Women Reaching Women

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Are you a woman passionate about reaching out to other women in the church? Do you have a heart for those who don't know Christ? Is there a ministry you or the women of your church do that is unique? We'd love to hear from you and have you share your ideas.

I haven’t seen any mention of a Women’s Ministry or Women’s perspective in the CRC Network or the Banner, yet more than 50% of the members of the CRC are women. Many other denominations have large Women’s Ministry Programs in their churches and on the web. Rarely do I see anything other than Coffee Break in the CRC. We have Coffee Break at our church as well as a Mom-to-Mom Parenting Program that reaches about 100 women with God’s word. We study and pray together, support each other and encourage one another in our faith and reach out to others who are seeking or do not know the Lord. This is a wonderful ministry but is that all Women’s Ministry is?

A couple of years ago a number of women in our church got together to pray and seek the Lord’s leading and direction for a women’s ministry. Out of that came women’s retreats, a way to intentionally get together as women to grow our relationship with each other and the Lord, even as we encourage new friends and seekers to join us. This year we felt lead to start a new small group for women called Heart to Heart where we meet once a month for dinner in one of our homes. This dinner evening is such a blessed time as we share and laugh and cry together and close in a wonderful time of prayer and song.

Supporting each other in this way gives us the courage and strength to be bold for Christ in our daily lives and to reach out in love to our family and friends wherever we are. We started with 5 women for dinner last spring and now have 2 groups running with 16 women coming. We are excited to see where the Lord leads this new group and what growth will occur. All of these activities are really just an opportunity to be in community so that we may grow with each other in our walk with the Lord, a way to intentionally support, love and care for each other in a real way as Christian women who love the Lord.

We know that women love to share and talk and mentor each other. Let’s make this blog an opportunity for us to share how God is leading us as women in our churches. Is there a unique ministry the women of your church are involved in? How is your women’s ministry doing things differently, reaching out to women in a unique way to build relationships with one another and with Jesus? Are women’s ministry programs the best way to reach women? What is it women are looking for in the church?  

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I love this idea!  I recently turned over my position as Women's Retreat planner for our church, but remain very passionate about what a great work God can do in the lives of women when we open up to Him.  I actually pitched a blog idea similar to this to the Banner.  I ended up starting a blog but could not mainain the posting on my own.  You can see what I've done in the past here http://www.authenticmotherhood.com/.  I hope your blog takes off.  It's a wonderful idea!

Thanks Sarah for your comments and for providing a link to your blog.  I really could relate to your July post about needing to slow down  and connect with God.  I am first a child of God and then a wife, mother, and whatever job I have on the go.  Its so often easy to forget that, in all the busy-ness.  Thanks for sharing, and I hope you keep blogging.

I belong to Anaheim CRC in Anaheim, CA. My friends and I just threw a "Neapolitan Progressive Brunch" for the adult women (18 and over) of our church. "Neapolitan" meaning mixture, we invited women of all "Ages and Stages". :) The devotion was based on Hebrews 10:24-25 "Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching."  The message coincided with the devotion of how  "Women need Women" and the speaker shared a funny story of how she met and made a new friend and how we should NOT give up meeting together but spur one another on in good deeds. We capitalized on the "Neapolitan" theme and every dessert, balloons, cookies, candy, paper plates, tableclothes were ALL in neapolitan colors of brown, white and pink - down to the breakfast casserole! (Hashbrown casserole with ham and egg - brown, pink and white). Each breakfast course included a question like, "Share what brought you to our church and why do you stay?" or "Share an embarrassing moment" or "Give words of encouragement to those around your table". It was such a nice time to laugh together, share and to get to know one another better (name tags were a must.) It was so beautifully presented with alot of attention to "foo foo". (Ladies know what I mean by that! :)). We charged a mere $5 per person. Suffice it to say that, "Women need women" and we'll do something along this line again...soon...we will NOT give up meeting together. :)

Submitted by; Barb Andreas

What a wonderful idea!  Thanks for sharing your event, Barb.  I love the passage you chose for your brunch.  It gets at the heart of the reason   we need to keep meeting together, that we may encourage each other on toward love and good deeds. Woman do need to keep meeting together for its in community that we are encouraged  and there are so many creative ways of doing community just as your brunch so clearly shows.  I'm glad to hear you will continue meeting together as women of faith and I hope your comment has encouraged more women to step out in faith and reach out in love to other women.

