This article is about all those places we may end up when working with women's ministry. See if you can relate to any of these streets.
Traveling the 10 "Un" Streets of Women's Ministry
Posted March 06, 2014
There are all kinds of streets and roads we end up traveling while working with women’s ministry. Here are some of them that you may encounter.
1 Unfamiliar Street
This first road that is plotted out on our map is Unfamiliar Street. Maybe you are new to women’s ministry and this is uncharted territory for you. Maybe there is a program that you haven’t done before or you are doing something in a different way.
The unfamiliar can sometimes be an alarming place to be. It has a way of making us anxious. This is a time to really rely on the Lord. Remember He is with you every step of the way. If you look around for them, you will probably find some ladies within your group that understand and they are praying for you too.
2 Unavoidable Street
This is a street that we like to miss. We may want to bypass it altogether but it seems sometimes that there is just no way around it. Maybe a decision you have to make will upset someone but you feel led that it is the right decision.
Maybe doing something a different way upsets a few of your ladies. Maybe everyone can’t be there for something that’s scheduled but you know you will never be able to please everybody.
There are always going to be things that are unavoidable in women’s ministry. After all we are dealing with people, expressly women of all types, seasons in life, and at different levels of their Christian walk.
3 Unpleasant Street
Our next street we travel is Unpleasant Street. You can’t see to the end of this street. It runs on forever. In ministry there are going to be unpleasant tasks. Maybe you have to be the “bad guy” in a situation and dole out some authority in your position.
On the other hand you may have to receive some criticism, whether constructive or not, and sometimes that can be unpleasant.
You may have to go by some cold shoulders or have hurtful words hurled out at you from the sidewalk as you pass on this street. That’s the time to go to the Lord and allow Him to lift you up. Get into His Word and let the healing begin.
4 Unmanageable Street
Maybe you have ladies within your group that are hard to manage. They don’t listen to instructions. Maybe you have one or two that like to talk during your Bible Study time. You try to deal with it and the next thing you know it becomes an issue again.
Maybe you have a few ladies in your group that just don't get along with each other. You can encourage friendship, not harboring bitterness, call for unity, and everything else but you can't change the heart of people. They have to want a change in their heart. You can't do it for them.
It’s a struggle but you have to pray for those unmanageable people or unmanageable situations. Turn it over to the Lord to handle. He’s the one who can sort things out for you.
5 Unsolvable Street
This street we are going down has one of those “No Outlet” signs when you drive onto it. There is no way out. Face it, there are going to be things within our ministry that may turn out to be unsolvable. These are things we just can’t do anything about.
It may not be in your power to solve everything within your ladies group. You just have to learn to be okay with it. As long as you’ve done what you can about whatever the situation is, you just have to give it over to the Lord and be at peace about it in your own heart.
6 Unresponsive Street
Okay, this is my most dreaded street to travel. I wish there was a shortcut I could tell you about to take you around it but there isn’t one. It is one of those dark and scary streets where the streetlights are almost all blown out. This street is the one where no one shows up to your Bible Study, your monthly fellowship, your retreat.
Maybe you’ve made a special dessert that you’ve went out of your way to get the ingredients for. Maybe you’ve worked hard and long at planning and studying, even spent your own money on supplies, and done all the things you know you should do as a leader, and then nobody shows or just a few show.
I know how you feel when you turn onto this street. I’ve been there. I’ve sat down on the curb of Unresponsive Street and got very silent, sad, angry, and sad again. I know it hurts. You want to throw the towel in and say you will never work and plan again for those ladies. But you do it again. I know you do.
You may have to reevaluate things and maybe even have to do a little more work at inviting, calling, and getting the word out. Maybe it’s the structure itself that needs a little tweaking for your ladies to want to attend. In the end though, you just have to shake it off and turn it over to the Lord.
7 Unsettling Street
Unsettling Street is one of those streets we come on to after a blind curve. There are things you are going to see and hear as a ministry leader that you might not ever know is out there.
Women will start coming to you in confidence. They will tell you their woes, sorrows, experiences. Maybe it is details of a divorce, abuse, or any of those other hurting things women come to you with and you can’t talk to anyone else about it except for God.
You have to keep that confidence but you feel weighted down with the knowledge that someone’s shared. It is unsettling, but it’s part of how we learn to love others on a deeper level. It is part of bearing the burdens of others. You are helping them carry the load.
Sometimes that sharing gives you a better understanding of a person and helps you focus your prayers in a more deep and meaningful way when you pray for them. You will find these women share because they respect you and have confidence in you so handle that trust they put into you with delicacy.
8 Unnerving Street
This street runs parallel to Unsettling Street. It’s another one that just makes us feel uneasy. Perhaps you delivered a devotional and you feel you blundered it. You got up to speak and everything came out wrong. Perhaps you forgot things. Perhaps you got your Bible references mixed up.
Don’t let it make you lose your confidence. If you make a mistake, just move on. Many times others don’t even know you have made a blunder. We make our own bungles into large ones. If you see a mistake you’ve made, just correct it and go on. If you get a little tongue tied, just take a deep breath, say a silent prayer, and move on.
Get your confidence and courage from the Lord. When you get unnerved over something, remember the Lord is with you.
9 Unnoticeable Street
This street isn’t well marked and it’s easy to miss. Unnoticeable Street is full of all those little details that you and your team put into your women’s ministry planning. Maybe it is the busy work of planning out your devotions, events, schedules.
It is all those behind the scenes things that people don’t notice. Maybe your job was to iron the tablecloths, hot glue a bow on a favor, or to serve the punch.
You may think that no one notices and sometimes they don’t. You have to be okay with it because God sees all those extra special touches that you put into ministry and you are ultimately serving the Lord. Sure it is nice to receive a “thank you” but knowing you put your very best into what you did for the Lord is what counts.
10 Unproductive Street
This street is filled with pot holes or maybe sometimes you feel like your Unproductive Street is filled with sink holes. Maybe a team meeting went by without much progress or much being accomplished. Maybe it was an event that you feel just kind of flopped. You begin to feel like you are spinning your wheels.
After coming off of this street you’ve got some wear and tear on you. Your frame of mind gets out of alignment. When you pull off of this one, you may want to stop and regroup.
Take time to evaluate things a little before you move on. It is okay to go into the shop and get yourself fixed. Open up the Word and hover close to the Lord till you gain your strength back. Then look for ways that you can improve on things.
I do not share all these streets to scare you but to encourage you and let you know you are not the first to travel down them. I’ve been there. Other ministry leaders have been there. It is part of the map that makes up women’s ministry and serving the Lord.
I encourage you not to let these streets distract you from doing what you know in your heart the Lord wants you to do. Maybe right now you are stalled out on one of these streets and you are flooded with that feeling of being overwhelmed. Now is the time to look up and allow the Lord to take your hand and lead you out of that place.
Look outwardly too. Find others who will pray for you as you work with women’s ministry. Don’t be afraid to ask for prayer. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you don’t have a team of helpers, then start praying and looking for a few women who can pitch in and help on a practical level. You cannot do women's ministry all on your own.
You are going to find yourself on one of these streets from time to time. Some of you may even have to travel many of them or all of them. Just be aware that they exist and that you may have to deal with them. Above all, spend time with the Lord and talk to Him about all these situations. He will be with you as you travel these roads so find your strength in Him.
Remember in the Old Testament after Moses was dead and God raised up Joshua as a leader? Look what God told Joshua.
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9
Copyright ©2014 Julia Bettencourt
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