’s ministry was able to provide them with great, new study Bibles of their own in time for the retreat. One of those women decided to be baptized about a month after the retreat. I don’t credit it to the retreat alone; God has surely been working in her life. But, I was so blessed to be a part of her story!”
Praise Report from Leigh Ann:
“We hosted ‘Summer is for Women’ to start engaging with our women in person through two events each month. Our attendance has been at or more than pre-COVID levels and in many cases, including women who are new(ish) to the church or have never been to an event before. Our Taste and See monthly events are the big hit, along with Christmas in July. Such a blessing to see these women reconnect. We pray that this is the beginning of their willingness to connect with a small group this fall!!”
I love hearing these praise reports! If you are in need of hearing more praise and encouragement of what God is doing through women’s ministries around the world, I encourage you to join the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Facebook group. We would love to have you! It’s a great place for collecting ideas and tips and sharing what God is doing.
Be encouraged. He is at work, and He is using you to help further the Kingdom.
May the Lord help you build a solid foundation for your women’s ministry program. May He allow you to see the impact that a women’s ministry with a firm foundation done with intentionality can make.
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast. Please make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss any future episodes. 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.
You may also want to read:
EP 11: How to Build a Women’s Ministry Team
EP 21: The Power of Personal Testimonies
Women’s Ministry Toolbox Facebook Page
READ Bible Study
How to Select Your Women’s Ministry Theme or Scripture Focus