A printable PDF can be found at the end of this article.
 

Familiar phrases heard at LWML gatherings are, “We just can’t get young women involved. We’ve tried everything, but they just won’t come.” If you have said these words or if you would like to see greater involvement, this resource is for you.

The purpose of this resource is to:

  • create an awareness among current members as to what is important to young women;
  • awaken in current members the realization that to gain greater involvement, old ways may need to be relinquished;
  • identify areas within your group where intentional eff orts need to be made to make your group young women friendly;
  • provide direction for transforming your group into a group that welcomes young women; and
  • realize that the factors which make a group welcoming to young women make a group friendly to all ages.

You may start the process by asking each woman in your group to complete the survey on the next page, and then total the scores for each survey item. The items with the lowest number of points are the areas needing the most attention and effort.

Decide which areas need the most attention, and work on one area at each event. Suggested exercises corresponding to the survey statements are located on the following pages. The exercises will help your members think about the group and how others see it and may react to the group. Add questions and exercises which are relevant to your situation. Be creative and find what works for your group.

Evaluate the results periodically. Which exercises are having a positive impact on your society? Has your group size and complexion changed? You may want to resurvey your group each year and compare the results, looking for areas of growth and which areas still need attention.

Consider the possibility of the young women forming their own group. Think of ways the established LWML group could help and support the young women. There may be times when the two groups could come together. God has placed young women and more experienced women in your church. Celebrate their differences and similarities. God will bless your efforts.

Survey — Does Your LWML Welcome Young Women?

Tips on How to Engage Younger Women

Begin by realizing that there is more than one way to do things. Be flexible and give others the opportunity to be innovative.

  1. Make your newcomer feel welcome at an event.
    • Designate a member of your group as the greeter who welcomes new members.
    • Ensure someone from the group sits with the newcomer at church or during events.
       
  2. Ask the working women and young mothers of your congregation what their schedules are like.
    • Remember not to pressure or make newcomers feel guilty about the time they have to commit to your group.
       
  3. Consider alternating your meetings to different times and days during the week so working women or young mothers can be a part of the meeting.
     
  4. Plan events that can be fun for the whole family.
     
  5. Young women want to do things that make a difference. Investigate possibilities in your community, such as sorting donated items at a distribution center or assembling and delivering care packages to shut-ins. There are many needs today and, therefore many forms of serving. A service project will be attractive to women who cannot make long-term commitments. Invite and welcome them all. Consider inviting their friends and families to participate with them.
     
  6. Consult with your pastor and make him aware of LWML Sunday and the benefits of observing the day. Talk with him about women being involved in LWML Sunday services and activities. Possibilities include making and displaying a banner, presenting a children’s message, serving as ushers, providing special LWML bulletin covers, and distributing handouts. Use the resources found at www.lwml.org.
     
  7. Identify an individual who enjoys writing to be responsible for the publicity for LWML and your events. Provide her with timely information so that she can publicize activities, meetings, and LWML resources. She can give a face to LWML by highlighting a member who can share her story. If your church has a website, ask her to post updates on LWML events or she could send periodic emails regarding the activities of the group.
     
  8. Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly can be given to all women in the congregation. Young women may be more interested in reading the online version, the eQuarterly. Highlight one of the stories on a bulletin board or in the weekly worship folder. Offer Quarterly Bible studies to all women of the congregation and point out to the young women the special pages in that publication which are written by other young women. Subscribe to the Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly by visiting www.lwml.org/lutheran-womans-quarterly

Enjoy getting to know the young women in your congregation!
You will be a mentor to them and they may also become a mentor to you!

Exercises to Engage Younger Women

Exercise 1
  1. Discuss what a personal invitation looks like. Some answers may include offering the invited person a ride, sharing starting time and usual length of meeting, program topics, expectations of attendees, Bible study opportunities, special program information or upcoming speakers or servant events, refreshments, etc.
     
  2. Ask the women to pair off  and practice inviting each other to an event. You might like to consider using the PowerPoint “Just a Cup of Coffee” which is found on the LWML website as a free download here www.lwml.org/wmu.
     
  3. Give the women a 3x5 index card and have them write a woman’s name on it who does not usually attend LWML events — a woman they would feel comfortable inviting.
     
  4. Challenge the women to pray for the woman they named on the index card and then invite her to the next activity.
Exercise 2
  1. Relationship-building happens when people get to know each other and support each other in their joys and sorrows, failures and successes, and their needs and concerns. Ask older women what skills they would like to pass on to the younger women. Give the younger women a choice as to which of these skills interests them and then build a program around that skill.
Exercise 3
  1. Make Bible study and prayer a priority. Use a variety of program possibilities such as Quarterly Bible studies and other LWML resources found at www.lwml.org or from the LWML Catalog. Invite special speakers as well as your pastor.
     
  2. Provide young women with an LWML Bible. Find the “Today’s Light  Devotional Bible” here: http://bit.ly/2rWSb4B
     
  3. Offer women the opportunity to share favorite Bible verses or objects from their homes which are meaningful in their walk with Jesus.
     
  4. Pray for, and with, each other. Establish prayer partners, create a prayer chain, or implement some other way to distribute prayer concerns.
Exercise 4
  1. Conduct a Bible study through Facebook Live so that working women and mothers with young children can join the Bible study from home. You could also utilize Facebook Live for meetings. To learn more about how to utilize Facebook Live follow this link https://www.facebook.com/facebookmedia/best-practices/live

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior,
not slanderers or slaves to much wine.
They are to teach what is good,
and so train the young women to love their husbands and children
to be self-controlled, pure, working at home,
kind, and submissive to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:3-5).
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised
(Proverbs 31:26 & 30).

If you have questions please feel free to email your District President. 
You can find your District President’s contact information at www.lwml.org/districts

View printable PDF of this article (including survey), Does Your LWML Welcome Young Women?

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