A purpose statement for your women’s ministry will help others understand its intent, its scope, and how it relates to your church’s mission or vision statement. If your church has not recorded such a statement, encourage women’s leaders representing all phases of church life to work along with a church staff member to write one. Ask that they spend time in God’s Word and in prayer as they seek to develop a foundational statement which reflects the direction and spirit of the church’s mission or vision. Remember, women’s ministry is not separate from the church; it helps the church accomplish its God-given mission.
Purpose statements not only aid in developing a balanced ministry but serve as tools for evaluation. Giving proper attention to a purpose statement in light of the church’s functions and mission/vision statement can contribute to a larger vision for women’s ministries than if women develop their own activities without giving consideration to fitting into the church’s mission. Women are wise to plan for the years—not just for the year. What an awesome responsibility leaders carry! They seek God’s vision for what a woman should be in 10 or 20 years and are busily engaged in offering curriculum which can be used of God to help that woman mature in Him.
Michelangelo, the famous Italian sculptor, had a vision for each of his sculptures. Biographers report that he could look at a piece of marble and envision a form to be released from that block of marble. Similarly, women’s leaders need God’s vision of what women can become, and they need to be ready to create classes and activities in which they can help those ladies mature in Christ.
Women’s ministries do not all have to look alike. Just as God made each woman different, the work accomplished among women will differ from church to church.
Does your ministry have a purpose statement? How does it help guide the direction of the ministry?
This article is adapted from a chapter written by Monte McMahan Clendinning and found in 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.