Thanks for your encouraging words, Freda! :)

-Barb

Community Builder

Hi,

I really appreciate your expressed sentiments about women.j

I am part of a group of women who meet every other week for prayer. The Lord has led us to listening prayer. We listen to some music, pray thanksgivings and blessings together and then we sit quietly and listen. Later, those who want to, have opportunity to share what they've heard from the Lord - It's amazing how it all fits together and feeds, refreshes and challenges us. Our God is an amazing God - and as hard as it is to do - I cherish these listening prayer times with other women.

Some of the women in this group first got to know each other in a different group of women, which was also very spiritually uplifing and wonderful. A group of us studied "Bethesda, Come to the Water: A Bible Study Guide for Women". It was fun for me, because although I am the author, I was able to just come to the study as a participant while someone else led the group. It was truly a blessing and I would recommend the study guide to other women. It's available through Faith Alive.

The common theme in both these groups is that a space was created, a space for quiet, a space for acceptence, a space for deep sharing. We miss it if all we do is hurry on to the next thing. Our Lord wants to bless us, we have to put ourselves in a position to receive His blessings.

That's so exciting that you use listening prayer.  The Heart to Heart Ladies Dinner I attend also used that method of prayer a number of times and it was such a blessing to us as well, even though we are still on a learning curve with the listening part.  Its so much more comfortable and easy to pray for our needs or our neighbour's needs , much harder to stop and listen for God's response to our needs and how we can bless each other with that.  Thanks for sharing and passing on the study guide information.  I hope others will be blessed by it as well.

Women absolutely need women!

I got an idea from a group of friends in Pittsburgh to start what we call a Soup Group. A small group of women I collected from different spheres of my life meet for prayer and a simple meal of soup and bread. It started off as a once-per-month event, where we'd meet in a different person's home each time. During the summer, since attendance was much more sporadic, we had pot-luck hors d'eurvres and focused on building relationships. By the end of the summer, we'd decided we'd rather meet twice per month! It's been such a blessing to see the friendships blossoming over the dinner table, between women who were strangers one year ago. 

At first we started out sharing over the meal, and then praying after. However, starting this fall we felt we needed more structure and guidance, so we're learning to pray through the Psalms. We covenanted to practice what we learn from our reading each week, and to pray for one other specific person in the group. 

One thing I loved about the neopolitan themed retreat was the ages and stages mix. Our group certainly meets a need: we often fall through the crack between college-and-careers groups and small groups at church made up of young families. We're almost all between 20 and 30, newly married, no children, university friends have scattered, and we're building communities around our new situations in life.  However, we plan to have some "guest pray-ers" join us for a meal to tell us about the power of prayer in their lives, and the different stages their prayer lives have gone through (read slightly-older-women!). 

That passage from Hebrews could be our Soup Group slogan! I think women's fellowship needs to be so much more than coffee break and our churches need to develop ministries that address that. However, women can and do often build these circles of Christian support around themselves all on their own! So I would encourage anyone out there reading this to look around, find leaders or develop your own leadership potential, and listen to the Spirit's prompting about what kind of group you could create. It could have any kind of focus: one that I've thought of myself is fellowship amongst first-time women office-bearers. There is so much potential!

Thanks Freda, for opening up this discussion!  And thanks to all of you for giving such great ideas. 

I am doing a workshop on this theme, this Saturday (Oct. 15) at our Day of Encouragement, in Hamilton, ON.  I look forward to an open dialogue about Women’s Ministry, to wrestle with the dynamics of our changing cultural context.  I am excited to read of the interest and enthusiasm from the rest of you as well!  Perhaps I’ll see some of you at my workshop.  It’s important to keep the dialogue going as we seek to do relational ministry with women to bless the neighbourhoods and communities in which we’ve been planted.  I look forward to more comments & posts.

Blessings to all of you!