Let’s face it, Women need Women. Regardless of how much we’d like to find our satisfaction in our family, husbands, children or churches – Women need other women to bounce things off of them, learn balance from, and have some heart to heart conversation about life and how to live it.
Do you have a small church fellowship, and so a virtually non existent women’s group? Do you have a church fellowship that feels a women’s group is not necessary, not in keeping with the format, vision or strategy of the ‘church model’? Baaa Humbug! Every Church needs a vibrant women’s group! Women are wired to be relational, perhaps more than men. Women are nurturers! We need to have those relational connections that support and teach us through our changes from single young ladies, through adulthood, marriage, parenting, and eventually grandmothering! We need these things on more than practical, emotional and intellectual levels, we need them spiritually as well!
So do you have a women’s group in your church and fellowship. If not, then perhaps you are being prompted to start one. If so it will be an exciting journey for you to undertake! Challenging? YES. Easy? NO – Rewarding? ABSO-POSI-tutely!!!
I had long wanted to start a women’s group that could meet the growing and pressing needs of women within a fellowship for times of encouragement, equipping and engaging. Aside from the yearly retreat there was nothing that spoke directly to women, their needs, there concerns and their issues. Nothing that encouraged their getting together to support each other when things got tough.
To me that was out of keeping with the mandates of scripture especially Titus chapter 2:3-5. I understand it didn’t fit with the church model and strategy that was being set up and followed, but with woman after woman, and young lady after young lady coming to me personally or the church leadership sending them to me to mentor, instruct and support – the need was VERY real…whether anyone wanted to face up to it or not. These trends of ‘relevance’ don’t seem to meet the need for the mentoring that young women need…and segregating groups by age, additionally divides and weakens the body of fellowship rather than strengthening it.
In a relatively young church, us ‘older thans’ can speak spirit and truth into the lives of younger women, either newly married, or single ladies. It is vital for their proper understanding of living in Christ appropriately as they grow and mature, spiritually, emotionally and familial. It is vital as they wrestle with dealing with husbands, growing family, careers and the various changes that they will and must inevitably face.
I started Gracious Vine Ministry with a core of 7 women that caught a vision with me to reach across the boundaries of church life. Each came from different backgrounds, ages, marital status and churches. Working from their strengths we started to place together a vision of what we saw was the best way to tackle, on a broad base, the issue of a lack of women’s events and gatherings.
We immediately went to work on branding, incorporating and scheduling 6 events per year to bring women together from across church boundaries. Our first year had 5 events, one every other month starting in March, with an attended audience averaging 60 women.
Every response from the women was a word of encouragement for us as a team…We saw women crying, praying together, supporting each other, meeting up after years of offense, healing and forgiveness, and a renewed exhuberance for the things of God and His precious word. All these women came from different churches, some from the most demonstrative pentecostal, others from the most conservative baptists.
It was explosive in its ability to defy the ‘powers that be’ and bring unity to areas where church walls had hampered health and healing!
We continue to meet, we have had to find another location because of growth, and we have all types of activities now…we are continuing to cast vision for what is ahead and are continually amazed at the blessing of God upon it!
I encourage every women to get involved in a women’s ministry, and if you don’t have one within your fellowship, find one or start one. Fulfill the mandate of Titus 2 and follow Christ’s words…you will be blessed by it!
Step 1: Gather other women of different ages that you consider faithful and diligent women of integrity. Find out what they feel about it. Set some time aside to pray about Titus 2 and following that according to the pressing needs of your community. Brain storm and discuss what things could look like should you have an event. Present the possibility to your Pastor and other pastoral leaders in the area. (You’ll may be surprised who supports or discourages it)
Step 2: Gather women from a larger circle that will be willing to prepare, decorate, ‘work’ the event – think of it as a party. Get creative with additional activities, is there a local Christian drama team, dance team, christian comedian, speaker, worship leaders etc. What might the event look like with all the different pieces in play? Schedule the actual event
Step 3: Create a Theme, get a speaker whether local or distant, whether from your group or someone that can specifically speak to your group. (Gracious Vine has speakers and worship leaders available to you http://graciousvine.webs.com/application.htm )
Step 4: Figure out how much you’ll need to charge to cover expenses.
Step 5: Set a launch date, get postcards, flyers, posters etc that will set a tone, establish credibility, excite and intrigue possible attendees. Send out, Hand out, and Speak about the upcoming event. (www.GraciousVine.com has several different media packages that can be purchased where we create the art work for you at http://graciousvine.webs.com/apps/webstore/ )
Step 6: Use Social media sites to create chatter about the event, interest, send out evites through emails and various other media outlets.
Step 7: Set back and wait for the responses. Don’t despise small beginnings, build from them. Understand that even a large first response does not mean that people will return. From your first event seek to get women involved. Women that you could see would bring strength and vitality to the group.
Never confuse size with success. The two can be very different! Quanity and Quality are not synonymous! Eternal Impact is the Goal. It is what women need, what they will seek out, remember and return to!
Fulfill the Mandate!