If we weren’t going to Africa, my dream job would probably be to be a women’s pastor at a church.
Here are 3 things that I think are important for churches and 3 things that are essential for the ministry.
- Put your women’s minister on staff. This is a money investment that speaks of the value of her and of the ministry.
- Make her full-time (or at least 3 days a week). Ministry jobs that are 1 or 2 days a week are normally done badly or are actually 3 days a week or more. In the case of women’s ministry, it’s sometimes tacked on to an already busy kids ministry. If you want a ministry to fly (and the person doing it to survive), you have to give it the appropriate time and energy.
- Have someone who is theologically trained. You want your minister to be trained: why is your women’s minister any different?
How to shape a women’s ministry:
- Make it proactive, not just putting out spot-fires. Many women’s ministries never move beyond crisis management. That needs to be done but you won’t see women grow to maturity until you sell them a higher vision.
- Make it theological, not just practical. Teaching on friendships, singleness, marriage, parenting, etc will help in the short term and it’s appropriate to do practical teaching. But re-shaping someone’s worldview so that each of those things are affected will have long-term benefits.
- Make it strategic, raising up women for the future. We need to move beyond caring for women and start helping them to see their potential and how they can contribute. This takes careful consideration that requires time and space but it has flow on effects to just about every other ministry in the church.
Many women I meet tell me they hate going to women’s events because of the cringe factor – either too much saccharine girly stuff or so much earnestness they feel like it’s not fun. I agree! But I think the descent into stereotypes or the loss of fun often comes about because women’s ministry happens on the fly or as a side-track. I’m suggesting a two-pronged solution to that: put value into your women’s ministry and make its goal bringing women to maturity.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.