Women Together I :: Steps for Starting a Women’s Group

Consider the characteristics of your congregation.

Are you:
Small: no women’s group
Large: a mix of full-time homemakers and women working outside the home
Integrated: men and women work jointly on committees, leadership
Traditional: an established women’s group meets some needs very well
Urban: many professional people, possibly a number of university students
New and growing: people of many backgrounds

Answer the crucial question: Are women’s needs for growth and service being met in our congregation? Ponder the possibility of women doing something about it!

Take first steps:

  • Pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
  • Talk to others, including a wide diversity of individuals.
  • Uncover needs and ways to meet them. Consider the different types of groups that might serve women in your midst.
  • Plan an event; along with a program or socializing, schedule time to talk and dream about growth and involvement.
  • Discuss goals and objectives, guidelines, structure, and program.
  • Pray about your discoveries.
  • Select several people to refine and organize these ideas.

Follow through in a committee:

  • Prioritize needs and set goals, choosing ones which can be met simultaneously and within time constraints of women. Trying to do everything is a sure formula for burnout. But focusing on one area will allow you to do that one thing with energy and creativity.
  • Outline objectives—list methods to use in meeting your goals.
  • Establish guidelines—decide on details of frequency, place, publicity, format, components, etc.
  • Determine the structure needed—look at tasks required to carry out the above and assign persons accordingly.
  • Keep structure in line with needs.

Plan and implement your program:

  • Pray.
  • Be open-minded; try new things.
  • Keep your goals in mind.
  • Help women to “own” the program; involve local women.
  • Assign and delegate tasks for a smooth operation.
  • Publicize with clarity.
  • Relax. Enjoy the preparation and the event. Let your efforts be good enough.

Evaluate:
After a period of time or a particular event, sit down with other planners to discuss your program. Were goals met? Should the same activities be repeated? Why? Why not? How often?

—Adapted from a brochure by Marian B. Hostetler, Women in Mission and Women’s Missionary and Service Commission 1990-91 resource packet

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