Things to Consider When Event Planning for Women’s Ministry

Event planning can be a lot of work! In order for the work of event planning to be worth your time, planning the event in the right order is key. Many times people do event planning backwards. They choose an event type, and jump right into the details. However there’s a better way to end up with a successful event, using a different approach.
What types of things should be considered when planning events for Women’s Ministry?
1. Start with the desired outcome and work backwards.
For example, desired outcomes may include:
– opportunity for women to get to know one another better
– women feel ministered to
– casual time of connection and conversation
– women learn a valuable skill
– opportunity for women to invite an unsaved neighbour or friend
2.  Once you have decided the desired outcomes, think about what might facilitate each outcome
For example: If the desired outcome is an opportunity for women to get to know one another better
Consider:
  • having women seated around tables with a hostess assigned to each table who can facilitate table talk questions
  • dividing women into different discussion groups based on common interests or hobbies
For example: If the desired outcome is that women feel ministered to
Consider:
  • providing an opportunity for women to pray together or to encourage one another
  • have communion together
3.  The planning team should also consider:
  • how to get the older women and younger women of your church involved in planning and carrying out events
  • involving different cultures represented in your congregation (involving ethnic foods, cooking demonstrations etc.)
  • event pricing (can most women afford the event, will scholarships be made available if needed)
  • considerations unique to your area (are most women working outside the home, do most families work shift work, is transportation an issue)

When good planning goes into events, they are more likely to be well attended and successful.

Also Check Out:

Planning Great Events

Roadblocks to Getting Women to Attend Events

Check Out These Women’s Ministry Events From My Resources Page:

Check out Eventbrite– a way to sell tickets for your event

Recruiting Leaders or Volunteers – What to Do & What Not to Do

Every ministry needs volunteers. Recruiting volunteers can seem like a daunting process especially if your usual methods are leaving you short handed. So how can you be successful in recruiting volunteers?

What Not to Do When Recruiting Leaders or Volunteers

1.  Don’t ask only once if you get a ‘no”

  • if you think the person would make a great fit, ask again in the future
  • I once asked one lady for three consecutive years before she finally said yes. She ended up being one of my best leaders

2.  Don’t have unclear or unrealistic expectations

  • People are likely to say no to leader or volunteer if they don’t know what is involved

3.  Don’t recruit someone for a position they aren’t suited for

4.  Don’t recruit people already overly committed to serving 

  • 20% of people in the church do 80% of the work – try to get people involved that aren’t committed already

What to Do When Recruiting Leaders or Volunteers

1. Look for individuals who

  • are committed to growing in their walk with Christ
  • have a passion for ministry
  • are available not overcommitted (80/20 principle)
  • have a skill set needed on the team
  • are givers not takers
  • can hold confidences
  • speak favourably about the church and church leadership
  • speak respectfully about their family

2.  Use pastoral staff as a resource

  • Ask pastoral staff to give you a list of names of people they would like to see involved that they think would be a good fit

3.  Develop a list of potential volunteers or leaders

a.  Start with who names of people you think could be a good fit

  • Maybe they said no in the past, but they are in a new season and may consider serving now
  • Ask those on your list to recommend 1 or 2 other people they think could be a fit

b.  Ask current leaders for names of people they think may be a fit

  • It is likely that your leaders know other like-minded people

4.  Use your church bulletin as a last resort if your list comes up empty.

  • Individuals lacking maturity or skills may apply, and you will need to have a difficult conversation with them about why they don’t fit

After Developing a List of Who to Ask to Lead/Volunteer 

1.  Make a well-defined job description to present during your “ask”

The job description should include:

  • The ministry vision statement or purpose
  • Time commitment required
  • Ministry schedule- how many times per week or per month will you need their service

2.  If a pastor or leader made a recommendation, ask him/her to talk to the recommended individual to see if they are interested in pursuing the opportunity you

3.  Think about what you could say to the recommended individuals to affirm them
      This could include:
– potential you see in them to lead
– how you have observed their faithfulness to the church, family, or ministry in the past
– how they have impacted your life or the life of another for God’s kingdom

Women feel insecure and often downplay their leadership potential. Be a leader that speaks life to others and provides an opportunity for them to lead.

4.  Book a coffee date with the people on your list
At this meeting ask individuals
– How has Jesus impacted their life
– How long they have attended the church
– Why are they interested in volunteering for this ministry

When you find leaders ensure you do your part to encourage, lead and support them.

