Instagram, Facebook, Twitter all have gotten a lot of attention lately, but nothing takes the place of meeting face-to-face with other like-minded people to share ideas and learn from each other. You may have several women on your ministry team that you gather with for dreaming and planning, but you’d be amazed at what you can glean from time spent with women’s ministry leaders from other churches. Through a network, you’re likely to find laughter, prayer, encouragement, new friendships, and fresh ideas. Here are a few simple steps to get a women’s ministry network started in your community.
- Pray. Be sure to talk to God about your vision, and ask for guidance.
- Dream about what could be. What are your hopes for a network? What do you imagine might come from time spent with others who share your passion? What might happen in your church? In your community?
- Set a date and location. For best results for your first meeting, try to find a “neutral” location not associated with any church, such as a coffee shop or a conference room at the library. This helps everyone feel on even ground as you begin. After your first meeting, you might rotate to different churches or locations each time you meet, inviting everyone to host over time.
- Make contact. Create a welcoming invitation expressing your desire to meet with others to share ideas, and send this out to women’s ministry leaders in your community. Even if you don’t know their names, you can send these via their church addresses. (But if you do know their names, be sure to make it personal!)
- Get started. At your first meeting, leave plenty of time for getting to know each other. Invite everyone to share ideas for discussion topics for upcoming gatherings. Decide how often you want to meet (monthly? quarterly?). Create a master contact list so everyone can stay in touch. You might even want to start a Facebook page to keep connected more often.
- Keep it going. This is probably the hardest part. Once you get it going, someone needs to facilitate helping the group continue. This involves choosing a host location, deciding on the topic for discussion, and keeping everyone in the loop in a timely manner.
- What to Talk About. Discussion topics you might want to suggest for your networking group:
Training Bible study small group leaders
Publicity—great ideas for getting women involved
Reaching women in the community
Big ideas but no budget
Service projects women will embrace