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Leading Women as a Mentor, Pastor, Women's Ministry Leader, or Small Group/Bible Study Leader

Leading Women as a Mentor, Pastor, Women's Ministry Leader, or Small Group/Bible Study Leader

As a mentor, pastor, women's ministry leader, or small group/Bible study leader for women, here are a few keys to leading your women closer to Jesus:

  1. Build Relationships: Our relationship with God always begins with a relationship with one of His creations. Be the leader who loves your women with God's agape love. Get to know them as individuals. Listen not only to their words, but also to their hearts. Be there for them.  
  2. Be Authentic: In today's culture, if you can't be real with women, they won't have anything to do with you. It is your real-life struggles, faith, vulnerability and authenticity that will win their hearts--for you and for Christ.
  3. Encourage Them: Women are overwhelmed and often discouraged. Be the bright light in their dark world.Greet them with love, words of encouragement and offers of support. Make time to listen, pray and counsel them, even in the moment, as often as possible.
  4. Build Courage and Clarity: Courage without clarity leads to chaos. Clarity without courage leads to procrastination.  As the leader, your role is to help clarify God's call on our lives while focusing on His love, power and provision, thereby building courage.
  5. Create Community: Women need women friends. Relationships deepen fastest through work projects that we do together, but don't neglect the great value of weekly meetings and Bible studies, conferences, retreats and special events.
  6. Emphasize Freedom In Christ: You can't give them something you don't have, so prioritize your own freedom walk with Christ. As you become more free yourself, you'll model it better, and you'll also be excited to share it constantly. 
  7. Stay Connected: Start a FB group, but also schedule check-in connections with your gals as often as feasible. Create a doable schedule so each woman is contacted with a personal text, phone call, or handwritten card at least quarterly. It's one thing to "happen upon" God connections, it's a whole new level to make this a habit.

The above tips are from Marnie Swedberg, a global leadership mentor, 20-year veteran Women's Ministry leader, and the founder/director of www.WomenSpeakers.com. Below are bonus tips from four of our featured speakers.

Intentionally Create Space


As a pastor, mentor and small group leader, I've learned to make space for the Holy Spirit to move among us, so women can stretch and grow in their spiritual gifts. When teaching Scripture, leave room for your women to explore what the Holy Spirit reveals to them. It's essential to create an atmosphere where every woman knows she has value to add and is not just an observer. Paul compares the Body of Christ to the physical body. Therefore, we must all operate in our giftings to see the most significant impact.

Be Relevant, Interesting & Enlightening


Deep connections start with vulnerability. Your authenticity will inspire your gals to share, grow, and find solutions to their challenges. To facilitate this, share something about yourself that is relevant, interesting and enlightening. Use a story that portrays a situation that evokes sympathy (something hard God has brought you through), then invite them to reflect on their own current circumstances or confusion. You may instead cite an example or illustration of something you witnessed or something you know about by experience; your women will understand that what you’re sharing could happen to them, too. The bottom line is that they will fear being open until they feel safe. By you sharing something personal, you pave the way for them to follow the leader.

The Power of Small Groups


Small groups are where we grow deeper in our relationship with God and with each other. God created us to encourage one another and Jesus modeled doing this en masse and in small group settings. There is nothing that builds relationships faster or better than organizing and leading small groups. You'll see strong friendships develop, even to the point where it becomes like another family. Small groups, whether Bible study, work teams, outreach partnerships or prayer teams, are where your women realize they are not the only ones with struggles. They gain the power of understanding, working together and overcoming obstacles by faith with friends.

Walk Them Through Their Sadness or Grief


In my ministry to parents after the death of their child, many moms tell me they have a hard time praying now. Since God did not protect or stop their child from dying, why bother? As a leader, I hope my story helps you feel more comfortable comforting a grieving woman. After my own struggle with this, the Holy Spirit graciously reminded me that in a kingdom, the subjects will bring their requests to the king who makes his decision based on how it will affect the kingdom. If they do not bring their requests, he is under no obligation to grant it. This is why we still lay our requests before our King.

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