10 Ideas for Church Women’s Events that Women Will Actually Enjoy

by | Nov 15, 2023 | Faith | 22 comments

10 Women's Ministry Event Ideas

Do you find that women’s events are often boring–or irrelevant?

Every now and then I write something on social media to just start a conversation and it blows up in ways I totally wasn’t expecting. 

That happened last week, when I really hit a nerve, and hundreds of people jumped in.

I posted this on Facebook: 

Ever felt like you just don’t fit in to women’s events at church?

Maybe you don’t want to go decorate another mason jar, or you don’t want to make a wreath. Maybe you work during the day and the women’s studies are all during the weekday. Maybe you’re not cut out for kitchen or nursery duty but there’s really nothing else available for you.

Sheila Wray Gregoire

on Facebook

After so many people jumped in with heartfelt comments about feeling really alone at church, and responded to my post last Friday about stereotypical women’s events, I posted again, asking for ideas for women’s ministry that women would actually like. We had, again, hundreds of responses, so I tried to find 10 themes to post about today that encapsulates what so many people said, in hopes that those who run women’s ministry events may see this and incorporate some of these ideas.

I think part of the problem is that people who gravitate towards women’s ministry often don’t share the same life experience as those who are more likely to attend but not organize. And so what may resonate with some won’t resonate with the majority.

So let’s talk about what else we can do!

1. Women’s Events with (Meaty) Bible Studies

If you’re going to get together for a women’s Bible study, let’s start studying the actual Bible, and not just fluffy self-help books, so many people said.

“Best Women’s Bible study group I was ever in: We actually read the Bible. Like, the whole thing, over the course of about two years. We discussed it together weekly. And the church paid a sitter so the young moms could be there.”

“I have appreciated when ladies’ studies systematically study the Bible rather than just the “pink verses”.”

“For study: Church history, especially early church; Hebrew/Greek language class (ongoing); Addressing hard issues like addiction, abuse, mental health, etc.”

Over and over again women said they wanted something meaty where they would actually learn something. The thought that women just want to be entertained and do something fun is certainly not in line with what so many women say. Our time is precious and scarce, and we don’t want to spend time on things that don’t matter.

2. Women’s Ministry Events that Empower Women

Women want to feel competent and confident, so events that teach important skills is high on people’s lists!

“A ministry that will empower women …. so, self defense lessons , repair or quick fix it lessons of appliances , electrical & auto repairs . Also , First Aid . With open discussions in between about domestic abuse , patriarchal system & how to diplomatically rise above the ” traditional gender roles”

“Abuse prevention education with a focus on training for reporting and helping!”

“My church has been doing life skills classes. Budgeting, dealing with doubt, personal safety, etc. We are also working on a mental health/trauma healing class. Not from the perspective of necessarily a group therapy thing, but a practical, how do we heal thing.”

Again, people like things that matter!

3. Women’s Events Where Women Get to Do the Fun “Manly” Things

A big theme in the comments was that the guys’ events tended to seem a lot more fun–and had way better food (why don’t women’s events ever have bacon?).

“I remember the men’s group had this cool grilled stake dinner and I said out loud “Why do the women get cold tiny sandwiches for our dinners and the men get yummy grilled stakes. Women like to eat too.””

“Ok so a couple of thoughts on this…

I did often note that the men’s activities at church tended to be more recreational while the women’s activities were more like church but without the men.

Also, at my old church, Father’s Day was a full breakfast buffet with eggs, bacon, sausage, etc but Mother’s Day was fruit and yogurt. I’m guessing so we could keep our figures?

Also, when the women would get together, the speaking would always focus around marriage and motherhood.

Currently, I would love a group that would allow for deep theological discussion in which various viewpoints were discussed, and it was approached with the spirit of curiosity.”

“Paintball night or a gun range night ? Or four wheeling …. Lol it seems the guys do all the adrenaline get togethers while we have preppy tea party’s and sit in our cliques… so yeah anything fun that’s gets one out of our comfort zone a little bit to grow together.”

4. Events to Relax and Build Connection

Making friendships was a big thing that women wanted too!

“Good food, good conversation, getting to know women I haven’t had a chance to connect with yet. No cliques clinging together. Instead, women randomly assigned to sit at tables in small groups and discuss life topics then we rotate and are assigned to different tables and different questions. Maybe a 2 day retreat with some relaxation elements like eating meals together, hiking, yoga, prayer and devotion times, etc.”

