Women Together I :: Types of Women’s Groups

Bible study: Meet for a half hour of fellowship and a half hour of study once a week, using Mennonite Women USA’s annual Bible study guides or other materials. This could involve private study between sessions.

Spiritual friendships: Gather in twos, threes, or fours for prayer, meditation, and spiritual direction in a space outside the busyness and demands of everyday life. A place of encouragement and accountability.

Mentoring: Pair older, mature believers with younger women or newer believers.

Support groups: These could include ministries for mothers of preschoolers, women in business, single women, and other age- or role-specific groups within and beyond your church. Consider also needs of women who struggle with things like weight control, substance abuse, trauma recovery, loss of a child or spouse, caregiving for the infirm, parenting children with special needs, etc.

Community service/advocacy: Work together on an issue you share a passion for, researching the issue, sharing information, praying, writing letters (including letters to the editor), and raising money. Possibilities range from supporting a women’s shelter to participating in a race to benefit breast cancer research to working to protect children from guns.

Topical discussions or workshops: Invite guest speakers or study issues of special interest, such as eating disorders, the media and advertising, anger management, financial planning, or self defense.

Book clubs/studies, film clubs, writers groups: Discuss videos, books, or writing. Both beginning and more advanced writers may enjoy getting together to exercise and develop their writing skills. Types of writing may range from journaling to poetry, fiction to historical essays, guest editorials to children’s books.

Congregational service: Choose a specific focus such as meal or card ministries, hospitality for out-of-town guests, providing meals at funerals, etc. A welcome committee might visit newcomers with a fresh loaf of bread (along with a brochure about your group or congregation) or host lunches after church for newcomers and congregational leaders, providing a time of getting acquainted.

Prayer chain: Many different network styles can spread a prayer need through a church body. Whether you use a list, flow chart, or circles, it may be helpful to put on each list the purpose of the ministry and exact directions for how to take down and pass on the request.

Women’s retreat: Get away for an evening, day, or weekend, perhaps with women from beyond your group or your congregation. Refresh your spirit and build friendships with other women. It might be a silent retreat of time alone with God or a relaxed social time.

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