Women are challenging the roles they have been given in the church. No longer content with luncheons and children’s programs; women are questioning authorities, enrolling in seminaries, and pursuing positions of church leadership. Women are leaving traditional religious institutions in search of a less patriarchal system for the expression of their faith.
It is critical to know the core purpose for ministry with women when considering the future of women’s ministry and its goal of life transformation. Although the purpose of ministry remains constant the practice of ministry needs to be modified based on the prevailing culture. Thom Rainer recently wrote on three questions to ask when starting new groups. Here they are modified to suggest questions we should be asking as we set the vision and mission for ministry with women.
– Are you making disciples?
The main purpose of women’s ministry is to encourage each other to grow in knowledge of and obedience to Christ. If your women’s ministry isn’t making disciples it has missed the primary purpose for existing. It is imperative that you plan how you will grow disciples and how you will hold each other accountable for doing so. Plan to do more than just meet to build relationships. Prepare to make disciples.
– Are you building community?
Sitting in the same room for an hour each week does not really qualify as being in community. You have to be intentional about unity and intimacy. If you are not purposeful about creating community, lives will not be transformed. You should plan how you are going to pray for each other and enact a strategy of caring when there is a crisis. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. As you commit to making disciples, commit to fostering consistent, caring relationships.
– Are you shaping the culture around you?
Just as it does with churches, an inward focus will kill a ministry. An outward focus, however, can lead to transformation that works itself out in public ways to shape homes, churches, and communities. You should help your women choose a mission to share or a cause to champion. Get involved and let the passions of your group reflect the passions of the community. Lead your women to set goals for serving and spending time with people in the community that don’t know Jesus. Remember that as Christ is shaping the women, He wants to shape the world through your group too. Be sure to answer the question of how you want to see that take place in your women’s ministry.
For the original article or to get more information: http://thomrainer.com/2015/03/10/three-important-questions-ask-starting-new-groups/