One of the most frequently asked questions I get from those interested in women’s ministry is, “How do we find ladies who are willing to serve?” This is a good question; but, I think that there are some principles that can be applied that will help us be on the lookout for ladies who are willing to lead.
1. Why do we need multiple leaders?
Think of a basketball team for a moment. Here in North Carolina, it is an image that is easily imagined. While there are many players on a basketball team, there are only five players on the court at one time. Those five include the center, two guards, and two forwards. While there are five players on the court and they all have the same goals (make baskets and win the game), they each have different roles and functions. The center cannot do the job of the guards – he wasn’t built or equipped to do that. By the same token, the guards cannot do the work of the forwards because they are supposed to be guarding men, not looking for the rebounds. Even though there are different players with different roles, they work together as a team.
This analogy is true of ministry, as well. One person cannot possibly do the work. This is primarily because God did not equip one person to do all the work. In the Body of Christ He has given believers spiritual gifts to be used in His Kingdom. These are all different gifts, but to be used together for His glory. God has equipped us in different ways, but even in the variety of gifts, the Lord has covered all the many facets of church life and ministry in the way He has equipped people.
2. How do we learn about women and their giftings?
This is an easily answered question: Ask. The best way to learn about a person is not just through observation, but also by getting to know them through asking them questions. When you sit down and talk with a lady you get to hear about her passions, her life experiences, her talents and her spiritual gifts. All of these things play a significant role in how a lady will lead and minister to other ladies. But, we never know these things about another lady unless we first ask.
3. What other areas should we evaluate when looking for new leaders?
Remember that when you are seeking leaders to fill roles in ministry, there is a need that we need to examine beyond gifts and abilities. We are seeking to place ladies in area where they will lead others in their walk with Lord – primarily by example. Because of this it is crucial that we look for leaders who not only have the capacity to lead, but the character to lead as well. There are some questions that we can ask as we consider the character of a potential leader:
- Does this woman model Christlikeness? In our church? In the home? In the community?
- Is this lady faithful in the small things?
- Does this lady live with integrity?
- Is this who God desires in this ministry role?
- Can this lady work in a team environment?
- Is this lady a role model for other women of the church?
When you ask these questions it is not to be the “Queen Bee Judge” of the women of your church. No, it is to be discerning when seeking leaders.
4. When you ask a lady to be a potential leader are you giving her a clear idea of what she will be doing?
One of the things that I believe is a weakness when we recruit leaders (and I’m as guilty as anyone else) is that we don’t provide a clear description or expectation of what we want the potential leader to do. We want them to commit to something and we can’t exactly articulate to what they are committing! This is why it is good to have ministry descriptions. Good ministry descriptions will include the title of the position, to whom the individual reports or provides accountability, length of commitment, qualifications for the position and an outline of the person’s responsibilities. This helps provide a good understanding of what is expected so everyone is on the same page.
One of the best ways to see if a lady fits a position is to let her try knowing and understanding up front she might fail. Some of the biggest lessons I have learned have come through opportunities when someone was trying to give me a chance at something. I didn’t always succeed, but I did discover what I don’t do well! By the same token, I learned what I could do because someone else was willing to let me try and through that I uncovered things that I enjoyed and did well.
These are just some of the ways that you can go about looking for new leaders among the ladies of your church. What are some of the ways that you use in your church?