There is nothing Satan hates more than women on mission – Christ’s mission. But the more ministry fat you have, the more places Satan has to feed, engendering discouragement and distraction in the body.
Keeping your ministry “trim” is a good organizational principle for a healthier women’s ministry, and it's a smart way to starve Satan out.
Consider these ideas for keeping your women’s ministry discipleship-focused:
1. Ensure all activities align with your church’s vision Your women’s ministry should be an extension of the overall vision and mission of the church it serves. If the women of the church are doing their own thing, Satan can keep women isolated from the greater body of Christ. Many women already struggle with finding their place in church, and many more women are leaving the church altogether. Trimming ministry fat has as much to do with keeping women’s ministry in step with the church as it does keeping it from overextending itself to the point of exhaustion.
2. Put a ‘new projects policy’ into place Women’s ministries can do a lot of “good” things, but miss out on doing the “best” thing. A new projects policy helps ensure your ministry doesn’t become unfocused or fractured in your discipleship mission by trimming existing ministry fat.
The policy should outline what projects your ministry is working on and specify how those projects produce disciples. Any new women’s ministry project should be able to demonstrate fruitfulness and how it falls into line with the church’s overall mission.
3. Evaluate often Key leadership should be tasked with regularly evaluating women’s ministry projects, events, and even policies. The evaluation should use the church’s overall definition of fruit. The women’s ministry team of our church plant looked for fruit in terms of reproducing disciples. Staying in line with our overall church mission, we stayed away from the temptation of catering to temporary fruit of meeting felt-needs, encouraging women, or attendance records.
Careful evaluations should also identify where fruit is being produced and where it isn’t. Particularly for small churches, evaluations should also look for the amount of fruit produced in proportion to the investment it requires in terms of financials, time, manpower, energy, and more. If a ministry is proving unfruitful in terms of not producing new disciples, leaders should prayerfully and creatively explore possible alternatives.
Evaluations should also examine what groups of women remain unengaged - singles, new moms, working moms, widows – and survey these groups to determine the best way to assimilate them into the body through discipleship.
Here are some good tools for evaluations:
If you have trouble getting women to respond, offer a free gift or enter respondents in a giveaway when they complete the survey.
Does your women’s ministry regularly evaluate what’s working and what’s not? How do you trim the ministry fat?
Melissa’s motto as a Christian journalist and creative writer is to “tell of God’s marvelous works” (Ps. 9:1). And with almost 15 years experience in print and editorial services, God has embedded Melissa with passions gleaned from stories and experiences from the field. But helping women fall in love with the sweetness of God’s Word truly makes her heart sing. Two years ago, she launched HiveResources.com to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, missions resources, and more. She recently published a 10-week Bible study, Daughters of the King, to help women find their place in the biblical story. Melissa has a M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Journalism from Texas A&M University. She and her husband, Jonathan, are currently part of a church plant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They have five-year-old twin boys, Zacharias and Jonah, who are unwittingly and joyfully shaping them into the image of Christ.
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