The One Thing We Need to Remember about Ministry to Women

{This is the second post in a series about leading ministry to women in small churches. You can keep up with all the posts here.}

Some of my closest friends lead and serve in women’s ministry at big churches. They plan events for 350+ women (which, by the way, is more people than we have in our entire church on our high attendance Sundays). Their Bible studies involve hundreds of women. They are doing amazing things. I love hearing how God is moving in their ministries and growing the women they lead.

But, if I’m honest, there are moments when seeing their pictures and hearing their stories leaves me feeling a little less than. And sometimes even wondering if what we’re doing with our thirty-ish women is worth talking about.

And, if I’m guessing correctly, it’s possible that for some of you reading this article — my 30 may as well be 350 because you can barely get ten women to commit to anything.

Ministry in small churches is hard, I get it. It’s all I’ve ever known. And I am not discounting the hard work done by the big churches because I know ministry is hard period.

But ministry in small churches is different.

And different isn’t worse than or even harder — it’s just different. And that means a whole lot of the resources, training, and conversation about doing women’s ministry are hard to apply in the small church context.

Over the next several weeks I hope to encourage you and give you some tools to lay a solid foundation for building a strong ministry to the women in your church — whether that means ten or 200.

Along the way I’ll tell you my story about falling in love with leading and teaching and discipling and mentoring. And I promise I’ll be honest about what I’ve done REALLY BADLY and hopefully be able to save you from making some of the foolish mistakes I have made.

We’ll celebrate small steps forward and we’ll remind each other that our aim is the growing the Kingdom of God. When it’s hard, we’ll hold up each others’ arms and, girl, we will cheer each other on wildly when something happens that we could never have asked or even imagined!

Ministry to women in smaller churches brings a unique set of challenges and opportunities. We need to remember one thing as we seek to minister to women and that is — they are hungry for more than the world offers. We can't just offer them what the world has and add a little Jesus.  We need to invite them to taste and see that He and His Word are good.

The One Thing We Need to Remember about Ministry to Women

In October 2000, my husband Scott began serving as Minister of Music and Youth at Blythe Island Baptist Church in Brunswick, Georgia. We had an eight-month-old baby girl, one car, and had moved nine hours away from family.

The church, as its name suggests, was on an island in south Georgia. Not the cool St. Simons Island where people rode their bikes down to the pier and watched their children play near the gorgeous old lighthouse. And not the historic Jekyll Island where the Rockefellers and all the late 19th-century elite had built a community on one of the Coast’s most beautiful barrier islands.

Nope, we lived on the “other” island. The one with about 300 homes, a gas station, and two churches — ours and Blythe Island Methodist. I remember feeling as though I was an island on the island, detached from everything and everyone I’d found comfortable.

Our church was small. But somehow, it was there, in that faraway place where all the systems and programs I’d been accustomed to participating in and following were stripped away, that I discovered the simple truth about women and women’s ministry:

Women are hungry for more than the world offers. 

It’s true. We think we have to do what the world does and add a little Jesus. But that’s not the case at all! In fact, when we do that, we’re not meeting any of the real needs women have.  

Ministry to women in smaller churches brings a unique set of challenges and opportunities. We need to remember one thing as we seek to minister to women and that is — they are hungry for more than the world offers. We can't just offer them what the world has and add a little Jesus.  We need to invite them to taste and see that He and His Word are good.

We know it somewhere deep inside, don’t we? That the painting parties and table decorating and shallow discussion about the book de jour aren’t actually making an impact, not an eternal one.

So what do we need to do? How do we get started? Or restarted? As we spend this time together over the next several weeks, there’s one verse I want you to keep forefront in your mind —

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psalm 34:8 ESV
Ministry to women in smaller churches brings a unique set of challenges and opportunities. We need to remember one thing as we seek to minister to women and that is — they are hungry for more than the world offers. We can't just offer them what the world has and add a little Jesus.  We need to invite them to taste and see that He and His Word are good.

Remember, whether we are serving at HUGE churches or teeny tiny ones, we’ve served and led best when we’ve invited women to taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

We've served and led best when we've invited women to taste and see the goodness of the Lord. #smallchurch #ministrytowomen #womensministry Click To Tweet

This week, invite someone to taste and see the goodness of the Lord and His Word. I’ve got a simple tool you can use — a 31-day reading plan my husband received years ago when he was a student and we have given to countless other students and adults over the past 20+ years. And, it’s possible that you need a little tasting and seeing yourself. Perhaps you are weary and worn from the ministry you’ve been doing. Or maybe you just want to reset your heart. However you use it, I hope this little reading plan can help you! 

Join me here again next week and we’ll look at one of the most important lessons I’ve learned about how to serve women well. {It probably isn’t what you think!}

I’d love to know more about you and your ministry! Take a minute and leave me a comment sharing how you got involved in ministry to women.

xoxo,

Teri Lynne

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