Last week we began looking at some of the lessons God has taught me over the years. You can read more about the first two lessons here. There are a total of 10 lessons that I’ll share over the next few weeks. Let’s continue by looking at lessons 3 and 4 today.
Lesson 3: Stay Flexible
Just why is flexibility so important? It helps keep the ministry fresh, alive, and vibrant. We can stay flexible through ongoing evaluation of all we do. Through monitoring our own strengths and weaknesses, we’ll see that some things need to continue as they are, others need to cease, and some need to be tweaked or changed to gain effectiveness.
Sometimes we have wonderful plans in place and have thought of all the details, but for some reason God chooses to change our plans mid-stream. Do you remember the Magi following God’s leadership to go home a different way to avoid Herod (see Matt. 2:12)? Or Paul’s change of direction for his missionary journey when he heard the Macedonian call in a vision in Acts 16? What if these men had not listened to the Holy Spirit?
We must be open to the Holy Spirit’s leadership in every aspect of the ministry. His plan is always better than ours—even if it’s very different. How we react to God’s redirection will directly impact the leaders on our teams as well as the women we serve as they see how we allow the Holy Spirit to lead. We must handle sudden change in plans with grace.
Make your plans with God’s direction, and change them with God’s direction.
Lesson 4: Communicate with Staff
Never take for granted that you can just do ministry without the direction and sanction of the staff of your church. Hebrews 13:17 says: “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” The church staff is there to guide, support, and even provide protection for every area of ministry.
Also keep in mind that you will often provide the women’s perspective with what might be a mostly or even completely male staff, and you represent over half the membership. Remember, male and female communication styles are different. Understand the most effective ways of communicating to your staff, speaking their language as you share the women’s needs. (For additional information on communicating with male staff, check out these articles on both written and verbal communication.)
This article is adapted from a chapter written by Chris Adams and found in Women Reaching Women: Beginning and Building a Growing Women’s Ministry compiled by Chris Adams.