Whether you are starting a new womens ministry or working in an existing one, it is such a blessing organizing women to fellowship and be a blessing to one another. Still, in my ministry experience with womens ministry guidelines, careful planning must be effective and efficient. To ensure that your women’s ministry flourishes, it helps to have clear guidelines, procedures, expectations, and procedures in a format that can be revisited and revised over time.
This womens ministry guidelines post covers:
The Womens Ministry Philosophy
People I mentor and coach are likely very tired of hearing me talk about missions, vision, and other planning processes.
Too bad, so sad. I’m going to talk about it again. 🙂
And the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that readeth it. Habakkuk 2:2
Listen, your women’s ministry needs to have a clear mission and vision statement that outlines the purpose and goals of the program.
It should be concise and easy to understand and should be communicated to all members of the ministry leadership team.
This mission and vision statement will guide your decision-making and help you all stay focused on your goals. Otherwise, you may be veering into activities not part of the initial plan God gave you for the women’s ministry.
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Take the time to write your plan out clearly and put an abbreviated version in your women’s ministry guideline document. Read my thoughts on writing your womens ministry mission statement.
Each of these should also be reviewed periodically to ensure that it remains relevant and aligned with the needs and interests of your ministry. My advice is not to be excessively rigid.
The plan is for the women’s ministry and NOT the women’s ministry for the plan. Don’t let it confine you.
Let it guide you instead.
Womens Ministry Events
Including women’s ministry events in your guidelines may seem odd, but I think any form of intentionality is a strength for ministry leadership.
So go ahead and think about how you want your events planned and what expectations you have for yourself and your women’s ministry team.
“We will plan all women’s ministry events at least two months in advance and provide women at least one month’s notice of all events.”
In other words, you will commit to a best practice of marketing your events 30 days in advance. That’s a good guideline.
How do you want your women’s ministry leaders to handle events? Could you say something like:
“All women’s ministry leaders and volunteers must attend at least _____ of the 9 events we plan in a calendar year.” Another good guideline.
How will you assess the success of your event? In your guidelines, you could say:
“The number of attendees will dictate the success of our events. Our goal is to have at least _______ women at all our events.” or
“A post-event evaluation will be provided after each event. Women who complete them will get_________ for doing so.”
I don’t know, these are just off the top of my head. Much of this will be included in your strategic plan, but guidelines will “guide” how you define and measure success.
Womens Ministry Roles and Responsibilities pdf
Clearly defining the leadership structure and functions of your women’s ministry is essential for effective communication and decision-making.
This includes identifying who will lead and organize events, manage finances, and communicate with members.
It’s important to ensure that each leader understands their role and responsibilities and that there is a clear chain of command in place. Incorporate it into your plan.
I’ve created a ministry roles pdf for each job on your team.
The links below will help avoid confusion and ensure that your ministry runs smoothly. Read the following articles to help you:
Membership and Engagement
I am not going to open a can of worms here, but you need to clearly outline who can be involved in your women’s ministry…and who cannot.
Your women’s ministry guidelines should clearly state the requirements and expectations for people to interact in the women’s ministry.
This includes defining who is eligible to participate, what is expected in terms of attendance and participation (if it is membership-focused), and any financial obligations.
Who can be part of the leadership structure?
What might get one removed from the leadership structure? Is the ministry limited to members of the church only?
It’s important to communicate these requirements clearly and consistently to the leadership team and those who attend your events. The best way to do it is to have it in your guideline document.
I like to even include my expectations for behavior and personal conduct. You can also include them in the margin of agendas or cover them during meetings.
Managing ministry finances can be overwhelming. It is so important I recommend you create an extensive “finances” area in your guidelines. Let me explain what I mean.
Write out your plan for your money and include an entire section in your womens ministry guidelines.
As a ministry leader, you are responsible for ensuring that the finances are “in check” and keeping the ministry activities running smoothly. Take the time to define this in your guidelines.
Establish a ministry budget and stick to it.
Establishing a budget is one of the most critical aspects of keeping ministry finances in check.
When I was a women’s ministry leader, I was the one paying for pretty much everything – so having a budget was critical.
A budget will help you track your income and expenses regularly and closely monitor your spending.
Trust me, things add up quickly! Explain how you will formulate your budget in your women’s ministry
When creating your budget, be sure to include all sources of income, such as church help, member donations, and fundraising events. Include those in the document as well. That way, if someone wants to add a line item, they can’t because the guidelines don’t allow it.
Sidenote tip: as unkind as it sounds, always build a profit margin into your women’s ministry events. If it only costs $10 per person to produce your event, charge $15-$20 for the event. The excess will go into the ministry account.
That’s good business.
Additionally, list all expenses. Put in the womens ministry guidelines the expenses you will permit.
Track income and expenses regularly
Will you use a spreadsheet or accounting software to record your ministry’s income and expenses and make sure to categorize them accurately? Put it in the guidelines.
The benefit of this process will help you identify areas where you may be overspending or underspending and make informed decisions about future expenditures.
Don’t be afraid to “outsource” certain aspects of your financial management if necessary.
By “outsourcing,” I mean finding a volunteer to act as your treasurer. You know what I’m going to say: Put it in the women’s ministry guidelines document what the treasury can and will do.
Ensure everyone is in alignment.
To keep your ministry’s finances in order, everyone must be on the same page.
The women’s ministry guidelines you draft will ensure you have documented a clear and open communication path regarding finances, financial decisions, budgets, and expenses.
It also means ensuring that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities when it comes to finances. If anyone is unsure, they can refer to the guidelines.
Sometimes, people on the women’s ministry planning team will think the ministry receives lots of money from the church or a grant. The guidelines should discuss how the ministry gets money and whom it will not accept money from.
Women’s Ministry leader: Do you have a contingency plan?
Unexpected expenses or revenue shortfalls can happen to anyone. That’s why it’s important to have a contingency plan in place for the women’s ministry and written in your ministry guidelines.
To create a contingency plan, start by identifying potential financial risks.
This could include a decrease in donations, low attendance, unexpected expenses, or even theft. Yes, I said theft. Have a section that covers what will happen in the case of theft and the expectation that it will NOT happen.
Once you’ve identified these risks, brainstorm possible solutions for each scenario and record them in your guidelines.
As the saying goes, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Let’s turn our wishes into reality by taking control of our ministry finances today.
This is a good article about writing nonprofit guidelines. Check it out here.
Communication about womens ministry guidelines
A communication plan is an important element to include in your women’s ministry guidelines.
This part of the guidelines should outline how the information will be shared with members through email, social media, or a newsletter.
It should also include procedures for responding to member inquiries or privacy concerns.
For instance, I’ve had countless experiences with people asking me to share an address or phone number. This can be a sticky situation. I’ve been bitten by giving out numbers over the years. That won’t happen again.
When I learned to create a women’s ministry handbook or guidelines, I always felt a little safer saying, “Remember, I can’t share personal information. It is in our guidelines.”
These are the items I included in my guidelines over the years. What’s missing? What would you include? I’ve recently turned on comments, so feel free to share! If you prefer a sample document. Let me know below, and I’ll add it to my list to design an example or sample you can amend.
Thanks for reading!
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