While developing ministry plans, remember that a priority is to involve every woman in your church in meaningful service. Today’s lifestyles involve multiple responsibilities. Women make choices about how and where they will invest their energies. How do we motivate women to discover God’s ministry call for them using their spiritual gifts?
Royce Rose provides 12 points for motivating volunteers: 1) Pray to the Lord to send out laborers 2) Develop leader qualifications 3) Identify needs for leaders 4) Discover potential leaders 5) Provide basic pre-service training for potential leaders 6) Recruit for specific leadership positions 7) Give specialized training for specific leadership positions 8) Provide on-the-job and continuing training 9) Supervise leaders 10) Motivate leaders
11) Evaluate leaders’ work 12) Recognize leaders appropriately.1
Robert Dale states three reasons people volunteer: Achievers find satisfaction contributing to a vital cause and feel exhilarated by being on the team. They love setting and achieving goals. They organize projects, solve problems, and explore ministry options. Affiliators enjoy the fellowship of like-minded persons. They value relationships and enjoy listening, sharing information, and encouraging others. They can counsel, greet, listen, and host. Power people influence people, enjoy position, hold strong opinions, and move ministries forward. They persuade others to join.2
Each type is motivated by different ministry rewards. Understanding leaders and the rewards they enjoy from service will help you supervise the variety of women with whom you will be working.
As you enlist leaders, provide job descriptions and training prior to and during service. Group them where they can share their lives, affirm one another’s gifts and contributions, set goals for the ministry, and celebrate together reaching goals. Continue to supervise while delegating responsibilities. Give leaders the freedom to be creative, make decisions, and even fail.
Teamwork is essential to unite leadership, set priorities, and evaluate as you build ownership with the planning team and the women in the church.
As your women’s ministry expands, you will need additional volunteers and leaders to staff ongoing and short-term programs and projects. Each leader must be able to meet the needs of different types of women.
Some women prefer entry-level Bible studies, others a life-stages group formed around a common need. Some seek longer, more intense discipleship studies. Still others may desire a service group which ministers to others. Offering different levels and types of groups moves women from one stage of spiritual development to another. Groom potential leaders for each new group. When God reveals the person, provide the necessary training.
1. Royce Rose, Principles of Church Administration (Nashville: Seminary Extension of the Southern Baptist Convention Seminaries, 1993), 55.
2. Bruce P. Powers ed., Church Administration Handbook (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1997), 60.
This article is adapted from a chapter written by Chris Adams and found in Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level compiled by Chris Adams.