Begin by reading this article by Dr. Chuck Lawless where he shows two major directions for dealing with a non-growing ministry. Then we’ll discuss how this relates to a non-growing women’s ministry.
If you ever ask someone outside the ministry to give you some feedback, are you really ready to hear truth? Often we are not. Let’s look at the two major directions we can take to face the facts and how we respond to honest feedback that we may not want to hear.
The first avenue of response is to deal with the issue through our frustration. We do this several ways:
- Denial – Surely we are growing. We see new faces from time to time. You must not be right in your observation if you think we are not growing.
- Blame – Women just don’t get it. If they were really spiritual they would be involved. There must be some outside reasons why women are not responding to what we offer.
- Seclusion – We might just choose to not talk to anyone about the problem. Maybe we accomplish tasks without really connecting with others whether that be our team, our staff, or the women in our ministry.
- Hopelessness – Maybe it’s just not worth the effort. It’s too hard and I’m tired of trying. We may just give up.
- Resignation – Someone else just needs to take over this ministry. I’m obviously not the one to lead women any more.
Our other possible response to the situation is one of fortitude. If we choose that route, here are some ways it will play out.
- A Welcoming Spirit – We welcome those outside perspectives and seek to honestly see what they see. There is appreciation for their ability to be more objective than we are about the ministry we love.
- Self-Reflection – We ask God to show us where we are part of the problem and are willing to label it. We desire to resolve the issue even if it’s us.
- Humble Teachability – We realize we will never have all the answers to the problems of growing the ministry. We are always looking for ways to go deeper ourselves and to learn new skills to better serve women.
- Desperate Prayer – We rely on God’s power knowing we cannot serve effectively and powerfully without His strength and guidance. We seek Him through constant communication and dependence.
- Stretched Faith – We understand that God has a plan and it will be far outside the human ability to accomplish it. We choose to allow Him to use and change us to reach new horizons if that is His will to reach and disciple women.
What are the brutal facts about your women’s ministry? Perhaps more importantly, what is your response to those facts? Frustration or fortitude?