Women’s Ministries – Reaching the Younger Generation

Posted on January 22, 2012. Filed under: Evangelism, Uncategorized, Women's Ministry | Tags: , , , , |

I wrote an article for the Wider World Presbyterian Women magazine.  The  magazine came out in December 2011.

Purpose of women’s ministries

The average woman spends 15.7 minutes a day doing her hair, shops for groceries 95 hours per year, and chooses from over 184,000,000 diets to loose weight.  Men and women face a diversity of daily challenges, experiences, and temptations because they differ physically, emotionally, and mentally.  Differences can be seen in building relationships, solving problems, and communicating needs. 

Women place a high importance on relationships and often tend to compare and compete with other women for attention, love, and self-esteem.  Being the primary caregivers for children, women face physical exhaustion when their children are young and often emotional exhaustion when their children are grown.  These diverse challenges create a need for female relationships.   At every age and stage of life, women need other women who have been there, done that to be an example, extend Biblical advice, and act as listening encouragers.

In Titus 2, Paul teaches that older women are to teach what is good by example and to train the younger women.  The Sunday morning sermon isn’t enough; it needs to be complimented by sound teaching from women on topics such as womanhood, singleness, marriage, and parenting.  More than 60% of the adult congregation is comprised of women, therefore it is important to find out how to best minister to women who will in turn minister in their homes touching future generations.

Rethinking women’s ministries

If ministry to all women is Biblical and beneficial, why is there an age gap in women’s meetings and events?  Worldwide statistics show that the church is losing the younger generation. According to the 2001 census, the Jewish and Christian groups have the oldest age profiles out of all religions in the UK. 

Is your PW group missing young adult, single, and newly married women?  If so, who is missing and what are they looking for from the church?  More women work today than ever before drastically reducing their time and energy.  In the span of 24 hours, a stay at home mum can be a teacher, taxi driver, chef, cleaner, and counselor.  At the end of an exhausting day, what will motivate a woman to attend your church women’s meeting? 

Is PW just another church program, Women’s Institute with a prayer and a song, or a group for older women?  Or, is it a welcoming, vibrant, all age group sharing Biblical values, a passion for mission, and encouragement for everyday difficulties? Is it a place where women can take off their masks and be real with each other and with God?  When a younger woman in your church hears “PW” what does she think? 

Pray

The way women’s ministry is unpacked is different in every church, delivering different challenges in every group.  Is this really worth the effort?  Yes! God wants to redeem and delight in His daughters.  We have the opportunity to influence the next generation.  Are you willing to fight the challenge, embrace change, and truly care for the women God has placed in your life?  Action is the key, not passivity.  Complacency breeds comfort and empty pews.  Creative changes like: a change in room layout, a mug of coffee at the beginning, a program of events for the year rather than monthly meetings or a change in the name might help to mobilize the younger generation.  Where and how do you start addressing changes that will help attract the younger generation?  PRAYER!

Each group needs to prayerfully seek God.  Prayer is vital to the growth and health of any ministry.  Not the typical “I’ll pray for you” and never doing it, but sincerely seeking the face of God petitioning on behalf of women in your church and city.  Once God’s people pray, they will find that prayer is life changing, both for them and for the women they are praying for. 

Set aside specific times for the leadership group to pray, either 20 minutes before a meeting or at a home in the evening.   Personally invite all ages to pray with you to increase passion and decrease exclusivity.  During your meeting, have women break up into groups of 3-4 to pray stimulating bonds and growth in prayer. 

Plan

Since there is a shift in the mentality of today’s women, the church needs to start planning in order to save the younger generations from this shiny but often empty world.  Women want practical ministry that really educates them on the issues of today and gives them firsthand involvement proving to be a significant use of time.  In an informal manor, approach younger women in your church.  Find out what they are struggling with and what will help them in their walk with God. 

Whoever is on your leadership team will be mirrored in the audience.  Do you have younger women in leadership and involved in events/meetings?  Creatively get them involved by engaging with their interests such as technology (video announcements, pictures, and ministry video clips), music (singing or playing instruments), or hospitality (welcoming at the door, baking treats, or planning trips).  

Are some women unable to attend women’s meetings because they have school-age children?  Consider if providing childcare would be beneficial.  Or, since mothers of infants can rarely go out at night, try ministering to them by reaching out to them in their own homes as an extension of your ministry in meetings. 

Plan programs that will naturally enhance conversations across generations.  For example, use the theme “Seasons of Life” and ask four women to speak on the challenges/joys of the season they are in.  To stimulate new friendships, have the women sit in the row of their birthday month.  Another idea is to write women’s names on sheets of paper, place them in a bowl, and let the women draw a name to pray for throughout the week.  Also, plan a few activities outside the church to create a non-threatening place to evangelize and build cross-generational relationships. 

Personalize 

Whether you are currently active or not, what can you do to enhance the women’s ministry at your church? 

  1. Ask the Lord which woman you should specifically invest in.  Discipleship naturally occurs when we get involved with one another’s lives.  Don’t isolate your gifts because of feelings of inadequacy. God has done work in each one of us that we can share with others.
  2. Attitude.  Check your attitude for intergenerational stereotypes/bad attitudes towards women and previous meetings.  Pray for a change of attitude then grab a handful of friends, a positive attitude, and attend your next women’s meeting. 
  3. Act as a leadership team by meeting to discuss which suggestions would be most beneficial for your group. 
  4. Advertise.  I’ve learned word of mouth is the best advertisement in this country.  Speak positively of your church’s women’s ministry.  Invite friends, family, colleagues, neighbors and child minders to women’s meetings. 

“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together” (Psalm 34:3).

Advertisements

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new recipes and posts by email.

  • Couscous Salad

  • Moroccan Chicken Tangine

  • Coq Au Vin

  • How to make Chocolate Leaves

  • Carrot Passion Cake

  • Raspberry crumble

  • Pineapple Chicken Chinese Dish

  • Oatmeal Cranberry White Choc Cookies

  • Women's Ministries for our Generation

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: