Are you in a small church and feel like your women’s ministry will never get off the ground? It is easy to look at larger churches and compare the successes that we see from the outside and believe they have it made. Deb Douglas addressed these six myths and gave us some great tips for those in a smaller church. Deb has a great deal of women’s ministry experience. She graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts of Christian Education/Women’s Ministry and a Doctor of Education in Mininstry degree from NOBTS. She is currently serving at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA.
Myth #1: Only large churches are successful and effective in ministry.
* Truth: God uses churches of all sizes, working together, to reach the world for His Kingdom. God has designed each church for a particular ministry. Small churches can target a specific group and focus their resources.
* Your Job: Pray! Find out where God is at work in and around your church. Talk to people. Take surveys. Get out into the community. Notice what God’s up to and who He’s equipped your church with to meet needs.
Myth #2: Large churches have more money and therefore can do more ministry.
* Truth: Large churches also have money woes. Using resources effectively, small churches can engage in effective ministry. Smart choices, creativity, and bargain shopping can maximize a small budget.
* Your Job:
Partner with other churches to host an event.
Borrow resources from churches, state or associational offices.
Ask for donations.
Focus on building relationships – women are hungry for meaningful relationships.
Ask larger churches to add your name to their mailing lists to keep you informed of events and Bible studies.
Myth #3: Women’s ministry resources and books offer ideas that will not work in small churches.
* Truth: Any idea can be customized to fit a small ministry. Using our God given creativity, we can tailor any ministry idea down to size.
* Your Job: Experiment! If you know of a ministry idea a larger church is doing, talk to the leadership there and ask for ideas. If you’re led, try the ministry on a smaller scale in your own women’s group. Don’t be afraid to step out in faith.
Myth #4: A small church cannot have a well-rounded ministry.
* Truth: Every women’s ministry does not have to look the same. No church should take a cookie-cutter ministry and try to squeeze their women’s ministry into it. Each ministry should be as unique as the people in that ministry.
* Your Job: Take inventory of what your women’s ministry offers. If you see gaps, pray for God to give someone a heart for that particular aspect of ministry. Rejoice over what God is doing in your strong areas of ministry, and seek to maintain and improve those.
Myth #5: It is not a "real" ministry unless the women’s ministry director is a paid staff person.
* Truth: God has called each of us to be ministers and gifted us to serve. Being paid for a ministry does not make it any more valuable or effective! It is the heart, not the paycheck, that makes ministry real.
* Truth: Most women’s ministry leaders are not paid, even in larger churches.
* Your Job: If you hear this misconception, remind yourself and others of the truth!
Myth #6: Only large churches have what it takes to reach people in today’s society.
* Truth: More people attend small churches than megachurches. Some people are intimidated by large churches. Small churches offer a warm, inviting place for them to enter.
* Truth: The Great Commission is for all churches, not just large ones!
* Truth: The task before the Church (universal) is huge. According to George Barna, 75 million Americans do not attend church ("Number of Unchurched Adults Has Nearly Doubled Since 1991"). The fields are truly white unto harvest. Working together as a Kingdom family, we can reach the world!
* Your Job: Keep casting the vision for your women’s ministry, and help others who might be discouraged see the unique ministry your church can provide as part of the Great Commission.
You’ve now uncovered six common myths about women’s ministry in smaller churches and found the truth to combat them. Stay open to God’s ideas for your ministry! Small church women’s ministry can be challenging, but we have God working with and for us.