“Honestly something that doesn’t have to be a bible study always. Let’s just get together and visit. Sometimes life is heavy and I just want to come and be and not have to think deeply about things.”

“A 4-day weekend away at a lodge with all food catered invisibly by the men (who will also magically do the dishes). Beach walks, art projects, devotionals, spa treatments, movie nights, unstructured time to just sit around and connect.”

I think that last one is a fantasy!

5. Women’s Events with Adventure to Let Off Steam

We had so many people list really great ideas for these ones! Honestly, girls just wanna have fun is going through my mind reading peoples’s responses.

“Escape room, biking, paintball, hiking, outdoor adventure, bonfire….we have a nearby “rage room” and it was very fun. I’ve never laughed so hard and bonded with friends more. It would be a fantastic ministry event if done right.”

“I’d love a retreat where we could work with horses, go climbing and zip lining, enjoy a pool or hot tub, have some crafts for those who aren’t as mobile or who just love to be creative, and have some amazing food we didn’t have to cook. The teaching focus could be on emotional health (like Scazzero’s materials) or could be a mix of workshops by theologians where we could do a deep dive into what Paul really said.”

6. Women’s Events Focusing on Serving or Caring for Others

This would have been my big pick! I think people want to do something meaningful. A few years ago I organized the women and teen girls in our church to have a Saturday sewing party where we sewed cloth menstrual pads for a mission in Kenya, and it was so successful (we made hundreds, and they were so cute!). And it raised awareness of an issue that women uniquely face in the Third World.

So many women said it had been their favourite women’s event ever because we were doing something that mattered.

“We recently got together to pack welcome boxes for the local women’s shelter. I love service events because with lots of kids at home, I don’t have the energy to organize something on my own, but I really do want to help our community.”

“Community outreach/service: helping immigrants as they try to settle and navigate our institu, to being trained in basic power tools & building so we can build for Habitat for Humanity, or help elderly w repairs; as well as casual fellowship (I can do w/out Bible study – most are poor and some harmful), possibly w small prayer groups and NO crafts.”

I thought this next one put an interesting twist on it…

“Practical helps such as helping each other with projects in our homes that were overwhelmed with. Obviously, pride has to be set aside.”

7. Women’s Ministry Ideas with Exercise Classes

Lots of people voted for exercise classes–which makes sense, because we all know we should exercise, but we often don’t have time. So let’s give women that time while we connect!

“Exercise class like Pilates or yoga or learning how to kick and throw a punch“

“I would love a weekly stretch/yoga class with coffee and prayer after around 11am.”

“dorky dance classes are fun”

8. Women’s Events with Women at Similar Stages of Life

Lots of women mentioned needing empathy and connection and help.

“Honestly, I’d love for there to be a group for younger, single adult ladies. Like I’m nearly 25 and don’t have an interest in romantic relationships. I’m very happy enjoying my new apartment, dream job, and the pet rats I adopted. It would be so great to be able to learn about god and just enjoy and love life with other ladies in my age range who are happy where they are. Like, I love kids and the idea of love and marriage , but that not being a key thing and but coming up all the time would be amazing. I’m in a Bible study with amazing single old ladies right now but some of them have some opinions about things like marriage and “womanhood” that make me cringe. A few of my friends my age are single, but a lot of them are married or in a long term relationship so I wish that would be a thing so I wouldn’t feel like the weird one for loving my life and not wanting the drama of dating and marriage”

“I feel like we need events all over the country for us single women in the church to focus on deprogramming from fear of men, fear of dating, etc. for single women who want to eventually marry and need help getting over those hurdles cuz toxic purity culture programming is real and some of us are stuck really bad and need more ministries to step up and repent for the toxic purity culture they brought us up with.”

9. Women’s Events Need Free Childcare

Whatever you do–so many women said–if you want women to come,  you need to have childcare.

“Childcare. Childcare. Childcare for children with special needs. Also outside of work hours. I would love to come to a prayer time or Bible study, personally. Lack of childcare keeps me away.”

10. Women’s Events that are Inclusive of All Women

Finally, so many people just mourned feeling left out–and said we needed to do a much better job at that.

“Be inclusive- of single women, single moms, women without kids, working moms, moms of kids with special needs, etc.”

