Sunday, April 8, 2018

9 Tips for an Amazing Ladies' Day

Ladies' lectureship, a Ladies' Day, a retreat, a Ladies' night out-whatever you call it, planning and executing these kinds of events is hard! Last time we dealt with topics, themes, speakers and decor. This time I gathered the collective experience of wise women from my email list and the minister's wives I knew. And I compiled all kinds of great tips to share with you!  

How to Rock Your Ladies' Day: Maidservantsofchrist1. Put God First: This seems obvious, but in fact it is an important and subtle principle. Consider this question: 

We are thinking about having a women’s ministry event. What should we do first?  

a) Brainstorm
b) Form a committee
c) Do an internet search
d) Pray

All the answers are good, but let’s pray first.  Let’s think about the message we want to be brought from the Word of God before a cute theme.  The spiritual food before the breakfast tea.  Lifting our voices as sisters in worship before we count the number of people who came.  All our planning will be better if we START with God. 

Kelli Hughett suggests one of the ways to this is "have a devotional for the women involved the night before to focus on Jesus before the big day."

2. Don't underestimate your audience.  Provide the women with solid lessons.  Michelle Braun Bolen said, "I personally, am not a fan of Ladies' Day "fluff."  For myself and others, we like "meat" for deep lessons straight out of scripture. Lessons can be kinda "feel goodie" or "too girlie." I want "meat"- deep contextual study."  Choosing the right speaker, theme and tone contributes to a time of real study. 

Also don't underestimate women's willingness to participate.  Another lady said that in her congregation little girls are invited up to lead singing and it's the highlight of everyone's day (and a great moment when hostesses can escape for a moment to finish lunch!).

3. Choose a speaker carefully: Start looking well in advance-many well known speakers only take a limited number of speaking appointments every year.  Think about geographical limitations- wherever you live in the United States there are speakers within a few hours of your congregation.  (Check out both speaker recommendations and a link to an extensive list of speakers here)

Finding a quality speaker with open dates is an issue I saw frequently addressed.  Dene Ward from Flight Paths said, "Finding speakers with open dates seems to be a big problem, and those capable of offering more than the average women could bring on her own." Mrs. Hughett said, "Pay a speaker well for her time.  Fly in the best you can get for your budget.  We value what we pay for."

4. Open up: Although it is easier to plan for two thirty-minute lessons, allowing time for ladies to ask questions and interact with each other and the speaker can improve your Ladies' Day.  

Dene Ward from "Flight Paths" says, "One place had me open myself up to a question and answer period after the talk.  It was a little scary for me because you never know what someone will say or ask, but I think it helped the audience to relate to me better and thus to accept my words easier.  Afterwards, there were even people who approached me one on one, and I don't think they would have if not for that session." 

Similiarly, don't be afraid of breakout sessions. When I asked for feedback, lots of women said these were their favorites.  Not only was it participatory, but making new friends and connections and sharing the hearts of other Christian women is amazing.  The silly games did not get nearly so good a review!

5.Think about budgets:  Ladies days are often inexpensive or even free for attendees, but most retreats have a charge.  Please think carefully about ways that you can include and not shame sisters with less generous budgets.  I have heard (again from Mrs. Ward) about places that offer “scholarships” for those who can’t afford to attend.  In the past, my church has subsidized things we decided to do as a group to make them more affordable or simply announced the cost and said that anyone who needed help to participate could speak to the elders privately.  On the other side, a generous person might be willing to help defray some of the cost ahead of time.

6. Don’t be defeated by the “committee.”  My dad says, “If you trust a man to do a job, trust him to do it right.”  In other words committees and micromanagement are the death of any good work.  Let me suggest meeting together, have someone take notes, and then compile a list of each person's responsibilites and then meet in a few weeks to discuss any problems that were met.  If everyone (or anyone) has to ok every detail, the process will get bogged down. 

7. Advertising:  Get the word out!  And be creative.  Your local paper (online or traditional)  may be willing to do a story on the event.  You can send invitations through the mail to every congregation in an hour’s drive.  Get on Facebook and make an event so it is easy for members to invite friends.  Have someone in your congregation design a Facebook Ad and spend 3 dollars to promote it!  

Jania Otey said, "One year the ladies at our old congregation were divided into groups.  Each group was encouraged to invite non-members to the program and collectively pray for their efforts." I love the practical focus on evangelism from this suggestion.

8. Audience: Carefully consider not just who is likely to come but who you would like to come.  Sometimes we unintentionally exclude younger women because we choose times, topics and speakers that just don’t work for them or we don't consider their need for childcare. Also you might like to have a speaker and topic aimed at seekers in your community and strongly encourage your ladies to bring friends and co-workers. 

9. Practical considerations: 
    9 Tips for an Amazing Ladies' Day
  • Folks will leave after lunch and/or grow sleepy.  So you may want to have a late lunch and not plan an after lunch session. 
  • Try not wear your workers out. Spread out the work and be sure the ladies in your congregation get to benefit from the lessons as well.
  • Be aware that there will be people on special diets.  Simple whole foods are often easy for everyone to eat (a vegetable tray or fresh whole fruit).  You might also consider making an ingredient list available upon request. 
  • Relax.  Stuff will go wrong. It's ok!

Are you excited about attending some Ladies' Days/Retreats soon?  Check out this list of events!

April 14 - 10am-2pm Allons church of Christ, Allons, TN. Lunch provided.  Kathy Pollard will speak.

April 14 - Highway church of Christ in Benton Ar.  Sharla Owens will speak.

April 21 - Eagleville church of Christ in Eagleville, Missouri. Luvenia Noblin Jenkins will be speaking. 

April 21 - Warner Robins GA. The speaker will be Jania Otey. 

May 4-5 - Worland church of Christ, Ten Sleep, Wyoming, at the Circle J Ranch.  Starts Friday at 6 with dinner.  Ends Saturday at 1:00. Dennell Dennis will be talk about "Ripples on the Water."

May 12 - 9am-12pm Corinth church of Christ. Amanda Noyes Keys speaking on "Sowing the Seed."


  1. Blessings for your Ladies Day and prayers many are enriched. Have a wonderful week. Thank you for sharing at Sunday Scripture Blessings.


  2. Lots of great tips. Thanks for sharing!

  3. These are good tips even for guys too! Thanks for laying it out :)

    God bless you!

  4. Great tips! Thanks for this. :)

  5. Awesome things to consider when planning. Thank you and blessings!