Balance can be defined as a steadiness resulting from all parts being properly adjusted to each other, with no one part outweighing or out of proportion to another. In the same manner, an effective women’s ministry is the result of balance. Such balance does not happen by chance or by wishing it to be so. Rather, it is the result of careful, prayerful planning. Women’s leaders have the awesome responsibility of joining hands with God in helping women of their church become mature in Him.
A balanced ministry may be maintained through regular evaluation, sensitive observation, and an outsider’s perspective. Let’s look at each of these.
How can a leader know when she has an effective balance in her women’s ministry? Leaders should evaluate their ministries on a regular basis. Every 12 months offers a good time for analyzing. A purpose statement created and adopted by the women can be a helpful tool. For example, one group identified fellowship as an important part of their ministry. Their format included a Bible study for all ages. In evaluating this particular phase of their ministry, leaders observed the interaction among the different ages and how they ministered to one another when special needs arose. They also took note of reactions from visitors in the meetings. One out-of-town visitor remarked, “I am amazed at the large number of women of different ages gathered together for Bible study—and they all seem to have a great time just being together!”
Each phase of women’s ministry should be evaluated. Where there are successes, God should be thanked and celebrated. The area (or areas) where progress is needed should be identified, and leaders should try to determine why that particular area has not progressed.
Leaders should prayerfully seek God’s direction for improving. They should always be alert to enlarging the women’s ministry to include new church members or those who have recently had a major life change (for example, new retirees).
Leaders should consider the spirit among the women. Do they have a spirit of anticipation, excitement, and joy? Leaders may find that observing statistics such as the number enrolled and attending in each group or activity can be helpful. Since women are “feelers,” the level of enthusiasm with which they participate is often observable. Remember that your women’s ministry is one part of the entire church.
Leaders should also look for changes in the lives of women. Are the women achieving a better balance in their personal lives as they grow more like Jesus?
An Outsider’s Perspective
An outsider’s perspective offers an objective view of women’s ministry. The church staff is a great resource for obtaining this. For example, a leader could ask the pastor for his impression of the women’s ministry.
When one women’s ministry group asked their pastor to share his evaluation of their ministries, he replied, “The women’s ministry of our church is an integral part of our ministries. I find several strengths: 1. It is balanced. There is an excellent blend of evangelism and missions, the fun and the serious, the young and the old, self-improvement and service to others. 2. It is biblical. At the heart of our program is our women encounter with the Word of God. 3. It is supportive. Our women’s ministry leadership want the ministry to fit squarely into the overarching goals of our church. As a pastor, I cannot imagine our church functioning effectively without our ministry to and with women.”
Just as it’s needed in various physical aspects of a woman’s life, balance is needed in women’s ministry to assist women in their desire to become all that God created them to be.
How do you maintain balance in your women’s ministry?
This article is excerpted from Women Reaching Women: Beginning and Building a Growing Women’s Ministry compiled by Chris Adams.
Monte McMahan Clendinning was a homemaker in Brandon, Mississippi. An author, speaker, and conference leader on various international fields, she retired from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as adjunct professor and also conference coordinator for the seminary’s World Missions Center. Clendinning passed away in 2005, leaving a profound legacy of ministry to women everywhere who now reap the benefits of her leadership and boldness.