I teach a Sunday morning small group of women and this is a topic I can relate to so much. It’s also one I’ve heard from leaders continually as they seek to reach and minister to those women who choose to worship even if it means worshiping alone. Read these helpful 8 tips from author and women’s leader Shirley Moses, founder of Beyond the Call Ministries. Ask God if there is at least one idea you can implement to help your women whose husbands are not leading them spiritually.
Wouldn’t it be great to reach those women in your church whose husbands do not attend with them? Do you long to minister to them in a way that meets their needs and helps them grow spiritually? God allowed me to teach such a class. Under His guidance, Ladies’ Choice Sunday School Class grew from thirteen women to fifty-five women in a short period of time, with an average of thirty-five in attendance each Sunday. As a result of this experience, I found several effective ways to minister to women in this situation. May I suggest the following to assist you in reaching this group of women, particularly if it is a Sunday School class or a small group that you are leading?
1. Show that you Care: Everyone looks to the leader! This is so true in a ministry where hurting women are looking for a role model. The struggles these women face are many. Look for those spiritual teachers who are married/single to lead such a group.
Consider the four A’s:
• Be Approachable.
• Be Available.
• Be Attentive.
• Be Accessible
2. Make Memories: Strong relationships are made with time.
• Write notes.
• Make personal phone calls.
• Give parties once a quarter and invite their children to be part of the gathering.
3. Keep Them Connected To the Church Body: It is so very important for women to feel part of the church family.
• Encourage them to invite their spouse to non-threatening gatherings.
• Arrange for them to have someone to sit with in church.
• Lead the church to be warm and embracing to the women.
• Help them to be involved ministry and send a thank you note to the husband for allowing his wife to be involved.
4. Encourage Them to Study God’s Word: They need to see that God’s word is applicable to their circumstance. We will never have all the answers for them, but in His word, we can teach them there is direction and comfort for their lives.
• Arrange mini-conferences to address some of their needs.
• Encourage small Bible studies in homes.
• Have teaching tapes available to them.
5. Hold Them Accountable: If we are to help these women grow spiritually, we must model accountability.
• Help them understand goal setting.
• Share personal experiences of accountability.
• Encourage them to be part of a small accountability group.
• Teach them what God’s word has to say about accountability.
6. Make Them Feel Special: Everyone likes to feel they are loved and appreciated.
• At the beginning of each month, celebrate the birthdays for that month. Bring snacks and have a time of fellowship along with prayer for women and their families.
7. Be Their Balcony Person: Remind them often that circumstances never stay the same. God has a plan, and they are part of that plan.
• Encourage the women to give testimony when God is working in their lives.
• Teach them to focus on the blessings.
• Encourage them often to never give up.
8. Pray, Pray, Pray! Pray with them and for them.
• Help them find a prayer partner.
• Have prayer warriors and couples ministry to pray for their non-believing husbands.
• Take pictures of each woman in the class and display them to remind you as their teacher to pray for them.
Yes, God still moves. He can take the most undesirable circumstances and work them out for each of us. If you find yourself ministering to this group of women, stop and praise God right now! There are many memories to be made, lives that will be changed, and joy is just around the corner!
Shirley is a women’s ministry team advisor at Hagerman Baptist Church in Sherman, Texas, an author, speaker and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. Formerly she served as the women’s ministry consultant for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. She is one of the writers of the LifeWay publication: Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level and co-authored Heart Friends: Beginning and Maintaining A Small Accountability Group, published by LifeWay. She is the founder of Women’s Ministry Connection, a networking ministry that reaches the North Texas area. She has a passion for equipping women to be all that God wants them to be. This has led Shirley to start her personal ministry, Beyond the Call Ministries, and to travel across the country speaking for women’s conferences and retreats. Shirley has completed her Advanced Certificate of Women’s Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.