March 31, 2009

How to Do Titus 2

Thinking about how to accomplish transition from event-driven women's ministry to a Titus 2 framework, I realize I ought to define "event-driven."

Churches and women's ministries will always have special events, and they should. But large scale affairs generally do not lend well to relationship building, an element essential to discipleship. Event-driven ministry is best understood as a majority of activities that take away from relationship building. In other words, if your ministry has one dinner function a year, but most of the Bible studies are video-based, my view is that relationship building is inhibited. This is where Bible study becomes a series of events and, voila, you have an event-driven ministry.

A Titus 2-based women's ministry is focused on getting women to talk to each other, where there is teaching and learning--not just about God, but about each other. Where there is no conversation, no learning, there is no mentoring.

So how do you move from event-driven to a Titus 2 ministry?

1. Group Bible studies that invite encounters with God in scripture and opportunities to share with each other about its meaning and application.

2. Activities that reveal common interests. These need not be formalized, it can be as basic as attending Little League games together or going to a teacher's convention if that is your occupation.

3. Casual sack lunch gatherings with or without a planned topic. Every women's ministry event need not be a regal affair.

4. "Cake and Conversation." Again, be deliberate about the cake, and see where the conversation goes.

5. Yes, I'm going to say it. Online social networking takes some of the work out of it, but you can make yourself available, knowable, and reachable with an online presence. The world is changing but we can still be a part of even the busiest person's life through Facebook, Ning, Twitter, and other similar sites. It takes less time to read messages than it does to cater an event!

This is a short, obviously non-exhaustive list. If you have some ideas or insights, leave your comments for everyone to read.


RosalieG said...

I think you've nailed it well.

I have been thinking about what I find missing:

1. I've always disliked going to "special events" where I buy a ticket and sit there like a stranger listening to some speaker or watching something and leave without anyone calling me by name let alone getting to know me because, afterall, it would be rude to talk during a presentation.

2. The church I attended offered several studies to meet the needs of the population (like 8 topics). I found when I did get into a group where there was great bonding, after 8 weeks, it was over. The next sign up several weeks or months later, was like a round robin. The ladies I'd bonded with dispersed into other groups. The momentum was lost.

3. I've always disliked DVD's. I was an at home mom for several years and my participation in Bible Studies was one of the few times in a week for adult conversation,. When DVD's became part of the curriculum, 3/4 of the chat time was used up! We often were left with only 20 minutes for interaction, clarity and to share our concerns.

4. Once kids are in school, a lot of moms leave a daytime study to return home alone. Right after a morning study is an opportune time for those that would like to gather informally or for prayer, vounteer work, or to go for lunch together. I have no idea where everyone rushes off to at that in between stage of motherhood for those whose kids stay at school for lunch.

deborah said...

For our last women's ministry event which featured the usual guest speaker and singers, we set up tables in our worship center. Each table seated ten women. Women's small group leaders served as table hosts. It was our job to get the women talking to each other, tell them about our small group ministry, and invite them to join a small group. We had cards at the tables for them to fill out so that we could follow up with them after the event. We did this before the speaker/singers, during intermission, and then with coffee and dessert after the event. At our large church, discipleship happens in small groups. There were more than 800 women at this event. The response was overwhelming in terms of women asking for small group placement and actually following through and joining.