Creativity Without Compromise In Ladies Ministry [BAPTIST TIMES ARTICLE – Stephanie Tidd]

The following article was used by permission from The Global Baptist Times:

Author Maya Angelou said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” Webster’s dictionary defines creativity as the process by which one utilizes creative ability. From personal experience, creativity is what makes women’s ministries fun, exciting, and magnetic. It is the tool that allows the opportunity to transform a space into an entirely different world by changing the design and atmosphere. 

The problem is that most people do not think of themselves as having natural creative ability. The best way I have found to get the creative juices flowing is by pooling thoughts and growing ideas together as a team. And you know the acronym for the word team: Together Everyone Accomplishes More! This is certainly true when it comes to discovering and expanding creative ideas. 

For me, working around a theme has been the best process for success when putting together women’s events. Themes provide a jumping off point as well as give cohesiveness throughout the planning. Once a theme is established, everything from décor to games to music to gifts can be worked around that one central idea. A theme can originate from just about anything and anywhere:

Key words or phrases: grace, happy days, once upon a time, laughter and lattes, time and time again, just below the surface, tick-tock, running on empty

Color palettes: seasonal colors, black and white for classic, blue and green for tranquility, hot pink and lime green for fun and adventurous

Periods of time or cultures: ancient, modern, Victorian, medieval, Italian,
all-American

Bible stories or characters: The Real Beauty of Esther, Paul’s Journey, The Deception of Eve, Miriam’s Mistake, Journey through Psalms, Wisdom from Proverbs, Wise Women

Song titles or phrases: Fill My Cup, Lord; Beyond the Sunset; Sweet By and By; When You Can’t Trace His Hand, Trust His Heart; Day by Day)

Though every ministry is unique we all have the same opportunity to make the best use of what we have. Looking back over 37 years in ministry I have learned to celebrate the preparation process as much as the event. The celebration comes as we utilize what we do have rather than focusing on the things we don’t have. 

Limited budget: BIG effect

Many stores and companies offer donations
to non-profit organizations. January is the best time to make requests as most places have a fixed charitable budget for the year and usually work on a first come, first served basis. Décor doesn’t have to be expensive or permanent to make a statement. We decoupaged (or Mod Podged for you younger ones) Kleenex boxes, trash cans,
and picture frames with copies of game boards
we made on the color copier for our theme “Games People Play.” 

Limited space: BIG atmosphere

Music and sound effects can create an atmosphere that doesn’t take up any space at all. Think vertically—hang stars or music notes on fishing line from the ceiling; make centerpieces that are tall, not wide, to rescue table space; make the illusion of a bigger room by running lines of color from floor to ceiling. 

Limited help: BIG planning

Glean from others. I have learned not only to use these theme ideas from other ministries, I also ask lots of questions like, “Where did you get that? How did you make that? Where did you order these?” Expand your work force by involving others in the church: men, teens, and seniors. We involve our men in helping with building projects and serving lunch. Our teens babysit during work times and ladies meetings. Our seniors enjoy sitting together while working on cutting out letters, chopping veggies, and wrapping gifts. 

Limited investment: BIG return

One of the biggest lessons that I have learned is to appreciate people. A small investment of expressing gratitude will bring a big return in a person’s desire
to be helpful. For more than 25 years, our church has been privileged to host the Of Interest To Women Conference. Through the years, many additions and changes have been made, but none more productive than our 12-hour prayer chain that begins Friday morning of the conference. This small investment of time brings a big return in keeping our focus on the most important things and our dependence on the One Who can make it all possible. The small investment of prayer can bring a big return of knowing that Little Is Much When God Is in It!

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