For More on Recruiting Volunteers See:

Recruiting Volunteers Webinar

Fourth Ministry Roadblock – Lack of Volunteers

5 Keys to Planning Great Events

When investing your time into planning events, you want a worthwhile outcome. Here are five keys to planning great events.

Start by listing desired outcomes you’d like to see from the event

In other words, what do you hope will result from the event? What is the event purpose?

Desired outcomes may include:

  • raising funds for a ministry or cause
  • outreach to the community
  • a chance to build community
  • an opportunity for women to learn a skill
  • an invitation for women to grow in their faith

After you have determined the desired outcomes, work backwards. Plan an event that will help achieve your desired outcome.

For example, if your desired outcome is to build community, plan your event having women seated around tables and provide table talk questions around each table with probing questions. Appoint a hostess for each table, to help guide the conversation, help women feel welcome and to facilitate the table talk questions. Instruct the hostesses to ensure that all women get a chance to answer the questions if they are comfortable to do so. Serve the food buffet style, so women have to get up from their tables and mingle. Include an icebreaker that involves all women.

Right people in the right roles

Great events have extroverts and introverts in the right roles.

Extroverts often make great Emcees, table hostesses or greeters.

Introverts often make great registration hosts, enjoy serving refreshments, and working behind the scenes.

Having people in the right roles can ensure that your leaders and participants are comfortable and are set up to use their strengths.

Energetic/enthusiastic team

Great events need enthusiasm. When the planning team is enthusiastic about the event, others will want to join in. A team who complains about the upcoming event will deter people from wanting to attend. Your team should be excited about the event and should be your best promoters.

Age groups accommodated

Great events keep age groups in mind when planning. For example, if young moms are encouraged to attend, consider offering childcare, or a nursing room. If elderly women are invited to attend, ensure seating is available for them even if it is a stand-up event. If all women are welcome, ensure that the event is affordable, or that scholarships or complimentary tickets are available.

Timing right

Great events happen at the right time. Is the time of year suited to the event? Is the church calendar already busy during the time you’d like to host the event? If yes, consider holding off on the event and schedule it for a time when more people are likely to attend. Will the weather restrict women from attending the event if held during certain times of the year?

Great events happen when the planning team plans for desired outcomes, put volunteers and leaders in the right roles, accommodates ages, picks the right date and has an energetic and enthusiastic team.

I wish your team GREAT events this ministry year.

Also See:
Things to Consider When Planning Events

Roadblocks to Ministry – Getting Women To Attend Events

Check out my Resources Page for Event Ideas

3 Keys to Maintaining Unity on Your Team

For a team or organization to achieve their vision and mission, they must have unity on their team. The art of doing team well, involves individuals coming together and working together as one unit, rather than as individuals. Healthy teams require individuals to give and take while maintaining individual opinions and values.

To create unity, we as individuals must do our best to understand the personality, strengths, giftings, and motivations of others. Often conflict arises when others do or say things differently than we would. One of the first steps to getting along with others is to seek to understand their perspective and point of view.

“If I were to summarize in one sentence the single most important principle I have learned in the field of interpersonal relations, it would be this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Dr. Stephen R. Covey

3 Keys to Maintaining Unity on Your Team by Seeking to Understand One Another

Have each member of the team complete a Spiritual Gifts Test.
Once each member has completed the Spiritual Gifts Test, spend a subsequent meeting going over the results focussing on the following questions:

  • How might your top 3-4 giftings work well on this team?
  • How might your top 3-4 gifts be misunderstood by others on this team?
  • If your top gifts become unbalanced, how might each contribute to disunity?
  • What would you like others to know about how you perceive your top 3-4 giftings?

Have a discussion around how you could honor each team member during the upcoming year.
For some, it may be acknowledging their birthday. For others, it may be honoring a job well done. For some, it may be acknowledging a difficult anniversary of a loss etc.  Find out what is important to each team member and then plan to honor each in the way that is meaningful to them.

Have each member complete a personality inventory.
My favorite personality inventory is called “The Flag Page”. 
There is a small fee for completing The Flag Page inventory, but I have found it well worth the cost. It has been more insightful for me than any other personality inventory l have completed. The Flag Page highlights your top motivations, shows you where you will succeed and why. Instead of thinking what’s wrong with you, the Flag Page shows what’s right about you.

