I hope you’ve had a chance to check out the new Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast; if not, here’s your chance!
The transcript will be available for each solo episode (not the leader interviews) the week after the episode has been released.
The transcript is here for those who:
- Prefer to read, rather than listen.
- Wish they had taken notes when listening.
- Want to revisit a portion of the podcast.
- Like easy access to links and Scripture references noted in the show.
I hope you’ll find them to be helpful.
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Episode 4: Crafting a Solid Women’s Ministry Mission Statement
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 well episode number four, crafting a solid women’s ministry mission statement.
Today we’ll be talking about women’s ministry mission statements.
Why are they important? How do you write one, and what should you do with it?
I’ve always struggled to articulate the difference between purpose, mission, and vision statements. Some organizations and churches write them out as three different statements, while others combine them all into one. I recommend that as you move forward in crafting your mission statement that you align with the process your church uses.
Let’s talk first about purpose.
Purpose is your why.
Why does your women’s ministry exist? In episode number 1, we looked at the biblical basis for women’s ministry. Your team may decide that your why is to glorify God and make disciples.
Your mission statement is the how.
How are we going to fulfill the why? What will we offer?
And then your vision statement is the where.
Not the physical location, but where are you going? What are you or your women becoming? It’s the goal of your women’s ministry, which, I hope, is spiritually mature Christians.
Your purpose is your why.
Your mission statement is your how.
And your vision is the where.
I want to share with you three keys that I found to be helpful in crafting a ministry mission statement.
1. Your women’s ministry mission statement should align closely with the mission of your church.
We want to compliment that mission, not compete against it. We’re also not operating in a silo. You may have heard people refer to women’s ministry as a silo ministry. We are not a silo. We are one arm of the church body.
2. Your mission statement should be used as a plumb line off which to base future decisions.
All activities, all ideas, and all events that your ministry produces should fit within the boundaries of your mission statement. You might even need to ask your team when they present an idea, “does that fit with our mission statement?” Challenge them a bit, ask them to tell you how it does. It’s going to make giving a yes, a no, or a not-yet answer to ideas a whole lot easier when you’ve got a mission statement to point back to.
3. Crafting or revising a mission statement should be a team project.
This is so important. Please don’t miss this. If you are the team leader, director, whatever you call that position, God may have given you a vision for your ministry or for the year to share with your team – and that’s great. But mission statements aren’t just for the season that you’re serving; they should last for years far beyond your service and your role. Mission statements should also transition easily to new team members. And writing a mission statement as a team – it creates unity as you’re working together to craft a shared vision.
I’ve got a confession to make. Sometimes I get stuck in a rut praying the same prayers over and over for the women in my Bible study and on my women’s ministry team. If you do too, I’ve got good news! I’ve created a free prayer resource for leaders. The 21 Prayers for Women in Your Church or Small Group is a free three-week prayer guide. Each day focuses on a specific scripture and a request for your group’s spiritual growth, including unity, forgiveness, humility, and much more. You can download this free resource today at womensministrytoolbox.com/freebies.
Now you’re probably wondering, how do you craft or revise a mission statement?
I’ve got some tips for you!
First of all, spend time in prayer.
Spend time in prayer before that very first meeting, asking God to give you direction specifically about your mission statement.
Then guide your team through questions so they uncover the answers.
Ask them things like, what is our goal? Who are we trying to reach and how are we going to reach them? Does this statement encompass what we do or what we believe God wants us to do? Asking great questions as you work through your mission statement is going to make your mission statements so much stronger and better.
And lastly, give your team time to pray and meditate on the mission statement before finalizing it.
It gives God a chance to speak to their heart and your heart. Share it with the pastor who oversees your women’s ministry team and get their stamp of approval as well before you publish it anywhere.
Once you have a mission statement, what do you do with it?
Make your women’s ministry mission statement as visible as possible.
- Place a copy of that mission statement in every women’s ministry team member’s binder.
- Put it at the top of your meeting agendas.
- Use it as you make plans. Check to make sure your ideas support your mission statement. If they don’t, ask women how it could.
- And be sure you share the mission statement regularly with the women in your church. It should become familiar to them. They might even memorize it if it’s short enough.
- Put it on your bulletin board, if you’ve got one.
- Put it in your programs.
- Put it on your website, your Facebook page, or in your Facebook group.
- You could even read it at some of your meetings.
I’ve got an example to share with you of a women’s ministry mission statement.
This was the new mission statement our team crafted at the church I served in, in Kentucky.
Our women’s ministry exists to glorify God through prayerfully, planned activities and events for women in our church and community, which promote spiritual growth and lead women to Christ. We seek to serve women both locally and internationally with love and grace.
There’s just one thing… We worked together as a team and we crafted this mission statement – it was great, our team loved it, everyone was on board, but we quickly began to realize that what we said we wanted to do we weren’t actually doing. We were failing to serve women locally and internationally. We did a great job with planned activities and events for women in our church and community that promoted spiritual growth and led women to Christ, just like the first part of our mission statement. But that second piece, “we seek to serve women locally and internationally with love and grace,” we weren’t doing a whole lot of that.
Taking the time to revise our mission statement changed the trajectory of our women’s ministry in amazing, amazing ways – many of which I hope to tell you about in detail in the future. But just know this – working together to revise or to write a brand new mission statement can have a great and godly impact on your women’s ministry team.
I am so glad we walked through that process, and I’m so thankful that the Lord highlighted the holes that we had because when we began to add opportunities for our women to serve, we saw heart change, and we saw growth like we had not before.
So here’s today’s Toolbox Task for you:
- If you don’t have a women’s ministry mission statement, make plans to create one with your team.
- And if you do have a women’s ministry mission statement, revisit it, look at it carefully, pick it apart a little bit. Does it need to be revised? Do your team members and women know what it even is? And are you using it to guide your events and activities?
God has a specific mission for your women’s ministry.
You may be tempted to copy another group’s mission statement, but please don’t do that. I don’t want you to miss out on what God has for your women in your specific church and community. Thank you for listening to this episode of the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast.
Leading in women’s ministry can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. You’ll find support and ideas you can use in the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Community Facebook group. We’d love for you to join us! Search for us on Facebook or visit womensministrytoolbox.com/groups to access the link. 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.
Want to listen to the latest podcast episode? Visit the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast page or subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast app.
You may also want to read:
The Importance of an Agenda
Women’s Ministry Binder Essentials
How to Build a Women’s Ministry Binder
10 Dangers of Running a Women’s Ministry Without a Team
8 Reasons to Develop a Strong Women’s Ministry Team