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As Lutheran Women in Mission, we joyfully proclaim Christ, support missions, and equip women to honor God by serving others.

The mission statement of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League does not address gaining, training, and maintaining participants in LWML. So how do they come about? 
We believe it is when we reach out to each woman by: 

  • Assisting her in affirming her relationship with the Triune God by getting into the Word.
  • Praying that the Holy Spirit will work through the Word to inspire and enable her to use her gifts.
  • Inviting her to observe and experience the opportunities LWML offers as ways for her to use her gifts in ministry to the people of the world.

What are Ways to “Assist Each Woman?”

  1. Try to get all the women in your church involved in Bible study. Offer it at all times of the day to allow more women to fit their schedules around those times. Consider forming groups that gather monthly, which use the topics in the Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly. Encourage women to lead the studies, maybe even online. Bible study leads to Christian service.
  2. Personally invite the new and inactive women to a meeting or a Bible study. Assign “mentors” from your LWML group so that no one feels uncomfortable attending a meeting or Bible study for the first time.
  3. Assume every woman in the congregation wants to be involved in Christian service. Do not prejudge interests or time available. Even working women or young mothers can be part of a prayer chain, make phone calls, write emails, post on Facebook or Twitter, and contribute mites, although they might not be able to attend meetings.
  4. Plan a gathering once or twice a year with a special theme and at a different time than usual. Try a Saturday brunch, a Lenten prayer service, an evening picnic with vespers in the summer, or having a special speaker. Plan programs that meet a variety of interests.
  5. Provide babysitting services for gatherings, Bible studies, and special events to encourage young mothers to attend.
  6. Plan frequent receptions to welcome women into your congregation. Informally share information about LWML and service opportunities. Leave time for visiting and use name tags to help newcomers become acquainted.
  7. Be an example of service to the inactive women, just as Christ is our example. Offer meals, babysitting, running errands, and housecleaning to the hospitalized and new mothers.

Once the women in your congregation are interested in showing their faith through service, your group needs to help them identify their gifts and talents and put them to use. Hebrews 10:24 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.”   

How Do We Offer Opportunities to “Use Her Gifts?” 

  • Consult your congregational talent survey to learn of interests and talents of women in the congregation.
  • Personally invite them to take part.
  • Pair a newcomer with a mentor. It is easier and more fun to learn by doing.

What Are the Reasons Women Join a Service Organization?1

  • To be needed.
  • To help others.
  • To make a difference (in group, in an organization.)
  • To learn new skills or use skills already developed.
  • To belong to a caring community.
  • To feel accepted.
  • To grow in faith.
  • To share God-given talents.
  • To support causes believed in.

Does your LWML group provide opportunities for fulfillment in these areas so women will want to become a part of it?  

Keep Women From Losing Interest By: 

  • Using members’ time well. Busy work without a purpose is a waste of time and a sure way to lose members.
  • Spreading the workload rather than overburdening a few.
  • Recognizing a job well done. Do not take people for granted. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says we are to “encourage one another and build one another up…”

Women can be a powerful force in fulfilling the Great Commission. Your LWML group can be a catalyst in involving the many talented, dedicated women in your church.

1 Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly (Summer 1989) 

Edited by Leader Development committee 2010, 2016, 2019
Original by Christine Steele 1988 
Published by Lutheran Women’s Missionary League 

View printable PDF of this article, Gaining, Training, Maintaining Women of the LWML

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