Sunday morning in church God put an exclamation point on something He’s been wanting me to challenge other women’s ministry leaders with.
I’d say I’m sorry if I step on your toes, but I’m really not. I hope I do. It’s that important. Will it make it better if I say I’m doing it in love?
This challenge is painfully real for me and my family as our recent move has us hunting (again) for a new church home.
You would be shocked by the lack of welcome we have received as we have visited churches. I cannot tell you how many times we’ve visited churches, both small and large, and not a single person has welcomed us. And we don’t scoot in late. In smaller churches it hurts even more because you know they know you aren’t a regular.
The pastor nailed it on Sunday when he said there are people that feel like they are on the outside looking in. Our family has been stuck there for the last year.
Ya’all, there are women in your church who feel like they are on the outside looking in. And it’s not just the new girl. There are women who have been attending your church for YEARS that are lonely and feel disconnected.
It would break your heart to know the depths to which they just want someone to acknowledge them. To invite them to an event. To spend a few minutes getting to know them.
Ladies, you and your team must be intentional on Sundays (and other church days) to build relationships and seek out new faces.
So how do we go about building relationships and seeking out new faces?
Ask God to give you eyes to see the faces of folks you don’t know on Sunday mornings. If your church is too big to distinguish long-time attendees from guests say, “I don’t believe we’ve met before.”
At one church we visited a guy chatted with us for just a minute in the elevator. Rather than awkward silence, he made us feel welcome. You wouldn’t believe the impact small talk can have.
Beyond being a welcoming church community, why is this so important?
People want their presence to matter. And it does! But sometimes we forget to show it.
Women are more likely to come to your events and activities and connect with other women if they’ll know someone. It is hard, really hard, to go to a women’s ministry event knowing no one. I’ve done it and it was hard for me!
The more women you know, the easier it will be to fill openings on your Women’s Ministry Leadership Team and volunteer spots for your event. Not only will you have a sense if they are the right woman for that particular position, but you’ll have a foundation on which to build.
So here’s my challenge – to you and your team – every single Sunday for the next year I want you to make an effort to build relationships.
- Chat with the woman beside you washing her hands in the bathroom. Tell her how much you like her scarf.
- Get out of your seat/pew and walk over to the family that’s visiting and introduce yourself. They are more nervous than you are – guaranteed!
- Invite someone to come to the next women’s ministry event or your Bible study. There are women in your church that are longing for an invite. I promise.
- Look in front of and behind you as you wait for the service to start. Introduce yourself and your family to those around you. Chances are you sit in the same general spot on for worship each week. Do you know who’s sitting around you?
So will you do it? Will you take the challenge to be intentional about building relationships on Sunday mornings?