Women of Grace–A New Beginning

April 2009

Women of Grace

A New Beginning 

Beginning in the fall of 2009, the women’s ministry of Grace Church will be launched with a renewed vision and new name.  “Women of Grace” will be a comprehensive ministry specifically designed for and conducted by the women of our church.  It will expand to better serve the diverse group and unique needs of women in our church.

The Need:

We are faced with a unique ministry opportunity among women in our day and age.  The women of today are much different than they were 40 years ago.  Statistics show that women make up more than 50% of church membership in the United States.  Of women with young children, over half work outside the home, and of working women, the majority have obtained a college education.  Our country has a large population of single adults, and the majority of those singles are women.  Furthermore, women are living longer.  So, the population of women over the age of 60 continues to climb.

The statistics serve to illustrate that the church has both a challenging and exciting task ahead.  There is a need for the church to employ a model of women’s ministry that is able to meet a broad range of spiritual needs for a very diverse group of women.  Married or single, young or old, employed or un-employed, the women of our church need the opportunity to develop a personal and growing relationship with Jesus Christ.  Furthermore, in order to reach out to the lost women in our communities, we must be able to provide unique opportunities for outreach and care-giving.

It is time for our church to accept the challenge to provide opportunities for women to develop their relationship with Jesus Christ and to help them find their unique gifts and roles in the priesthood of believers.  Christian women today are better educated than ever before and have more skills.  They desire to be involved in ministry areas where they can use those skills and abilities.  They no longer desire to be women’s ministry consumers but, rather, women’s ministry participants and servants.

Purpose:

The fundamental purpose of the “Women of Grace” ministry at Grace Church is for the women of our church to minister to the women of our church.  “Women of Grace’ is part of the total ministry of the church and exists to promote and support the purpose and core values of Grace Church.

Philosophy of Ministry:

  • Leadership – The women’s ministry will be lead by the women of our church.  The women’s leadership team will be accountable to the Pastor of Adult Ministries.
  • Organization – The women’s ministry will be organized into six specific areas of ministry.  Each area will have a designated leader and/or group of leaders to organize and implement the given area of ministry.  Each ministry will be led to complement the overall philosophy of ministry at Grace Church as determined by the pastors and elders.  Each ministry will be structured to support small groups, whenever possible, with the intent of providing the most effective environment for mending, mentoring, and maturing.
    • Prayer – This area of ministry will provide encouragement and opportunities for the women of our church to take the needs of our women and women’s ministry to prayer.
    • Bible Study – This area of ministry will provide multiple weekly and seasonal opportunities for the women of our church to learn from God’s Word and make practical applications of the Truth to their lives (ex. Tuesday morning Bible studies and Wednesday evening classes).
    • Fellowship – This area of ministry will provide year-round opportunities for the women of our church to come together for fun and fellowship.
    • Service – This area of ministry will focus on providing opportunities to serve and reach out to women in need within our church and/or community.  In instances where financial needs are present, this ministry area will be coordinated with the deacons’ benevolence ministry.
    • Events – This area of ministry will provide two to three annual events, retreats, and/or conferences to encourage and edify the women of our church (ex. Women of Faith and Mother/Daughter banquet).
    • Promotion – This area of ministry will oversee the production of all media relating to women’s ministry including publications, web site, video, mailings, e-mail publications, etc.

Implementation:

  • Form Advisory Group (Target Date: 4/12) – A group of women with a passion for a new, exciting women’s ministry will form an advisory group that will commit to prayer and lay the foundation for the Women of Grace ministry.  These women may or may not become leaders on the initial leadership team.  The advisory group will consist of a diverse group of women with varied perspectives.  The advisory group should meet for the first time sometime during the week of April 12.

 

  • Finalize Ministry Direction (Target Date: 6/30) – The advisory group will meet over the course of the two months to accomplish several tasks.  (1) They will review and finalize the direction of women’s ministry.  (2) They will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the past and current women’s ministry in order to determine future direction.  (3)  They will make recommendations regarding the members of the initial leadership team, ministry slogans and/or Scriptures, and transition items.  (4) They will develop a plan for sustaining the ministry into the future with regard to leader recruitment, training, and rotation. They will finalize the members of the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team.
  • Launch “Women of Grace” (Target Date: 9/13) – Over the course of the summer quarter, the leadership team will develop plans for launching the new ministry that will operate from September 2009 through May 2010. The launch for the new ministry should happen no later than Sunday, September 13.

Guiding Principles:

The following principles will guide the decisions and implementation of women’s ministries at Grace Church.

  • The Women of Grace ministry is subject to and will support and promote the philosophy, purpose, and core values of Grace Church as a whole.
  • The Women of Grace ministry will be formed and overseen by an advisory group of ministry-minded women.  This group will not be involved in the detailed planning or implementation of women’s ministries, but they will assist the women’s leadership team on broad-based decisions and overall direction when needed.  The advisory group members will be appointed by and accountable to the Pastor of Adult Ministries.
  • The director of the Women of Grace ministry will be appointed by and accountable to the Pastor of Adult Ministries.  She will be a member of the advisory group and will serve a minimum of 1 year and, preferably, 2 years.
  • The leaders of the six ministry areas within the Women of Grace ministry will be appointed by the Pastor of Adult Ministries and/or the director of the Women of Grace ministry with the assistance of an advisory team.  They will serve a minimum of 1 year and, preferably, 2 years.
  • All leadership roles will be occupied by members of Grace Church who demonstrate a life that is above reproach, both privately and publicly.
  • All leadership roles, with the possible exception of the advisory group, will be rotated periodically (every 1 to 2 years) in order to ensure a constant supply of fresh ideas and new opportunities for the women of our church to serve in the ministry.
  • Every attempt will be made to ensure that the leadership team and advisory group are comprised of a representative (demographically) group of godly women from within our church.

