It’s safe to say that excellent resources for Bible study and discipleship are readily available. However, many women are not available to take advantage of these great opportunities during daytime hours. Because a significant number of women spend their days at work, we must be creative in how we encourage, support, and lead them.
The number one issue that specifically affects women’s ministry planning is time constraints. Like the stay-at-home-mom, the woman in the workplace experiences pressing time demands from the moment her alarm clock sounds until she resets it at night. The difference is that for hours each day, she is not available for women’s ministry events. No matter how she might try to reshuffle her day, she simply cannot attend. So how can we reach out to her without becoming one more demand on her time?
Evaluate how your women’s ministry structure can act as a resource for the Christian woman at work. How can it serve and support her as she seeks to be salt and light in her career?
How about organizing a time for women to gather together during the lunch hour? Choose a central location, and provide lunch for them. This gives them a brief “retreat” away from the stress of the work day. This gathering should be brief, allowing for not only spiritual nourishment, but also fellowship.
Saturday morning Bible studies are also a creative alternative. One Saturday morning study participant explains: “My body clock wakes me at the same time on Saturdays as week days. I can attend the study and be home before the kids are up!”
Many churches also offer weekend retreats, conferences, and evening seminars as excellent enrichment opportunities for career women.
Create a Survey
Often, the best way to discover needs is to just ask! Listen for hurts, interests, and fears. Administer surveys one-on-one or distribute surveys in a high-traffic location, offering chocolates or other incentives to encourage participation.
Include questions such as: Are you employed outside the home part time or full time? Do you participate in women’s ministry? In what areas? Would you attend a six-week noontime Bible study? Would you be interested in a monthly newsletter for women in the workplace? Would you be interested in attending either a weeknight or weekend Bible study?
Equip and Encourage
Women can also impact their workplaces by establishing work-based small groups. What if Christian co-workers gathered together during lunch, breaks, and before or after work? They could pray for God to reveal His strategy for their workplace, share insights and observations of ways He is working, or discuss the application of Scripture to work practices. They can also pray for one another and for specific individuals who need to know Christ. You can be a resource and support for these women as they gather together at work.
What are some other ways we can reach, encourage, and support women in the workplace? What has been helpful for women in your ministry?
This article is adapted from a chapter written by Linda Lesniewski in Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, compiled by Chris Adams.
Linda Lesniewski is the Women’s Minister at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas and the mother of four young adults and grandmother of six little girls. She is a contributor to the book, Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level published by LifeWay. She has authored A Little Book About Knowing A Big God for children, Women at the Cross, published by Revell, and Connecting Women: A Relational Guide for Leaders in Women’s Ministry, published by Baker Books.