A note from Chris Adams: Dr. Deb Douglas, my friend whose life is filled with drama non-stop, is the minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, La. She continually trusts God in the midst of her own challenges in ministry and in life!
By Dr. Deb Douglas
If you believe comic strips and sitcoms, it’s impossible to get a group of women together without an eruption of drama. And unfortunately, women’s ministry in the church can be a hot bed, a breeding ground in fact, for drama. But does it have to be? I am a drama hater but for reasons unknown to me, I tend to be a drama magnet, or as some fellow church members call me — the minister of cray-cray. I still hang on to the dream of a drama-free ministry. I’m an optimist!
How can we celebrate the uniqueness of each woman, but maintain a drama-less ministry? We start with prayer — a lot of it. At FBC Bossier, we have a team of prayer warriors who are committed to interceding on behalf of the women we serve.
Here are some more tips for a drama-free or drama-reduced women’s ministry:
1. Make busy bees. When women are busy serving together, there’s no time for drama. Offer meaningful mission projects on a regular basis (at least one a month). Here are just a few ideas for the vast ideas you can consider for mission projects: provide gift bags for a ministry to sex trade workers, share picnic lunches with homeless men and women in downtown parks, take cupcakes to laundromats, or take lap quilts and lotions to retirement home residents. Vary the projects to attract a variety of women.
2. Focus. Provide a streamlined focus of discipleship for women. Communicate the need to study, memorize, and apply the Scriptures. Challenge women to remain single focused. When our eyes are focused on Christ, we cannot see anything but Him. The things that cause drama simply melt away.
3. Nip it in the bud. When conflict arises, handle it quickly. Do not be afraid to intervene in conflict using Matthew 5 as a guideline. A face-to-face chat usually ends in forgiveness and hugs, snuffing out the drama.
4. Call it what it is. When a rumor starts making the rounds, start asking questions. Ask: How do you know this to be true? Will you talk to the participants involved with me? Asking the right questions will shut down a gossiper quickly!
5. Stomp out snarky social media. Confront snarky comments made on social media in private. Point out the damage one cutting comment can do. Educate women on the power of the tongue and the longevity of a comment on social media. Mary Kassian’s study on communication, Conversation Peace, is a fabulous resource for giving women a biblical perspective on taming their tongues.
6. Exemplify. Be a godly example for a drama-free life. Ask God to squash any tendency to living a drama-filled life.
7. Don’t buy it. If I refuse to take on the drama of others, then I remain freed up from drama. It’s possible to care for others while maintaining appropriate boundaries. Taking on their drama does not help the situation; all it does is lead me to burnout and frustration. Refusing to become involved in the drama of others keeps us free to focus on serving Him.
So leave the drama behind! Life is easier when it’s drama free.
Dr. Deb Douglas strives to live drama free as she serves as minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, La., where she also leads Hope Ministry, a ministry to those impacted by a cancer diagnosis. Also a LifeWay Women’s Ministry Multipliers, Deb launched her first women’s Bible study at the age of 20. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is a conference/retreat speaker, strategic planning consultant, freelance writer and contributor to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level. Deb graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts in Christian Education/Women’s Ministry and a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, mother-in-law to Emily and grandmother to Caroline.