I encourage you to have each team member complete The Flag Page inventory and print their results. Then have a discussion where each team member gets to explain their results, name their top 5 motivations and what this information means to them personally.

Next, I encourage you to spend time with your team in prayer:

  • affirm one another in his/her top strengths and motivations
  •  ask God to strengthen each team member to know how to bring his/her strengths to the team
  • pray for each team member to encourage the unity of the team by seeking to understand one another

Maintaining unity among a team may be challenging at times, but the strength of the team far outweighs the strength of one.

Check Out Other Recent Articles Related to this Subject

Atributes of Healthy Teams

Choosing Team Members

The Importance of Working Through Team

Attributes of Healthy Teams

Ministry requires healthy teams. In my recent blog titled “The Importance of Working Through Team” I addressed several reasons why leaders should not work alone. Having previously established the importance of teams and team-work, here are some attributes of healthy teams. If your team doesn’t possess these attributes, I encourage you to seek training such as my “First Steps – Keys to Building Vibrant Ministry” workshop. 

Healthy Teams Do the Following

  1. Understand the vision and goals of the team
  • the organization or team’s mission statement and vision statement should be reviewed regularly
  • when major decisions are to be made, the team should review the mission and vision statements, and make the decision based on these guiding documents
  • team members that consistently challenge the vision and or mission statement may need to re-evaluate their involvement in the team
  1. Respect one another
  • healthy teams understand that all team members matter
  • healthy teams agree that all members bring something unique to the table
  • healthy teams treat one another with dignity and respect
  1. Communicate openly
  • healthy teams do their best to communicate in a respectful manner, even when conflicts or disagreements arise
  • healthy teams do their best to keep short accounts with other team members, and if tensions arise, do their best to keep the peace
  • healthy teams use this verse as a guiding principle If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18
  • healthy teams are honest and authentic
  1. Resolve conflict
  • healthy teams do their best to resolve conflict in a timely manner understanding that sometimes people need time and space to process and calm down
  • healthy teams understand that conflict is normal and that not all members will agree on everything all the time
  • Healthy teams remember to attack the problem and not other team members
  1. Cooperate not compete
  • healthy teams work together as a team, not as individuals
  • healthy teams realize they are stronger together
  • healthy teams don’t go behind other team members backs
  • healthy teams avoid back room deals
  1. Celebrate a job well done
  • healthy teams take time after an event to celebrate what God did
  • healthy teams acknowledge hard work, and acknowledge those who put in extra time to make events and projects happen

For more information on teams please see my blogs:

 “Choosing Team Members”;  

“The Importance of Working Through Team” 

“Conflict”

Choosing Team Members

Tips for Choosing Team Ministry Team Members

Here are some tips to remember when choosing members for a ministry team. It took me years to figure out some of these tips and some I learned the hard way.

  • Don’t choose your friends to be part of your team
    • if your friends are on your team, it will be tempting to talk about team issues when you are together socially, and you may harm your friendship if it becomes all business and no fun
    • if there is conflict on your team, you may lose your team-mate and your friendship
  • Look for team members that have different personality types and giftings (spiritual gifts)
    • team leaders need to staff to their weakness
    • ideal teams are well-balanced with team members that have varied strengths
  • Look for team members from different life-stages
    • team members from different life-stages provide varied perspectives
    • filling your team with varied life-stages will provide mentoring opportunities for team members
      • The amount of free time people have often corresponds with the life stage they are in. For example, women raising young children are likely to have less free time, than those who are retired. Take this into consideration when building your team. Some team members will have more time to give to the team and tasks than others will.
  • Look for team members with varied experience
    • team members with a lot of prior ministry experience may be tempted to rely on past experiences instead of the viewing current issues objectively
    • having a team of all inexperienced members may be a problem if the leader of the team is also inexperienced
    •  building a team with members who have varied life experience will provide greater opportunity for relatability with those you will serve
  • Look for introverts and extroverts for your team
    • both introverts and extroverts are an asset to your team
    • introverts are often great for facilitators, or for working behind the scenes
    • extroverts are often great Emcees, greeters, hostesses

Other Questions to Consider When Choosing Ministry Team Members

  • Is the individual committed to growing in her walk with Christ?
  • Does she have a passion for women’s ministry?
  • Is she available to take on more commitment or is she already over committed?
  • Does she have a skill set needed on the team?
  • Is she a person who sucks the life out of you and others?
  • Can she hold confidences or is she a gossip?
  • Does she speak favorably about your church leadership?
  • Does she speak respectfully of her family?

