Before you dig into today’s repost from 2013, I wanted to give you an opportunity to download a FREE PLANNING GUIDE for your upcoming events. It’s free and you can make as many copies as you’d like. My gift to you. Because I think women’s ministry leaders rock!
I’ve been blessed to be able to travel and meet women in different towns, states and countries and I LOVE not only meeting the precious women in each place, but I also love that I get to get a bird’s eye view of how their women’s ministries are doing. Some are thriving. Others…not so much.
Women’s ministries are as unique as the churches they function in. Some seem to have it all together. Others are falling apart at the seams. But the unraveling of a women’s ministry doesn’t normally happen over night.
Time and circumstances have a way of bringing out the best and worst in all of us. Some ministries stand the test of time, others don’t.
Some aren’t actually falling apart, they just weren’t sewn together right in the first place.
SO…how can a seemingly thriving women’s ministry become a mess? What are the signs and symptoms of a ministry gone awry?
Here are 12 ways to ruin a women’s ministry:
1. Don’t get it started well in the first place ~ Good women’s ministries aren’t just thrown together, their prayerfully and carefully sewn together. They are thoroughly thought through and prayerfully planned out. The right time, purpose, place, people, strategies and structure are an important part of all successful women’s ministries. If you want to ruin yours, don’t get it started right in the first place.
2. Be a domineering leader ~ Good women’s ministries are lead by women who understand that we lead best when we serve. Others aren’t drawn to demanding, demeaning or domineering leaders. If you want to sink your own ministry ship, be a bossy leader and you’ll discover you are the one creating holes in your own ship.
3. Don’t pray ~ Prayer is where all good things begin, including good women’s ministries. Without prayer, there is no power, no true wisdom and no dependency upon God. If you want to ruin your ministry, don’t pray about the decisions you make or the people you are ministering to.
4. Be more concerned about the task than the people you are ministering to ~ Good women’s ministries focus on those they are there to minister to, not an event of a task. If you want your women’s ministry to fail, forget about the needs of the women you minister to and set your sites on the event you are planning, the meeting you are having or the goals you are setting.
5. Be exclusive ~ Good women’s ministries are really good at including everyone and about seeing those on the fringe who long to be involved but tend to feel excluded, or maybe never have found where they fit in. If you want to mess up your women’s ministry, make it like a social club, where only the strong survive and only a select few are able to be involved.
6. Don’t consider the women’s natural abilities or spiritual giftedness ~ Good women’s ministries encourage women to discover and use their spiritual gifts by inviting them to join in various activities and events. They notice who is good at what and help them find the joy of serving by asking them to be part of something using the areas of their giftedness. If you want your women’s ministry to take a nose dive, don’t allow women to discover their giftedness. Don’t allow them to strengthen their spiritual gifts. Just throw women into areas they aren’t suited for and watch them fail.
7. Be a drama queen ~ Good women’s ministries minimize the drama that is sure to happen in a high-estrogen environment with a variety of different women who have different personalities, different love languages and are in different seasons of their lives. If you want your women’s ministry to be plagued with problems, stir up a hornets nest and watch the women in your ministry respond to your lead by making a big deal about every little thing.
8. Cleverly disguise your gossip as a prayer request ~ Good women’s ministries not only minimize the gossip, they deal with it well. The Bible calls us to build each other up, not tear each other down. If what you are getting ready to say doesn’t need to be heard, then just don’t say it. And if you want to destroy your women’s ministry, cleverly disguise your gossip as a prayer request and then don’t wonder why things begin to fall apart at the seams.
9. Make it all about you ~ Good women’s ministries are lead well, by humble leaders who love well. They have no agenda to make the ministry about themselves. They sincerely want to point people to Jesus and to minister to the hearts of the women not only in their church, but in their community. If you want to see the walls of your women’s ministry come crashing down, build a house of mirrors, where you make it all about you…where everywhere everyone turns, all they see is you…where you are large and in charge and everyone knows it.
10. Don’t be ministry minded ~ Good women’s ministries are lead by a team of women who get ministry. Just because someone does ministry, doesn’t mean the really get it. Ministry is hard. It’s painful. Those you desperately try to minister to will hurt your heart and time and time again you will find yourself the target of words that wound, misunderstandings and even lies and insults that bread dissension and hurt the cause of Christ and the body of Christ. If you want to mess up your ministry don’t be ministry minded and either buckle under the weight of it all or allow yourself to join in the chorus of discontentment.
11. Have no purpose statement ~ Good women’s ministries filter everything through their purpose statement. They don’t try to do everything and be everything. They know that they have specific goals, as a ministry, to achieve and they don’t think they have to do everything every other women’s ministry is doing. If you want to blow it as a women’s ministry, do what ever comes along or sounds good and don’t have a purpose statement through which you filter all you do.
12. Stay so busy or be such a control freak that you don’t nurture your own relationship with Jesus and you try to do everything yourself ~ Good women’s ministries are lead by those who treasure their time with Jesus and guard their relationship with Him well. They know their ministry is to be an overflow of their relationship with the Lord, not a substitute for it. They don’t try to control everything or stay so busy that they can’t or won’t spend necessary time with God. If you want to ruin your women’s ministry, neglect your relationship with God, try to control everything and stay so busy that you wind up doing everything yourself and you have no time and no true fellowship with the Lord.
So, there you have it. Twelve ways you can ruin your women’s ministry.
Have you found yourself guilty of any of these? Do you see any of these areas that need to be adjusted in your current women’s ministry? What did I miss?