This is a common theme on this website, I know. But the issue constantly comes up in my life, so I feel that it is appropriate to discuss. Every ministry leader I know is very busy and wears many hats. Often women’s ministry is not the only place you serve in the church, not to mention outside areas of responsibility. We are to do “everything as unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:23) and “for His glory” (I Corinthians 10:31)….but sometimes ministry can just feel like more items to put on a never-ending to-do list.
When we get to that place, we need to step back and regain our focus. Ministry is a blessing and a privilege — not a burden. Yes, flyers need to be made, we need to prepare for studies, we need to plan events, and there are a multitude of other things that need our attention. BUT God has put souls in our care, and those souls are of great value to Him. Ministry is people, and not just a list of tasks to be accomplished. People can not be checked off our list so easily. People want to talk; people have needs; people have problems that don’t have an easy or convenient solution; people need prayer; people need our time and attention.
How can we regain our focus? The first thing is to go to God and confess our preoccupation with “tasks,” and ask for His help in determining our priorities. We need to pray for the people in our care, and pray that God would give us His heart for them. We need to ask God to be the Lord of our to-do lists!
Depending on the size of your women’s ministry, you probably have ladies of all ages and stations in life–not to mention differing personality types. It can be overwhelming to consider the variety of women in your care, and all the issues and relationships that they represent. Take a look below at this incomplete list of women that probably are in your church:
- Single (never married, divorced, teens, widowed)
- Married (newlyweds, with kids, without kids, etc.)
- Working professionals
- Stay-at-home moms
- Moms of teens/prodigals
- Empty nesters
- Women with an unbelieving spouse
- Different cultures
- Those dealing with chronic illness and pain
- Those dealing with addictions (past or present)
- Those in financial crisis
- (this list never ends!)
Now all of those can be multiplied by various ages and races represented, as well as all of the relationships each represents. It would be impossible for me to come up with a way to minister to this variety of women!
But God is not overwhelmed. His Word encompasses and can speak to all of these women where they are at, no matter what challenges they face. So if you are teaching God’s Word faithfully, it is truly up to Him to use His Word to minister personally to each individual. So if I can’t provide the perfect program or event for moms, or those struggling with addictions, God is not limited by my limitations.
Out biggest calling is just to love any woman He puts in our paths.
Our retreat is less than a week away. We have spent weeks in preparation and registration for the event. We are looking forward to our guest speaker. We are anxious about details. You probably know the drill.
But pretty soon, the big weekend will be here. Listen to these words from “Steal My Show” by TobyMac:
If you wanna steal my show
I’ll sit back and watch you go
If you got something to say
Go on and take it away
Need you to steal my show
Can’t wait to watch you go oh oh oh
So take it away.
YES! That’s what we want. We want the Holy Spirit to come and “steal the show” and we’ll sit back and watch Him go. We’ve done all we can…but He is the only One who can take our feeble efforts and use the weekend to transform lives.
As retreat season ramps up into high gear, I have some thoughts for your planning committee:
I am reprinting a popular blog from a couple years ago. I thought it apropos as we all gear up for our fall women’s events!
I heard this song (from a 1980’s sitcom) again this week, and I think the lyrics hit the nail on the head as far as “step one” in caring for our women. You may recognize these familiar lyrics:
Sometimes you want to go Where everybody knows your name…
And they’re always glad you came…
You wanna be where you can see your troubles are all the same…
You wanna be where everybody knows your name.”
I think that song writer was onto something! Maybe the very first way that we can show our women that we care is by learning their name….and letting them know that we are glad they came…and being open and honest so they know that they are not alone in their struggles.
How can we create that caring atmosphere in our women’s ministries? I know we all want it–we want everyone to feel welcomed and comfortable in a safe environment that encourages open sharing. I think it has to start in our leadership and trickle down from there. We as leaders need to do what it takes to learn names and go out of our way to welcome people. We need to be open and honest about our daily walk and daily struggles and temptations so that we can all come to the foot of the cross together in weakness and humility.