On a regular basis, women’s ministry leaders ask for training ideas and resources for their team.
It’s a great question, but I struggle with a good response because every team and every church is unique and different. I can’t possibly know what topics, ideas, or concepts are the ones you should use for training your team.
However, I have come up with a tool to help you figure out what your team needs!
At the bottom of this post, you’ll find a link to the printable Women’s Ministry Team Needs Assessment that you can use as-is or tweak to best meet the needs of your team.
First, let’s take a look at some of the areas in which you may want to offer training. Perhaps you even want to rotate between these throughout the year.
Women’s Ministry Training Needs
1. Practical Training Needs
We sometimes forget that not everyone on the team knows the processes and procedures of the church. In addition to documenting processes and procedures in your women’s ministry team binders, it can be beneficial to physically walk through the process.
Practical needs include things such as unlocking and securing the building, submitting a reimbursement form, reserving a room, how to make coffee, sending emails, registration, publicity, etc.
2. Relational Training Needs
There’s no doubt that ministry can be messy! Your team will encounter all kinds of women as you gather together and it’s best that they be prepared to handle the things that may come their way. How should they respond to a woman who wants to leave her husband? What’s the protocol for reporting suspected abuse? How can they put a stop to gossip?
Training your team to deal with relational issues includes dealing with angry women, conflict management, how to know when to refer someone to a professional counselor, setting healthy boundaries, gossip, etc.
3. Spiritual Training Needs
Not only do our team members set an example for other women, but their spiritual growth is of utmost importance. Sometimes we get so busy doing ministry, that we neglect our time with the Lord. Don’t assume your women have a daily quiet time or know what to do with one. You may want to offer training on how to study the Bible, prayer, sharing their testimony, meditation, fasting, etc.
You may want to give your team a spiritual gifts test and spend time discussing the results.
4. Topical Training Needs
You may decide you want to delve deeper with your team into the scripture passage and theme the Lord has led you to focus on for the year. For example, if your theme/scripture focuses on rest or the Sabbath, you may want to spend 10-15 minutes at each women’s ministry team meeting reading and discussing passages related to rest/Sabbath. If your focus for the year is on Biblical hospitality, you might want to read through a book, such as Just Open the Door, together discussing one or two chapters each month. Perhaps your team would benefit from studying what the Bible says about leadership, using our words, service, encouragement, submission, etc.
When should you offer women’s ministry team training?
1. Monthly meetings
Monthly women’s ministry team meetings provide an opportunity for training. Set aside 10-20 minutes on your agenda for training before jumping into the month’s business. If you’re not already meeting monthly, perhaps you’ll find doing so would provide a much needed time of training.
2. Leadership Retreats
Some teams plan a yearly one or two-night leadership team retreat. Training should be a part of your time together. You may want to bring in an outside speaker or two such as a Pastor or counselor to assist with your training.
3. One-day Workshops
Set aside a Saturday to do some intensive training. Again, consider bringing in outside resources.
How should you provide training?
1. Write your own
I always benefit when I dig into God’s Word for answers. Spend some time studying scriptures related to your training needs.
Record guidelines and procedures for your women so they can be referenced and used to train future team members.
2. Utilize church resources
Your church may already have some training guides or tools that you could use in whole or in part. Make sure you ask!
Ask your church staff for recommendations for a specific topic or issue. Consider books, such as Leading Women Who Wound, that I have posted about on the site. Visit websites such as this list of Biblical counseling books and review them with discernment.
4. Bring in an outside speaker
Ask a Christian counselor to come and speak to a specific topic. Pay a Christian speaker to teach some sessions on Sabbath, Bible study, or another topic. Feel free to contact me if you think I’d be a good fit.
Acting out situations allows your women to practice their response. Discuss what worked well, what didn’t, and other ways to respond. Your women will feel more prepared and comfortable having had the chance to practice!
6. Online articles
Follow several different leadership websites and be on the lookout for articles that address the needs of your team. There are many women’s ministry posts that you might find applicable including How to Love on Women Wounded by the Church, How to Minister to Angry Women, How to Minister to Spiritually Mismatched Women, and 12 Ways Women’s Ministry Teams Can Warmly Welcome Guests.
7. Retreats and Conferences
Retreats and conferences can be a great source for training and training ideas. Look carefully at the sessions and workshops offered to see if it would be a good fit for you and your group.
Be sure to save the date for the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Leaders Retreat September 26-28, 2019 at Guntersville State Park Lodge, Guntersville Alabama. More details will be released in early 2019.
You don’t have to do this alone! Find someone who has the skill set you need and find a way to connect them to your team – in person, via live video, or through a book.
Discerning the Needs
If you’re feeling a tad bit (or a lot) overwhelmed, there is a solution to the information overload above.
Surveying your team will help narrow your focus and highlight what training needs are greatest.
Tips on using the Women’s Ministry Team Needs Assessment
- Consider allowing your team members to complete the survey anonymously. Remove the temptation to skew responses out of embarrassment or shame.
- Ask them to add any additional comments on the backside of the page. They may bring up training needs that you are not aware of.
- Edit it to best suit your needs. I purposefully tried to keep it general so you could use it as-is, but I encourage you to take the parts and pieces that are most helpful, add to it, and make your own
- Pray and ask God to highlight the greatest needs. You probably won’t be able to cover it all.
- Build a list of resources for your women’s ministry binders. Not every need has to be addressed in a meeting or training session.
Click the link below to open the free PDF
Investing in the training of your women’s ministry team will have a profound impact on their ability to serve and love the women in your church and community well.
It’s worth the time and work to equip your team members well.
Please feel free to share great training resources in the comments below!
You may also want to read:
Procedures, Forms, and Documents Your Women’s Ministry Team Needs
Bible Study Facilitator Training
Book Review: Leading Women Who Wound
Teach Your Team to Pray Out Loud
Teaching Your Women How to READ the Bible
One year ago: 10 Things I’d Do Differently as a Women’s Ministry Leader During the Christmas Season
Two years ago: Last Minute Christmas Fellowship Ideas
Three years ago: 9 Secrets to Making Guests Feel Welcome
Four years ago: Serving in the OCC Processing Center: Part 1
Five years ago: Icebreaker: The Great Christmas Candy Pass