Brave New Women

• Consider the following list of Opportunities:
o Spiritual Opportunities – Women’s ministry develops communities in which women experience life transformation and produce spiritual fruit
o Empowerment – Instead of passively participating in prescribed programs, women are encouraged to pursue their gifts and passions through a variety of opportunities
o Lateral Hierarchy – Lay leaders are effectively trained and equipped by staff to empower all women to be ministers in their church and community
o Creativity Leaders – They are not bound by old paradigms but support new ideas and outlets for accomplishing the goals of the ministry
o Unity – The women’s ministry is not only aligned with the mission and vision of the church but integrates with the church culture and direction
o Diversity – Women of different ages and backgrounds benefit from participating together in the ministry activities
o Influence – Women use their collective voice in the church, the larger body of Christ, and the surrounding community to address issues that matter to them
• Consider this list of Challenges:
o Change – Leaders must guide women through the transition while maintaining the impact of the ministry
o Disconnection – Women’s ministries must never be so big & influential that they become the sole driving force or branch off in their own direction. Leaders must tactfully re-integrate the ministry without losing the power and enthusiasm of women.
o Traditions – You want to attract new generations of women while retaining the values of elder members.
o Relevance – All church activities compete for space in peoples calendars. Be sure to offer them opportunities that they will find essential for life.
o Resources – The dreams of many leaders stretch far beyond their limited budgets and capacity of staff. Reaching these goals requires creativity and support from the church decision-makers.
o Accessibility – Leaders must foster inclusive communities of women while eliminating ministry constructs that lead to insularity & cliquishness
• You have to make people uncomfortable with the present; otherwise, they don’t know why they should change.
• A buffet of programs to attend does nothing to facilitate spiritual growth and transformation. Steward their gifts and their time and disseminate the women as mature Christians in their neighborhoods and workplaces “Go out and be Jesus in your community”
• There is a global shift towards “missional” models so consider supporting more community development at the grassroots level.
• Another emerging shift is that people don’t want to be forced into a building to experience God. We don’t want processed people but rather a community who learns and engages together in order to speak into the culture.
• Social awareness is on the increase globally and many churches are moving towards a greater focus on community outreach.
• To make this happen and equip workers in the field, ministries are teaching deeper spiritual principles, encouraging stronger and multi-generational relationships and adapting for change.
• Its time to cross lines, adapt, borrow, reinvent and confront the change monster!
• Whether a ministry s on the cusp of change or a whole system is on the verge of revolution, dealing with the human element of the change process is the number one challenge in realizing future plans.
• But be warned and be prepared to be
o Trailblazers (Pioneers)
o Lonely
o Ostracized
o Criticized
o Marginalized
o But it will have eternal impact and it will make a difference and achieve the purpose for which God intended.

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