Below you’ll find the transcript for Episode 7: What types of women’s ministry events and activities should we offer? from the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast.
EP 7: What types of women’s ministry events and activities should we offer?
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.
Welcome to episode number 7: What types of women’s ministry events and activities should we offer?
Today, we’re continuing to build that strong women’s ministry foundation. Back in episode one, we looked at the Scriptural Support for Women’s Ministry. In episode two, we talked about our Target Audience, and in episode four, we looked at Crafting a Solid Mission Statement. In episode five, we walked through How to Select a Women’s Ministry Theme or Scripture Focus. Today we’re adding one more brick to solidify the foundation.
In today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about five types of women’s ministry events and activities.
As you’ve probably already figured out, women have a wide range of needs, so offering different types of women’s ministry and events and activities (your team might call them meetings) ensure that we meet the different needs of our women.
Offering different types of women’s ministry, events, and activities also provides a much-needed variety, which keeps our ministries from becoming stale and it creates a more balanced schedule. We want to make sure we offer events and activities that are lighter in nature and deeper too.
I’ve broken the types of women’s ministry events and activities into five categories. We’re going to walk through each category. I will give you a brief description, but I’m also going to share some ideas for the types of meetings that would fall in that category.
1. We’re going to start with spiritual disciplines.
Events and activities that focus on spiritual disciplines allow women to learn, experience, and practice a spiritual discipline. Spiritual disciplines include prayer, worship, meditation, fasting, journaling, Bible study, and evangelism.
Imagine the spiritual growth you could stimulate in your women by offering in-depth teaching on a spiritual discipline. When you plan these events and activities, be sure that you provide an opportunity for your women to apply and practice what they have learned. Don’t just tell them about prayer, but invite them to practice praying.
Remember, women don’t just want to listen. They want to be active, engaged, and participate. They want to do the thing you’ve been talking about. Some possible meeting topics include Bible journaling, prayer, how to study the Bible, how to honor the Sabbath, worship and prayer night, and how to share Jesus without fear.
2. Biblical encouragement is another type of women’s ministry event and activity.
Women are encouraged by a teaching or testimony that highlights God’s faithfulness and presence. God’s Word is always central to the message, and the application of biblical truth is always encouraged. Some examples of meetings offering biblical encouragement include guest speakers and personal testimonies, speaker panels, and topical teachings.
I do want to caution you, though, when sharing the stories of hope and healing, make sure that you’re offering encouragement, but take great care to keep the focus on spiritual transformation and Christ rather than on emotions and the flesh.
3. The third type of event and activity I want to talk about is practical skills.
Events and activities focused on practical skills allow women to learn, experience, and practice a valuable skill. Think for a minute, what do you want your women to learn how to do? You may have women in your church that can teach these skills, or you may need to find a professional from the community to come in and teach your class.
Some examples of practical skills meetings include painting parties, organizing, fashion tips, flower arranging, knitting, chalk paint, budgeting, canning, making jam, making pies, marriage workshops, meal planning, and discipline workshops.
Whenever possible, the content should be framed though through the lens of the Bible.
An easy way to add the gospel to a skill-based meeting is to have a woman share a testimony that ties in with the topic. For example, someone might have a relative that canned but also encourage their faith. And another way to link the Bible to a skill-based meeting is to have a short lesson on what the Bible says about the topic. What does the Bible say about budgeting? What does the Bible say about being a good steward?
Meetings that focus on practical skills are often optimal outreach events.
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.
4. The fourth type of event and activity we’re going to talk about is service.
While we want to encourage our women to serve in the community, offering opportunities at the church to connect women to the community is also very beneficial. Invite a ministry partner to share briefly about what they do and how they minister to the people they serve. Maybe you finish your time with a hands-on project that will support that ministry in a meaningful way.
Let me give you a quick example. We partnered with our local para-church ministry that serves the homeless in our community. They came in and they shared a very compelling and very informative story about one of their clients. After they finished sharing, we assembled blessing bags for homeless people in our community and invited our women to take them with them and put them in their car. When they encountered people in the community that were asking for a handout, they had a gift that they could give to them.
Other ideas include making sandwiches for the homeless in your community, no-sew fleece blankets for the women’s shelter, pillowcase dresses to send with a missionary, note cards for local teachers, and cupcakes for emergency responders. That’s just a short list to get you started. I’ve got a list of 60 service projects here that will give you more ideas.
Introducing your women to local ministries allows women to discover ministries they may want to serve in regularly.
5. Our fifth and final event and activity topic is one you’re going to be very familiar with – fellowship-focused.
Fellowship-focused events and activities provide organized opportunities for women to connect and engage with one another.
This may be the type of meeting you assume is the most popular based on past attendance. It may even be tempting to offer more fellowship focus meetings than others, but I really want to discourage you from doing so.
Offering too many fellowship-focused events could very easily water down your mission to share Christ and stunt the spiritual growth of your women.
Fellowship-focused meetings should be sprinkled lightly throughout your schedule, not applied liberally. Women repeatedly told me when I surveyed them that they want depth, not just a social event.
Fellowship-focused meetings include game nights, potlucks, holiday celebrations, and movie nights. Fellowship-focused meetings might appear secular at first glance, but they should always point women to the gospel. Sharing a testimony is an easy way to encourage women at these events to remind them of the hope and freedom that can be found in Christ.
Fellowship-focused events can be a great bridge for women to attend other events that you offer too. They’re often the easiest events for women who are new to attend. Be sure to invite the women in attendance to your next Bible study or your next event. We want to make sure that they come back.
It’s quite possible that your meeting may not fit neatly into one of the categories I’ve mentioned. Maybe it’s a combination, and that’s okay.
The goal is not to offer one of each type of meeting every quarter or even every other month. We’re not striving for an equal balance of different women’s ministry meeting types, but we are striving for a variety.
Categorizing our meetings helps us to see the big picture and highlights any holes in our programming.
As you make plans, keep in mind that regular events and activities provide opportunities for women to connect and develop deeper relationships. I encourage you to honor the limitations that may have been placed on your team by your church staff, but, if you can, strive to meet at least five to six times per year. Women need time to connect and develop deeper relationships.
At the end of every episode, I’ll share a Toolbox Task with you. Remember, it’s a recommendation, not a requirement. Please let the Holy Spirit lead.
Today’s toolbox task:
- List and categorize the events and activities you offered during the last regular ministry year (pre-covid).
- Discuss any gaps and changes that you and your team may want to make going forward.
I pray that offering a variety of women’s ministry events and activities will impact both the spiritual growth of your women and your attendance.
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.