Have you ever been a visitor at a church or maybe, you are a new member and you felt totally out of the loop. You really don’t know anyone and you for sure don’t know what all is going on and what is offered in the way of activities and events. Most churches have a big screen with all of the weeks activities flashing by. This is what I saw when we had joined our church. If I saw something that caught my eye, I would ask someone and usually they wouldn’t know anything about it. There was never any mention of it and by the time I got home, I wouldn’t even remember what it was that I read on the big screen.
When you have been a part of several different churches and you are the new kid on the block, things aren’t as easy as someone might think that has been a member of the same church since they were in the nursery. Until you have experienced it, those that have never moved to a new city and joined a church will probably never really understand how it is to be the “new person.” That reminds me of a funny story. Well, not that funny. After I had gotten involved in my new church, I had a lady stop me after the services one morning, and was look me up and down. She didn’t introduce herself….she just looked at me with her head cocked back and said, “Who are you and where did you come from?” Mind you, this wasn’t asked in a pleasant way and after I told her my name and where I “came from,” that was enough. By the look on her face, it was as if she said, “Enough…..Away with you!” This particular lady never had much to do with me from that moment on. I do get tickled thinking about it.
When we began the women’s ministry, the first thing I was concerned about was the communication of what all would be going on with the ladies events. We began a newsletter that was just for the women. This was one of my favorite things to put together. The only problem was, I wasn’t good at all the computer work that it took to make it look like an actual newsletter. We were blessed by a beautiful, sweet spirited young mom who designed and put together the newsletter every month. Fortunately, she was the church secretary which helped tremendously and she worked hard at formatting everything I would send her and then she would have it printed. I loved everything she did to make it look first class for our ladies. We then had to have them folded and ready for the mail. Mailing out a newsletter takes several people to get it from the writing of articles and items all the way to stamped and in the mail. If you are thinking of doing an actual newsletter, it is a big job and will take several people to help. You should seek help from lades who see it as a ministry and will ENJOY the thought of encouraging others. It’s also an expense, so much prayer and thought should go into such an undertaking.
On a side note: This is not a newsletter that you would expect from a major corporation that is high gloss and professional. This is from a church that does all of their own printing and everything is done by volunteers. I realize there are some churches that have a major budget for something like this. If you do, congratulations and go for it and make it the best. If not, congratulations and go for it and make it the best!
The name of our newsletter was, Heart Talk. In each issue, we would include the following:
*The scripture that we used to identify the ministry (Titus 2:12)
*All the names of the Leadership Team
*Our Mission Statement
*I would do a short (sometimes longer) note, “A Note From Beverly”
*We always had a scripture box with a new verse each month that pertained to women
*Our blog address
*Each month we would have an article written by one of the ladies in the church on something that would be encouraging and enlightening to women
*Ads for upcoming events with all the details of each one
*A listing of all the ministries within the women’s ministry with contact info with when and where they meet
*Website of the month (This would be a Christian website that would benefit women)
*Book Corner (2 book recommendations each newsletter with a write up of that particular book)
*If we had an event, we would always have an article with the highlights of the event
Those are the main things that were always included. I felt it important to be first class (as possible) and with the skill of a couple of ladies in the church, the ads always looked amazing. I wish you could see all of them. This should be a newsletter that women can keep each month and refer to for dates, times and information.
We always got calls from women in other cities that wanted to be on the mailing list. Some would pass them on to their ministry director for an example of what we were doing in our ministry. It never failed someone would come up each week and say how much they look forward to getting their newsletter in the mail and they read it from cover to cover. Some even said they had to take it away from their husband because they enjoyed reading it, too.
Another way to stay in touch is with a blog. It’s a great way to stay connected and share encouraging information. We had a link to the newsletter as well. This came in handy for those that weren’t on the mailing list.
Facebook is a great tool. Have a page dedicated to your ministry. Instagram is becoming more and more popular and that would be a fun one to have as well.
My main advice for any communication plans that you want to implement would be:
KEEP IT UPDATED and POST REGULARLY. I would think you would want to do something every day or every other day. It can be something small as a scripture, or a picture that shows something enticing coming up. Women love being connected and keeping them connected is a big job, but, oh so worth it.
Have you ever gone to a website for a ministry looking for a time of an event and they have their Christmas info up and it is May? Or, they have a link to their newsletter, but, it’s from 9 months ago? If you are going to go to the trouble of communicating in social media or through the mail, have it current, and…. pleasing to the eye with as much information as possible.
Our next topic will be on ideas for events and ministries for the ladies of your church and community.
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