See also “The Importance of Working Through Team” 

The Importance of Working Through Team

Jesus worked through team. He gathered 12 men and discipled them through His teaching and example, how they should live, and how they should minister. These 12 men were far from perfect, but they answered God’s call and He used them in mighty ways. If Jesus worked through team, and He was the perfect Son of God (who didn’t need people), how much more should we work through team?

There are several reasons leaders may be tempted to do everything themselves. The following is a list of lies leaders may believe, followed by the truth that disproves the lies.

The Lie: No one really wants to help so I should do it all myself.

The Truth: People are often waiting for a personal invitation by the leader before they are willing to get involved. Secondly any leader trying to do everything themselves is going to burn out quickly.

 

The Lie: I can do the job better myself.

The Truth: No one person is good at everything.  Rather than working alone, we should gather a team made up of individuals with a variety of strengths and giftings. A wise leader builds a team with individuals that have strengths in areas of his/her weakness.

 

The Lie: I should keep saying yes.

The Truth: Sometimes our yes allows another to sin by saying no. As leaders, if we are doing more than our share of the work, we may be allowing others to be negligent. We may be robbing another of his/her blessing because we’ve stepped up to do a job they should have done.

 

The Lie: Asking for help is a weakness.

The Truth: Asking for help can be a strength. It takes courage and humility to admit we need help, and these are godly characteristics that every leader should possess.

 

The Lie: If I let others know my weaknesses they won’t respect me.

The Truth: Authentic leaders who admit their weaknesses and vulnerabilities tend to attract, not repel people. Many people would rather follow an authentic leader, than someone who is pretending to have it all together.

 

The Lie: I must keep leading even though I know my time is done because no one is stepping up to take my place.

The Truth: When God asks you to step down from leading, listen. If you try to keep leading after your expiry date, you will likely do more damage than good.

 

The Lie: I’m not good enough to lead.

The Truth: God loves to equip the called. Most of the biblical characters God used were misfits or ordinary people. This should give us hope that God can use us, despite our weaknesses!

Also see Seventh Roadblock to Effective Women’s Ministry – Trying to Lead Alone

Why Women’s Ministry Matters

In my last blog “Why Churches Need Women’s Ministry” I addressed some of the reasons I believe women’s ministry is vital to the local church.

In this blog I will provide 2 points on why the local church matters, and how women’s ministry within the church can help fulfill its’ mission.

In his article Why the Local Church Really Mattersauthor, Tim Challies lists  reasons the local church matters. He found these reasons in the book “Church in Hard Placeswritten by Mez McConnell and Mike McKinley. The following 2 reasons the local church matters are taken from McConnell and McKinley’s book. I have then applied these reasons specifically to women’s ministry in a local church context.

The local church is the way God intends to accomplish his mission in the world.

Women’s ministry within the local church can help accomplish God’s mission in the world. 

I interpret God’s mission to the world as the great commission, to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

Here are some ideas on how to facilitate sharing the gospel through women’s ministry:

Host outreach minded events

Women are often great at inviting other women to join in what they are already doing. Hosting women’s events that are seeker friendly can provide a great opportunity for women to invite an unchurched neighbour or friend. Having an event to attend together can provide a great opportunity for conversation and an introduction to other women who love Jesus. These conversations may pave the way to an opportunity to share the gospel.

Outreach minded events I have helped facilitate:

  • Supper at Hugo’s (a local Mexican restaurant – once/month drop in supper)
  • Paint Night
  • Progressive Supper
  • “The War Room” movie night
  • Stories Events where women from our church shared their testimonies of difficult things in their lives that God led them through
  • Ladies Christmas Brunch – one year one of the hostesses filled a table with women from her neighbourhood who were not believers

Other ideas on facilitating outreach within women’s ministry include:

  • Teaching women to share their testimonies and how to share the gospel
  • Evangelism training including how to start gospel centered conversations
  • Women’s missions trips to orphanages and other women’s homes or shelters

The local church is where the believer grows.

Women’s ministry within the local church is one-way God can facilitate growth in a woman’s life.

