The beginning of August often sounds the alarm for the end of summer. School supplies begin appearing at the local stores; families are thinking about “one last” trip to the beach before school starts; and everyone looks forward to cooler temperatures as fall is just around the corner.
Personally, I look forward to college football season (Hook ‘em Horns), soy pumpkin spice lattes, and trees filled burnt orange leaves as signs that fall has arrived.
For local church women’s ministries – which often follow the traditional school calendar for planning events – kicking off for the fall season of ministry is important. Here are some ideas to kick-off your women’s ministry for this fall:
1. Bible Study Fair – Do all the ladies in your church have a good idea of what your women’s ministry offers in the area of Bible study? Do they know the leaders of these respective studies? A good way to have an introduction, and registration, for your fall Bible studies is with a Bible study fair. For this weeknight nighttime event or Saturday morning event, each Bible study leader would have a table that she “mans” that includes copies of the Bible study for women to look through. Additionally, she would have a sign-up sheet to gather the names and contact information for women who want to be included in the study. This would be done for each Bible study. Ask ladies who will attend to bring a snack to share.
2. Coffee, Cocoa and Chocolate – One of the things I hear frequently from women’s ministry leaders is, “We don’t have enough money to do anything big.” I understand that dilemma. A cost effective way to have a gathering or launching for the fall is to have a nighttime “Coffee, Cocoa and Chocolate.” This would be an easy way to have a gathering and simply have dessert. Coffee, hot chocolate and chocolate cakes are relatively inexpensive when purchased en masse or brought from home. One of the Bible study leaders can give a challenge to the women of your church; someone else can lead in prayer; and someone else in worship. Another lady can present all the opportunities (Bible study, evangelism and missions) that are available to the ladies during the fall. I would encourage you to have this event at night so all the ladies of the church can attend. Be sure to offer rides to the senior adult ladies. And, on behalf of those like myself who are fans of the coffee bean, but not so much the cocoa bean, be sure you serve some non-chocolate selections.
3. Kicking off with service – Often we think of having an “event” to begin the new women’s ministry year. But, what about kicking off with a mission project in your community? Instead of having an “event” at the church with food and the like, plan to rally the women of your church to go into the community to serve in pre-planned mission projects. This helps everyone remember that we should be getting outside the walls of the church to share the Gospel. This also helps foster relationships among the various generations.
4. Worship and prayer – The other night at the Thursday night Bible study I attend, my friend, Becky, led. In the summertime we take a break from a Bible study and spend Thursday nights in prayer. This particular evening Becky brought her guitar, and with a mix of praise songs and hymns, I spent the evening in worship with some of my dearest friends. It was so good to spend time singing and worshiping. I think sometimes we underestimate our need to sing aloud. One cool thing Becky did was hand each of us an index card and a pen. She told us to write the alphabet down the card. Then, for each of those letters, we were supposed to write a characteristic of God. Admittedly some letters were a bit difficult (you think I’m kidding – X is a letter of the alphabet, as is Q), but after we were done, we spent some time praising God in prayer for His characteristics that we just wrote. If you have a smaller women’s ministry, this would be an ideal way to kick off the fall. We added our traditional bowl of white cheese cheddar popcorn, Chex mix, bottles of water, and pot of coffee and we were all set.
So, how do you plan to kickoff for ministry this fall?