Many unreached women hide behind walls—some thicker than others—that keep you out. Our assignment as leaders is to help break down the walls of indifference, resistance, or inadequacy. Here are a few ways to overcome these walls so that more women are reached with the gospel.
1. Choose and encourage leaders who demonstrate an inviting spirit. Challenge everyone to offer a hug and extend a hand to fellow worshipers, both inside and outside the church setting. Wage a massive campaign to prove yourself friendly. Enlist those who have a gift of hospitality to cultivate an atmosphere of friendliness within your ministry.
2. Create a women’s ministry welcoming committee. This is an effective outreach tool and offers an area of service for those with limited time or experience. Greeters can present bookmarks with meeting dates, times, and an invitation to participate in women’s ministry activities.
3. At the beginning of each study, suggest members choose someone nearby to be their buddy. Encourage them to swap phone numbers, to follow up when one or the other is absent, and to encourage each other in group work. This provides all members the opportunity to interact, encourages new friendships, and may lead to prayer partnership or an accountability ministry.
4. Offer seminars geared to common women’s health issues, such as pregnancy, heart health, fitness, and menopause. Encourage a question/answer format where women are encouraged to share similar fears and concerns. In addition, offer seminars that deal with common life experiences, such as establishing independence from parents, caring for aging parents, and financial planning for all ages and marital/working statuses.
5. Uniting quarterly with the men’s ministry fosters a proper prospective on male/female issues. Panel and group discussions related to restoration of family values generate interest and provide opportunities to minister more broadly. Carefully planned and publicized sessions may draw the attention of city leaders, family members, or inquisitive, unchurched co-workers.
6. Meet one or more times a year with other women’s groups (missions, music, and so forth) to present ministry descriptions and purposes. Invite unreached women so they can learn of available areas of service. Working together yields greater results and brings unity among women. In addition to these suggestions for breaking down walls of indifference, resistance, or inadequacy, consider the “wall” of boredom with traditional programming.
7. Change the setting of regular meetings. Use seasonal influences, church event ideas, or personal creativity to enhance the decor. Incorporate a coffee house, praise concert, or swap meet with speaking and teaching sessions. Use as many newcomers’ gifts and talents as possible to heighten their sense of contribution.
8. Incorporate praise choruses, contemporary music, and upbeat testimonies shared by triumphant believers. Motivational speakers with honest life messages are rewarding and usually benefit Christians in various stages of spiritual growth. Evaluate the responsiveness of participants, either visually or verbally. A written response card prepared ahead of time might be helpful. Adjust meeting situations accordingly, in order to maintain a consistent level of responsiveness and appreciation.