I am excited to be posting for the first time on our new women’s ministry blog for leaders. Not only is it my prayer that this will be a helpful resource for you as a leader, but also so that I can learn from you.
Is women’s ministry going away??? Women’s ministry has been around for quite a while now, at least 20-25 years, although women’s work in the church has been around much longer. It appears we are in another turning point in ministry with women today. As young women grow in Christ and commit to ministry, I do not believe it’s going away but that it will look different. What an exciting place to be: serving in ministry while God is continuing to grow women and even doing a “new thing” that we get to watch and take part in.
When the term women’s ministry first surfaced, I was serving on a church staff seeking ways to effectively reach and help women grow and serve Christ. Many leaders at that time were not sure what to do or how to do it since not many churches were attempting new things. Through prayer, trial and error, and listening to the Lord, we began to color outside the lines and saw God do new things. It was risky doing it differently, and we didn’t always feel like we had permission to change the ministry direction, but it was well worth the risk as we saw women grow in the Lord and find their places of service to Him.
Since women’s ministry is not going away, how will you, as a leader, hand off to the next generation? Will you do it willingly, even if the younger generation does it different? Or will you hold tightly to the way you have been doing it for years? Keeping in mind, it’s not “our” ministry, we must let God develop the future, holding tight to biblical principles, but allowing the methods to change as needed.
Young women will not look like many of us in leadership today! What appeals to us will not appeal to them. But desiring the Lord and growing spiritually will keep us connected through all generations no matter what different approaches we must take to reach all women.
Recently Regina Gibson, our young women’s specialist at Lifeway, posted two web casts where she shared how to connect with young adult women in your church. You can view them here: Connecting with young women.
Lifeway has conducted extensive research on young adults and provides information they have gleaned regarding the younger generation and their falling away from church. You will find two helpful articles here:
Lifeway Research Finds Unchurched 20-Somethings More Open than Older Unchurched The New View of Young Adults.
In the future I will continue to deal with this issue and ask the question, “how can women’s ministry meet the needs of the next generation?”
Please share you experiences as you’ve tried to do things differently to reach the younger women for spiritual growth and leadership. I’d love to hear from you.