Seven Steps to Purposeful Planning in Women’s Ministry

How to plan for success

Whether you are just starting out in a leadership role and want to build your confidence or you are a seasoned ministry leader and want to help your team be more productive, you need effective planning skills. Planning ahead is absolutely necessary to increase the chance of success for your event, project, or activity. Knowing that, do you know whether your whole leadership team is functioning with the same formula to ensure that success?

For some of you who are detail oriented, the following list may be intuitive. For others who are the big-picture visionaries, this list may seem a little overwhelming. Wherever you are on that spectrum, I hope this list of questions will be helpful in your leadership teams. You’ll find a free, reproducible version of this on the Resources page. I’d love to hear how this list works for you or if you know of other details that are also helpful in planning in ministry. Happy planning!

Apply these seven steps to any women’s ministry event, activity, or project and you will have a strong foundation for accomplishing your goal.

Step 1- Make Time to Pray

Start every meeting and planning session with prayer praising God’s power to accomplish more than you can imagine (Eph. 3:20-21). Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you toward a plan that brings God the glory, helps women deepen their relationship with Christ, and calls women to kingdom service.

Step 2 – Consider the People

Who needs to be involved/included/invited? 

For whom are you providing this event Describe the person you imagine would benefit the most from this event/project/activity. Know your audience. Remember: people’s needs always come before a program or process. 

Step 3 – Determine the Purpose

Why are you doing this project/activity/ministry?

Describe the ultimate outcome or what your audience will be able to do as a result of this experience. What do you want the bottom-line takeaway to be?

Step 4 – Design the Program

What will be the content of the project/activity/ministry?

Describe the program—the whole event—in as much detail as you can at this point in the process. (theme, speaker, music, drama, activity, project, main message, etc.). Then, for publicity purposes, summarize that description into one sentence combining it with your ideas from the bottom-line takeaway you determined in Step 3. 

Step 5 – Choose the Place

Where will this project/activity/ministry take place? 

Describe the ideal location and determine all the setup requirements and arrangement details.

Step 6 – Schedule the Prime Time

When will this project/activity/ministry happen?

Determine the best time for the people involved which will also fulfill the purpose.

Step 7 – Establish the Process

How are you going to accomplish this project/activity/ministry?

Describe the “finished product.” Then, back up in your planning to determine all the individual steps you will need to take to get there (e.g., budget/costs, venue, speaker/music, food, publicity, registration, childcare, etc.) Set deadlines for each step and designate a person who can gather a team to be responsible for the timely completion of each step. Start publicity well in advance of the project/activity/ministry and be sure to communicate the who, what, when, why, where, and how in the announcements. Remember to plan for a time a few days after the project/activity/ministry for evaluation and celebration. Be sure to thank the people involved personally and publicly.

Thoroughly answering each of the above questions will put you on the road to success for your project/event/activity in your women’s ministry. And as you answer these questions, you will discover others that come up along the way as a natural part of the evolution of your planning. Remember to involve as many people as possible in the planning process. I once heard it said that for every person involved in the planning, three people will attend the event. Having a capable notetaker at any meeting will also help you keep track of decisions and what you have yet to do.

Regardless of how many times you have been involved with a planning process, it’s good to have reminders that the 5 W’s and the H still work!

Join the conversation below . . .

What are some planning tips or tools you have found helpful?

Laura Savage-Rains--coach, speaker, writer--is the founder and author of who is using her 30+ years of ministry and leadership experience to teach women how to lead with passion. She is a native Texan who has also lived in foreign places such as Alabama and Romania. She makes her home in Lakeway, Texas, with her husband, Mark. She loves to write, speak, and teach the Bible. She is also a women's ministry team member, choir member, stepmom, and Grammy to 3 little girls. She loves dark chocolate with caramel, "The Sound of Music" movie, and Barbra Streisand's music.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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