Here are some ideas on how to facilitate spiritual growth within women’s ministry:

  • offering opportunity for women to lead or participate in women’s bible studies
  • moms’ groups
  • programs teaching women to teach the bible such as Simeon Trust 
  • women’s retreats
  • women’s care groups
  • large group events such as worship nights, guest speakers teaching biblical principles
  • providing women the opportunity to serve within women’s ministry

Please keep in mind when facilitating small groups, that leaders must foster authenticity if true spiritual growth is to happen. It is easy to give “Sunday School” answers.  By this I mean tell the teacher what she wants to hear, instead of what is really thought or felt. Groups that allow individuals to share their true selves will foster true spiritual and personal growth. While sometimes the true is messy, we must be willing to allow the truth into the light, so we can walk with others through it.

Also see “Why Churches Need Women’s Ministry”

Struggling to Get Women to Events? Try These 7 Tips

Why is it so difficult to get women to attend women’s ministry events in our culture today?

Many women in today’s culture feel stressed by time demands. With majority of women in Canada working at least part-time outside the home, it can be difficult to motivate women to attend church events outside of Sundays. This fact can cause great stress to event organizers trying to plan for how much food, set-up etc. will be required.

Here are some things I’ve tried in order to get women to commit women’s ministry events:

1. Stand at the entrance of the church sanctuary with a clipboard and ask each woman who walks by if they are planning to attend the upcoming women’s event. Let them know the details and ticket cost.

Put a flyer or brochure in her hand as an invite, containing the pertinent information. Repeat this for at least 4 weeks prior to the event.

2. Offer a prize for the first woman to sign up and then random numbers after that. For example if you expect 50 women to attend an event, offer a prize for the lady who buys the 10th, 20th, 25th and 30th tickets. 

3. Find 3-5 women who will commit to attend the event and will commit to inviting other women to join them.

If you have 5 women who each commit to personally invite 10 women you could easily reach 50 attendees.

4. When advertising the event on social media ask several women to like and share your post, and comment that they will be attending. 

5. Be enthusiastic about your event and talk it up.

Do your best to create a sense of excitement around the women’s events and mention it several times on social media, bulletin, announcements etc.

6. Ensure the word gets out in your church bulletin, newsletter, emails and social media.

However, I find most women need a personal invite, so while advertising is important for women to know the date and details, most won’t attend without a personal ask.

7. If your church is a church of small groups, ask the small groups Pastor to have small group leaders mention your event to his/her small group and encourage all the women in the small group to attend, and maybe even to go as a group.

Also See:

Things to Consider When Planning Events

Planning Great Events

How to Get Women to Show Up

10 Tips for Running Women’s Ministry Without Start Up Money

Many churches today have little or no money budgeted for Women’s Ministry.  For some this poses a roadblock to hosting Women’s Ministry. However, I challenge you to think outside the box and consider the following.

How to Run Women’s Ministry Without a Start Up Money:

  1. Ticket as many of your women’s events as possible charging enough to cover event expenses.
  2. Set a realistic budget of what the event will cost and then add a few extra dollars to each ticket price and set the extra money aside to offset costs for future events. For example, if you think an event will cost $10.00 per person, consider charging $15.00 per person and save the excess funds to offset costs for future events such as retreats, speaker fees etc.
  3. Ask women to donate door prizes for events instead of using ministry money to purchase them.
  4. Use women from your church to speak at your events rather than paying a speaker. During one ministry year, our Women’s Ministry hosted monthly events called “Stories” at which women from our church shared for 20-30 minutes from her own life story. Each woman we asked to share had been through a difficult time or circumstance in life that we hoped others could learn from. As part of her story women were asked to tell us how God walked through their story with them and how this made a difference.
  5. Instead of doing a retreat at a conference centre for a weekend, host a one-day retreat at your church. Have women bring snacks and supplies to help keep costs down.
  6. Whenever possible have women bring an appetizer or dessert to share at events instead of purchasing food. Many women would rather bring a dish to share, than pay for a ticket.
  7. Try to plan events with little costs involved. Games nights, progressive dinners, coffee nights, movie nights can all be done with little overhead costs.
  8. Buy decor from thrift stores and reuse as many decor items as possible.
  9. Ask your pastor to add women’s ministry to the church budget for the follow year. If you can provide a well laid out budget outlining projected expenses and income, and how funds will be used, maybe he or she will consider the ask.
  10. Do a fundraiser that has combined benefit. For example a soup and bun Sunday where families can eat a meal together at church with the added benefit of building into your church community. Have several women bring crock pots of soup, and get buns donated or made. All proceeds could be used for your women’s ministry budget.

New Leaders Start Up Tips

What To Include in a Women’s Ministry Budget