My church recently hosted a Lifeway Regional Training. (It was a lot of work to put on, but truly a rewarding experience in the end.) I didn’t get to spend much time in any of the sessions, but one thing I kept noticing was the assumption that women’s ministry leaders are doing this on a full-time basis and as their only ministry. I’ve noticed this assumption in many books I’ve read on women’s ministry as well.
Now, I was staying home when I first got into this gig, but I went back to work more than a year ago. Almost everyone on my team also works and serves in other ministries. Even I have other obligations in the church in addition to my work with the women.
So where are the lines here? Is women’s ministry done more effectively by those who can devote themselves full-time? (Paid or volunteer.) Now, I know I could get more done if I wasn’t having to be at work every day, but going back to work has made me be more efficient, bring more people onto the team and delegate better. Do we accomplish everything I wish we could? No. But then, my full-time effort isn’t what’s necessary to accomplish those things. (And thank goodness it’s not!)
There are times I wish I could go back to doing women’s ministry full-time. And I often wish more of my team was only doing women’s ministry. But I know that God is looking for our earnest desire to do our best.
Part of the point of this ramble is just that more information is needed on how to do women’s ministry on a part-time basis and to step away from the assumption (particularly since most churches are too small to afford to have someone on staff) that ministers are tasked only with doing women’s ministry. Hmmm …