Values:

In addition to the core values and beliefs of Grace Church, the following values provide direction and determine how we will pursue the purpose and vision of “Women of Grace”.

  • We value our relationship with Jesus Christ and our responsibility to nurture our relationship with Him and others.
  • We value the example of Christ’s life and our responsibility to love one another and to live a life evident of His seed in us.
  • We value the Great Commission to the church and our responsibility to help fulfill that commission.
  • We value the Scripture as our final authority and our responsibility to use Scripture to encourage, train, correct, and rebuke with great patience and careful instruction.
  • We value the ordained leadership of our pastors and elders and our responsibility to submit to their authority.
  • We value the diversity and unique needs of women and our responsibility to help meet those needs.
  • We value the spiritual gifts and passions God has given women and our responsibility to provide opportunities for meaningful service.
  • We value the spiritual gifts and passions God has given men and our responsibility to complement those gifts in Christian service.
  • We value the high calling of any woman who is a wife or a mother and her God given responsibility to her family.
  • We value the high calling of any who are husband or father and his God given responsibility to be a leader, provider, protector, and teacher by the example of his life.
  • We value the experience and example of spiritually mature women and their responsibility to teach, nurture, and help other women to become mature Christians.
  • We value the children and youth of our church and our responsibility to provide a Christ-like example for them and to nurture their relationships with Jesus Christ.
  • We value appropriate levels of confidentiality and our responsibility to help protect the reputations of each other

Goals:

Each of the six areas of ministry within Women of Grace has freedom to establish purposes, goals, methods, and curriculum for the individual initiatives and projects under that area of ministry.  In doing so, each individual ministry will promote the success of the following overall goals of the Women of Grace ministry.

  • Women at Grace Church will be accepted and connected.
  • Women at Grace Church will have a healthy, safe place to share, to heal, and to be nurtured.
  • Women at Grace Church will experience Koinonea (intimate spiritual fellowship with Christ) through His presence in other women.
  • Women at Grace Church will strengthen their relationship with Christ, grow spiritually, and strengthen their identity in Christ.
  • Women at Grace Church will strengthen their relationships with each other.
  • Women at Grace Church will discover their gifts and align those gifts with their passions in order to find a place of ministry in the body.
  • Women at Grace Church will obtain experience serving in the body and ministering to others.
  • Women at Grace Church will minister to and mentor each other.
  • Women at Grace Church will pray with others.
  • Women at Grace Church will seek the Holy Spirit’s direction and God’s will.
  • Women at Grace Church will love people.
  • Women at Grace Church will be joyful.

Misc. Ideas for Ministry Direction:

Each area of ministry within Women of Grace will be developed and implemented by the women of Grace Church.  The following list contains possibilities for each of the five ministry areas.

Prayer

  • Organize prayer teams
  • Organize prayer chains
  • Organize prayer meetings
  • Work with community prayer groups
  • Provide opportunities for women to become comfortable praying publicly
  • Send women out to pray with and for people in need
  • Organize prayer partners
  • Have women pray with those in need over the phone
  • Track prayer requests and answers to prayer

Bible Study

  • Implement small groups into Bible studies
  • Strengthen Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening Bible studies for women
  • Begin a Sunday morning Women’s Grace Group
  • Organize Bible studies for the working woman
  • Create an online Bible study through the church website
  • Write curriculum for women’s Bible study
  • Create mentoring programs
  • Train women to teach others

Fellowship

  • Offer classes to learn to speak Spanish
  • Form Christian book club
  • Organize play groups for moms & tots
  • Scrap booking/Stamping/Quilting/Crafts groups
  • Organize weight loss support groups
  • Organize exercise groups
  • Form gardening/landscape club
  • Form drama/art club
  • Organize a women’s recreation league

Service

  • Teach illiterate women to read
  • Offer an ESL (English as a Second Language) program to women
  • Minister to hurting women (incarcerated, abused, widowed, etc.)
  • Minister to women in need (teenage/unwed moms, moms of special need children, etc.)
  • Organize work days for service at church
  • Decorate the church for holidays
  • Provide counseling

Events

  • Organize weekend retreats
  • Organize church conferences, workshops, or seminars
  • Organize enrichment events
  • Promote community events
  • Promote national events
  • Honor moms & daughters with a meaningful annual banquet

Promotion

  • Publish a monthly insert for the worship folder
  • Publish a quarterly newsletter for the women of Grace
  • Develop a Women of Grace Web Site
  • Publish a weekly prayer-focused e-newsletter

    Chris Eller is a Christ Follower, Husband, Father, Pastor, Geek, Writer, Photographer, and Church Technology Consultant.