One of the most exciting things you can do as a women’s ministry leader is help the women in your church get outside the walls of the church. Taking the love of Jesus to the streets can be gritty and life-changing. It can change the women in your church, because they see the needs of others and experience God using them to meet the needs. It can change the life of the person being served, because they experience the love of Jesus, maybe for the first time.
Sometimes it is hard to know how to reach the community with the love of Jesus. Let’s be honest. The needs are overwhelming. A discovery process can be very helpful. An important first step is to assess the needs around you. Ask community leaders for input. Community leaders will know the greatest needs as well as the needs that are not being addressed. This important first step will help your service project to be relevant and impactful.
Ask the women in your church for ideas, too. Find out if there are projects that are near and dear to their hearts. If you can find a project that the women in your church are passionate about, it will make the process smoother, because your women will eagerly get involved. For example, if you have a school teacher in your church, and she knows about a feeding program for children, she can speak to the validly and impact of the program. This approach to discovering needs can position the project to be highly successful.
Practical “Serve” Strategies: Once you select the project, you are ready to go!
• Recruit key leaders: You cannot do this project on your own. Ask God to raise up a service project leader who is passionate about demonstrating the love of Jesus to people in the community. You will also need to recruit people in your church who are influential. These influential leaders are loved, respected, and trusted. Often times, key leaders will help you gain the involvement of the masses.
• Cast a vision by sharing the need with the women in your church: Use every opportunity to promote the service project. Have someone from the community share the need as well as the potential impact the service project will make in the lives of others.
• Provide training if needed: Sometimes women shy away from service projects because they do not feel equipped. You can reduce stress or anxiety by offering a time where questions are answered, basic information is provided, and women are trained.
• Complete the service project together: Even though you may not be leading the project, it is important for you to be involved. If possible, find a way for the women to complete the project with other women. This will help the connection bonds between the women in your church develop and grow.
• Celebrate the victory: Share the victories and success stories with all the members of your church. This will encourage more women to take part in the next service project.
• Set another service project date and allow the momentum to grow: Let the women in your church know that service is biblical and that it will be an ongoing part of the women’s ministry. Service projects should be done in love and with a focus on Jesus. This type of service opens the door for the gospel to be shared. Be sure and encourage your ladies to embrace a life of service. Getting outside the walls of your church can be scary and exciting. Do not allow fear or the attitude of, “we have never done it before,” to stand in the way of demonstrating the love of Jesus. Always remember… Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. He served by giving up His
life. (Matthew 20:28, New International Version) We need to follow His perfect example.
For help in equipping and engaging women in your church and community, contact Andrea Lennon at firstname.lastname@example.org.