How to lead a women’s ministry
14 mins read

How to lead a women’s ministry

Supporting your ministry team requires some initial foundational successes. No one teaches you how to lead a women’s ministry because so much of the role is fueled by volunteers. First, it means you establish the vision for the women’s ministry. Your team is clear on the direction the ministry is going and what the ministry goals are.

Secondly, it means you put the right people in the right jobs. For instance, just because someone wants to do marketing doesn’t mean they fit the role perfectly. It means you find the ideal candidate with the best skills, and that person can work with them while they learn the ropes of marketing. It is crucial to have the right personalities and skillsets in roles that complement the roles.  Check out my ideas for women’s ministry job roles. 

Assuming you have done these two foundational tasks, you can think about the best ways to support your ministry team. 

How to lead a women’s ministry? Support the Ministry Team

Creating a Safe Space: How to Mentally & Physically Support Your Team

A supportive team environment is key to having productive and creative conversations.

Understanding how to balance eveyrone’s feedback is a very important part of how to lead a women’s ministry. You want to support the team but also set boundaries. Let’s talk about the “support” part of how to lead a women’s ministry first.

But what does “supportive” really mean? Support means different things to different people. So, you will need to be adaptable, and you need to know your team as individuals. 

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Firstly, it’s essential to create a safe and welcoming space where every team member feels valued and heard. Encourage regular team meetings or gatherings where women can openly share their thoughts, experiences, and ideas without fear of judgment. Lead by example by being approachable and showing vulnerability yourself, which can set the tone for others to do the same.

Secondly, active listening plays a pivotal role in promoting open communication. As a leader, take the time to listen attentively to each team member’s perspective and concerns.

Make an effort to understand their unique needs and challenges, both within the ministry and in their personal lives. For isntance, if you have a busy mom with small children, it will impact what you ask and allow her to do for the team. You’ll protect her by not allowing her to overwhelm herself. That’s how to lead a women’s ministry!

This can be done through one-on-one conversations or small group discussions. Additionally, consider using communication tools like anonymous suggestion boxes or online platforms where team members can submit questions or feedback anonymously if they are more comfortable doing so. By creating an environment that prioritizes listening and respect, a women’s ministry leader can empower team members to share openly and collaborate effectively in the pursuit of their ministry’s mission and goals.

Plus, find out what “supportive’ means to them. This way, you can ensure you set the culture to facilitate what they need as people and as a unit. This is an imporant part of how to lead a women’s ministry. Learn howt o ask your team for what they need and then ensure they have what they express they need.

In the end, you want them to feel secure enough to share their ideas, ask questions, and work together towards common goals. 

That’s where supporting your women’s ministry team usually comes in. At the same time, though, if they don’t feel comfortable contributing to the team dynamic, you can’t support them in their creative rhythms. 

I think boundaries also provide a safe and supportive culture.

Tell them what you want…

As the leader, make sure you clearly define your expectations and responsibilities of each team member.

This ensures that everyone understands their role and what is expected of them, which can prevent misunderstandings and potential conflicts.

Leaders should also establish guidelines for communication and response times, specifying when and how team members can reach out for support or assistance. Setting these boundaries helps maintain a balance between ministry commitments and personal life, reducing the risk of burnout and ensuring that team members can maintain their well-being.

Additionally, leaders should model healthy boundaries themselves.

This means demonstrating self-care and prioritizing their own physical and emotional well-being as an example for the team.

Set boundaries…

Leaders should also communicate their own boundaries effectively, such as when they are available for meetings or discussions and when they need personal time. In ministry, we forget to to this and the result is often burnout or worse, becoming stressed out.

Encouraging open conversations about boundaries within the team can create a supportive environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing their needs and limitations.

By establishing and respecting boundaries, a women’s ministry leader not only sets a positive example but also promotes a more sustainable and harmonious working relationship within the team.

You, as a leader, are actually teaching other people to be leaders by what you do and how you manage. Teach them to set boundaries aroudn their time and talent.

No, you can’t call me just any time.

No, you don’t need to send me absolutely everything you do.

Yes, if I ask you to do something, I expect you to do it.

