Have you noticed that no two women are alike? Each year as you plan studies, retreats, and events, there are those who love it and those who say, “That’s just not for me.”

Howard Gardner proposed the theory of multiple intelligence in 1983 as a way to differentiate intelligence (or learning preferences) in people. There’s no category that is better than another. However, it’s helpful to use these when planning your women’s ministry events throughout the year. Here are ideas for ways to reach women with different learning preferences.

Body Smart. (Bodily-Kinesthetic) Offer an exercise class,  invite a group to run a 5K for a good cause, or complete a ropes course together as a team-building experience.

Logic Smart. (Logical-Mathematical) Offer an in-depth Bible study, or plan a current events discussion group.

Music Smart. (Musical) Go to a concert together, invite a group of musicians to plan in the lobby before and after services or for special events, or encourage these women to offer music lessons to others.

Nature Smart. (Naturalist) Let these women plan and lead a hike, plant and maintain foliage around the church property, or teach others how to go green.

People Smart. (Interpersonal) Plan a shopping trip, play board games, or enjoy dinner parties.

Picture Smart. (Spatial) Have a catch-up craft day; suggest these women decorate the church for each season or create themed art for events.

Self Smart. (Intrapersonal) Plan spiritual retreat days with significant alone time with God, go to a museum centered on discovery and reflection, or plan a small Bible study.

Word Smart. (Linguistic) Start a book club, organize a magazine swap, or start an online newsletter complete with recommended links to helpful websites.

Make a list of all the opportunities your ministry currently has, and categorize which of the above each opportunity reaches. Are you missing some people? Consider making slight adjustments to reach a wider variety of women.


Janna Firestone currently serves as a lay leader of women’s ministry events and leads a small group of junior high girls. Janna lives in Colorado with her husband, Scott, and two boys. She doesn’t have much pink in her house with her three boys, but she has plenty of dirt.