It is MY ministry.

Women’s Leadership Training to Overcome the “It’s MY Ministry” Mentality

Does just being able to “get the job done” qualify someone to be a leader in Jesus’ Church? Is it wise to assume that someone volunteering to fill a leadership role knows how to do it well without training? The answer to both questions is, “No.” Large churches as well as small churches need to provide leadership training for everyone who is overseeing a ministry team, activity, or project. All training should include not just “what you will do” but also “who you are to be” as a servant-leader in Jesus’ Church. This might help to circumvent the “it’s my ministry” mentality.

I received a phone call from a friend who is the women’s ministry team leader for a small church. The church had been around for many years, and the women’s ministry had become a “silo ministry,” meaning it had been operating basically on its own disconnected from the church leadership. Various women would bring their ideas of what each wanted to do, help the group to raise money for the projects, and then spend it on those projects. They love their Lord, have good hearts and have supported several local missions.

The elders of the church realized this structure was not healthy so they suggested a reorganization of the women’s leadership. The congregation members recommended women of character and faith to form the new team (2 had been part of the old structure). I met with this wonderful group of ladies to talk over how they would transition from the old “silo ministry” format to one that was integrated with the mission of the church, including a greater emphasis on disciple-making. We also talked over how to carefully affirm the value and service of those who had previously headed up the old way of doing things. We knew this would take lots of prayer, love and patience.

Most of those who had been part of the old structure welcomed the changes once the purpose was explained. No one was making them stop their individual ministries; it was just that not all of those activities were going to be incorporated into the new women’s ministry structure. However, the new team was really concerned about the response of one particular woman who didn’t like anyone messing with “her ministry.” For several years, she had been getting away with this “it’s my ministry” mentality and would intimidate anyone who got in her way. This woman had a heart for a particular local mission, had been allowed to lead this public ministry, and she got the job done—her way.

Since my friend’s church was a small church (<200), there had not been the leadership training for women heading up various activities that larger churches usually offer every year. The New Testament is pretty clear concerning the character qualities necessary for anyone in leadership in Jesus’ Church. From 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, we get that she should be humble, teachable, and Christ-focused. From 1 Timothy 3:11, we see that women in any kind of leadership position should be worthy of respect, temperate and trustworthy and definitely not malicious talkers. Such qualities of a servant-leader should certainly be included in leadership training.

The new women’s ministry team met privately with the “it’s my ministry” woman so they could carefully tell her about the changes to the women’s ministry structure and allow lots of Q&A opportunity. Sadly, the “it’s my ministry” woman responded as anticipated. She called other women who had been part of the old structure to complain about it and even slandered the church and the pastor to a visiting family. Not exactly the kind of advertising to make someone want to come back!

As I spoke with my friend, we both agreed it was time for the elders to step in and confront the “it’s my ministry” woman with her behavior. I am praying that she responds with humility and a teachable spirit. My friend and I also agreed that it was important to provide leadership training to all the women in any leadership role at her church. This would include not only Bible study small group leaders but also women who oversee outreach events, fundraisers, and the retreat. Based upon my past experience in church ministry, I emphasized this leadership training should include the New Testament character qualities necessary to be a leader in Jesus’ Church. Check out The 5 C’s of Small Group Leadership handbook and other sources found here on

Whether you have a large church or less than 100 attendees, it’s always a good idea to offer training on what it means to be a servant leader in Jesus’ Church. This at least will put everyone “on the same page” of approaching ministry as a team and hopefully help to avoid the “it’s my ministry” mentality.

“This blog was originally posted in July 2014.”

More Resources:

Pitfalls of Leadership by Dianne Miller 

Leadership Resources (read online)

Leadership Resources (checklists and pdfs)

Melanie Newton is the founder of Joyful Walk Ministries, an online ministry that helps women learn to study the Bible for themselves and grow their Bible-teaching skills to lead others on a joyful walk with Jesus. Melanie has written many Bible study guides (available on and her website) and presented insightful messages to large groups of women. All of her BIble Studies are available as books on Melanie is wife to Ron Newton (“Integrity at Work” ministry), loves to be outside in her garden, and enjoys her yearly fix of boiled crawfish.

One Comment

  • chrisgrady

    Women’s leadership training

    We need the help of leadership ability in order to develop our personality. Most probably due to good and effective leadership skill and ability we are able to deal with different odd situations. Good leadership skills will helpful to develop our mentality and improve positive thinking; therefore we need to develop our leadership skills and quality. Here also we can get some facts on how to develop our leadership quality and ability and especially women are following some crucial tips to develop their ability on leadership.

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