With 2011 just around the corner it would be a good idea to look at the whole year and decide on some activities that will involve the women in your church. Mission and ministry projects are good ways to educate women about how your church participates in missions and engages in ministry to your community.
Here are 12 ideas, one for each month of the new year. Adapt them to your women’s group needs and interests.
Host a party to celebrate plans for the new year emphasizing future opportunities for involvement. Make it a time of reflection on last year and also a celebration for what God will do.
Invite a state Women’s Ministries/Woman’s Missionary Union leader to speak to your group/organization. Ask her to give an overview of the ways women can become involved in short-term mission trips and local ministry projects. Focus on WMU week is one way to emphasize what WMU does in the local church setting. More information is available at www.wmu.org.
Lead women to participate in the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. Set a goal for your group and plan a creative way to meet the goal. Go to the North American Mission Board Website for information. Every church will receive a packet of information to promote the offering near Easter. Use this time to educate your women about how Southern Baptists are involved in winning North America for Christ.
Make health kits for homeless and women’s crisis shelters. Use gallon-size bags to hold toothbrushes, toothpaste, a washcloth, comb, small bar of soap, packet of tissues, hand sanitizer, etc. Include a tract that explains how to accept Christ as Savior.
Encourage women to participate in an association project if any are planned. May is traditionally the month to emphasize associational missions. Contact your Director of Missions to find out what your women can do to promote the association and become more involved.
Hold a missions prayer retreat before school is out. If that won’t fit into your calendar, plan an event that both women and their children can do together such as a day camp in the park similar to a backyard Bible club. Encourage women to teach in Vacation Bible School.
Use newspaper headlines as an avenue for ministry during the summer. If a family loses their home in a fire, provide items to help replace what they lost. If there is a death in a family, send condolence cards. Provide childcare for working mothers whose budgets are stretched during summer months when children are not in school.
Enlist a state leadership team member to provide leadership training for the leaders of your women’s groups. Learning about communication, relationships, time management, mentoring and leadership approaches can be valuable for women in the workplace, in their families and in your women’s organization.
September is California Mission Offering month, and women’s ministries and mission groups can be strong advocates for supporting state mission efforts. Suggest that women’s groups set goals and use creative ways to teach them about the importance of the offering. Enlist a state staff person to speak to the women and share how God is blessing mission efforts in the state. Go to www.calmissions.com for information about the offering and for a list of speakers.
This is World Hunger month. Purchase rice bowl or bread banks and encourage women to set personal goals to help relieve world hunger. Information can be found online through the North American Mission Board at www.namb.net. Women can lead the church to participate in this annual offering.
Thanksgiving brings an increased awareness of the needy for food and shelter. Lead women to participate in the church’s annual Thanksgiving projects. If none is planned, initiate one!
Observe the Week of Prayer for International Missions. Encourage women to use the prayer guides provided free from the International Mission Board (available from the state convention). Sponsor a church-wide international missions event by using the mission materials for all age levels (available from national Woman’s Missionary Union, www.wmustore.com).
When women are involved in missions and ministry to others, the year will fly by and you’ll be looking for more ideas for the next year! As a pastor of a church in Georgia said, “The Great Commission is not an option.”