Remember, you are not just leading this ministry, you’re teaching future leaders how to lead a women’s ministry as well. If you cannot set boundaries, you may need to create a team within the team that can do it for you. Call them the “Culture and Ethics team.”

How to lead a women's ministry

Team Culture for Women’s Ministry Committees

Creating an environment of trust and respect among your women’s ministry planning team is essential. 

Establish a culture of respect and inclusiveness as you support your women’s ministry team. How to lead a women’s ministry in building a create culture? On way is to create ground rules.

As you well know, people are different and have differing ideas. Honestly, that is a very good thing in planning committees and teams. It provides a diversity of ideas. It also provides a risk of disagreements. 

A culture of respect encourages open conversations and healthy relationships between team members. 

Encourage team members to practice active listening and be mindful when asking questions or offering criticism. A culture cannot be built in 60 seconds. It takes time. 

Consider having the team do an activity where they establish ground rules or a team agreement for the team. 

Sample ground rules for women’s ministry teams could be: 

  • Everyone respects everyone’s opinions. 
  • We commit to listening to one another and not making assumptions. 
  • Only one person speaks at a time. 
  • No backbiting – if you have something to say to someone, never say it to anyone but that person. 
  • No hidden agendas. No selling products or promoting outside interests. 

Use the above ground rules as samples or prompt creativity if the team has trouble getting started independently. You want them to create their own so they will have a sense of ownership and accountability. 

Keep the ground rules visible. 

Put them on every agenda. 

Hang them on charge paper. 

Have someone read them before every meeting. 

Additionally, make sure everyone’s voices are heard by actively seeking out different perspectives and points of view.

how to lead a womens ministry 2

Let’s continue with some tips I’ve used to work on leading a vibrant and positive women’s ministry culture. Now that you’ve got some leadership tips on how to lead a women’s ministry. Let’s go on to some practical tips that will build upon those ideas:

Culture Tip #1:

Create open lines of communication, Women’s Ministry Leader

Create an open line of communication by having regular meetings with your women’s ministry team members to discuss their needs or their concerns. Encourage team members to provide feedback and suggestions on how the team can be more effective and efficient. I am a big fan of speedy meeting evaluations. 

After each meeting, have the women write what worked and what didn’t work on a sheet of paper. Then, anonymously leave their sheets somewhere in the room (in a stack) so you will know how things are really going. 

It is not a bad idea to often tell them you have an open door, and they can come to you if they ever have a concern or problem. 

As the women’s ministry leader, periodically approach various team members (or call them) and ask how things are going. 

Always address any issues that may arise in a timely manner, providing a safe space for all involved parties to openly share their perspectives while fostering respect and understanding. Be fair. Be prompt and be responsive. 

Culture Tip # 2 Offer flexible meeting times

Try to be aware of your team’s individual needs and allow them to have more control over how and when the team works. I lead a group of ministers’ wives at my church. 

I often do polls and overtly ask about the meeting times/dates and how it is working for them. 

I cannot always expect them to be flexible around my schedule. Sometimes I need to be flexible around theirs. I think that is what a good leader does. 

Culture Tip # 3 Be a fair and impartial women’s ministry leader

Supporting your team means supporting everyone on your team. Sometimes you may have team members you are more impressed by or personally like more than others. 

That’s normal, and that’s human. It becomes wrong and sinful when you allow it to interfere with how you interact with people. 

Be aware of your bias and keep it in check. Never allow yourself to create a clique with any of your women’s ministry team members. 

You’re a leader and a resource for everyone on your team – even that team member who gets on your nerves a little. 

Culture Tip # 4 Communicate Expectations 

One of the worst disservices you can do to your team is not being clear about what you expect or need from them. 

Have you ever been in a situation with a leader who did not make it clear what they wanted you to do? Only to say, “That’s wrong AFTER you performed the task or job? When that happens, it is infuriating. It’s frustrating and breeds mistrust. 

Instead, at the end of each meeting, recap what everyone signed up to do and possibly send check-in emails in between meetings. 

Sometimes, those communications will serve as a reminder for people who may have forgotten what they said they would do. 

They can also serve as an availability tactic. By checking in with them, you are making yourself available should they have a problem or a concern. 

That is it. Wishing you the best in leading your women’s ministry team!

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