This was the very first article specificially for women's ministry on the website. I think it still holds some things we need to re-evaluate from time to time for our monthly women's meetings.
Check Up for Church Ladies Groups
Posted May 16, 2001
Are your meetings boring?
Ho-hum. No one wants to take time out of their busy schedules to attend anything that's boring. If you do the same exact thing, have the same speaker, sing the same songs, utter the same prayers at each monthly ladies group meeting, chances are you have slipped into the "Boring Land" somewhere along the line.
Try changing things around.
- Change the format. Try new places to meet such as different ladies homes once in a while, a coffee shop, a park picnic area.
- Find new things to do and add some dynamic content to your meetings. Throw in some ice-breakers into your meetings. Ice-breakers don't have to be saved just for retreats or banquets. Check out the list of Ideas and Activities for your ladies to try.
Do your meetings start on time?
People lead busy lives and when something doesn't begin on time--it doesn't end on time. My suggestion is never wait to start your meeting till everyone is there. Don't wait on "Sister Always Late" no matter who she is. They know ahead of time what time the meeting starts.
Be courteous to the ones who did show up on time. "Sister Always Late" will eventually learn. And don't take up the valuable time of your meeting to go over everything "Sister Always Late" missed after they arrive. Just tell them, "Boy! You've missed all the fun" and go on with your meeting.
If "Sister Always Late" starts feeling out of the groove maybe they'll try a little harder to be on time at the next meeting. Who knows. "Sister Always Late" may just have to change her name to "Sister Barely On Time" or "Sister Just Made It!"
Are your meetings organized?
Are you ready with all the preparations before the ladies begin to arrive or do you still have things printing in the copier and you are busy with getting things together for the meeting?
Good preparation of your meetings will help them run smoother. After all, this is for God's glory so do your best to have everything ready and organized before meeting time.
- If you are having written ice-breakers or activities, have pens for all the ladies. Don't take up valuable time for everyone to rummage through their purses.
- If you have a handout, copy it ahead of time.
- Make sure the food preparation is taken care of.
- Make sure there are enough chairs or seating.
- Make sure all the little details are ironed out.
Are your meetings a one-woman show?
Are you as the leader the only one that talks all during the meeting? Do you open and close the meeting with prayer, prepare the food, in charge of any activities, and give the devotional too?
Let your ladies participate. You can still be in control of the meeting but let others be involved. Ladies need an outlet where they can serve and this is a great place for them to do so.
- Call on a variety of ladies for prayer.
- Let someone do the secretarial work such as keeping attendance or keeping track of the offering money if you take up offerings at your meetings.
- Ask ahead of time for other ladies in your church or a pastor's wife of like-faith within driving distance to bring the devotional.
- Let someone else give missionary reports or be in charge of ice-breakers and games. Vary who is responsible for bringing in refreshments.
- If you hold your meetings at your church, appoint a "hostess" for each ladies meeting. Let them be in charge of things such as welcoming everyone as they arrive handing out any printed material, and keeping coffee cups filled during the meeting, etc.
You might even want to have a special apron for them to wear or make up a special hostess name tag for them to wear.
- Be open to others ideas for group activities and not just your own.
Who is in control of your meetings?
Are you as the leader in control of the meetings or does "Sister Talk and Talk" end up sharing a prayer request and telling a life story along with it and she ends up being in charge?
Face it. Most monthly ladies meetings are only about 1 to 1 and a half hours long and if each time it gets out of control it is defeating the purpose of holding them.
Please realize I am not minimizing prayer or sharing requests but if that is what your monthly meeting is, then call it a "Prayer Group" and promote it as that but most women need more so maybe hold "Prayer Group" on a night other than your regular scheduled monthly ladies meetings or even have "Prayer Group" for the first half hour only and don't let it go over and then begin the rest of your meeting.
A ladies group should try to cover the "whole" of a woman. We need Bible study, prayer, friendship, caring, sharing, encouragement and even fun!
Copyright ©2001 Julia Bettencourt
This download has some tidbits of wisdom for women's leaders but also lots of questions for evaluation. It is a worksheet of sorts to help you as a leader to evaluate growth and progress within your women's group. It is a 7 page download.
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