“Something that doesn’t equate all women with being moms. I have been in soooooo many women’s events where they’re like “aren’t you glad you got away from your kids?” and constantly refer to everyone as if they are parenting and bereaved and infertile women feel sooooo invisible”

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to women’s ministry events.

But if I could sum up what people were saying, it was that they want something meaningful. They want to make real connections. They want things that would also be fun in any other context–things that you’ve been wanting to do anyway. And they want to make it easy with childcare, etc. 

And whatever your church does, don’t make the men’s events more fun than the women’s events. There was a lot of resentment about this! Women like having fun too, and women are often super stressed and exhausted. So let’s us have some fun and blow off some steam! We’re people too. 

If you want women to come, make it meaningful, fun, and welcoming. Fill a need that women already have. And above all, listen to the women in your church!

10 Women's MInistry Event Ideas

What do you think? Do you  have a #11? Let’s talk in the comments!

Written by

Sheila Wray Gregoire


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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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  1. Jeni

    Something that has come up for me after being married for almost 40 years and then divorced, maintenance projects/car upkeep and maintenance/home DIY, etc. Maybe one Saturday a month the church could offer oil changes/car checks for single/widowed women/single moms, do a quarterly home repair offering like they often do with community projects. The need in the church is often just as great in these areas. Even offering some basic teaching in these areas would be welcome!

    I just toured a home where an older woman paid over $22K four years ago to have some lvp flooring laid. It’s already coming apart and sinking where they didn’t do the job right. Knowing what is reasonable and how to spot shoddy work, or having a guy there to oversee a bit so there is accountability would be such a relief for those of us who aren’t knowledgeable in those areas and often get taken advantage of because of it.

    • Terry

      This is *such a good idea!

  2. Angharad

    I love so many of these ideas!!! I think women’s (and men’s) ministry needs a mix of the teaching kind events and the fun ones. I’d enjoy a women’s ministry calendar that had a mix of: regular, SERIOUS Bible study (love the comment about ‘not just the pink verses’!); talks/discussion groups about current ‘hot potato’ issues or from people giving testimonies that are really interesting not just ‘this is how my faith helps me clean the house’; opportunities just to socialise and get to know each other better over practical activities or serving.

    A few years back, I went to a free ‘outdoor activity taster day’ which was organised by a local, secular group. I went with two Christian friends and we had an awesome time trying out archery, wall climbing, zip wires etc and I think we bonded far better that day than we would have done at a dozen of the local ‘ladies events’. At the time, I remember thinking ‘why don’t the churches do stuff like this?’

  3. Marina

    My one caution about the home repair/ DIY related suggestions is that the church has to make sure that who ever is volunteering will do the job correctly. I can’t help but think of my church who hired a company to build our children’s building…and did not make a good choice. Our children’s director had to stop the workers from laying the wrong flooring down, and the exterior doors are still installed backwards.
    I can’t help but think of the warning I hear every now and again to not trust companies that advertise themselves as “christian” or “christian owned”. Apparently, some companies who do sub-par work will attach the label to themselves because they know some people and churches will try to hire a “fellow christian” first. I guess they also try to take advantage of some people not wanting conflict with a “fellow believer” when things go wrong.

  4. Lisa Johns

    That “Relax and Build Connection” one really resonated with me. I get so sick of finishing up our “lite lady” food and *just* getting into a good conversation when we’re interrupted with “OK, ladies, time to sit down and listen to the person who’s sharing tonight!” Ghaah! I want to talk and fellowship, not listen to another *@!$* sermon! Believe me, I get a lot more out of the conversation than out of the mini-sermon du jour.

    • Nessie

      What ^she^ said.

      I’d love to have convos looking for God-themes in books or movies such as LOTR, Marvel, and more. Sometimes if you look for it, you can find and discuss amazing parallels that may not have even been intended by the creators. E.g. there are Hoobastank songs that make me tear up thinking about God, haha. You can find God pretty much anywhere if you try.

      • NM

        Love it! Our current pastor manages to do this with his Sunday sermon series and it is wonderful. At first we weren’t sure what to think because it had been drilled into us that teaching through verse-by-verse was the only right way, but now we love it. Connecting God to our current culture helps you see things in a fresh way, and the use of music makes it much easier to remember things.

  5. Phil

    Hello group – before I comment ON TOPIC, I would like to address my last comment on the blog a couple weeks ago which ended in a debacle. I would first like to apologize to all involved some who I named directly. I have taken some time to reflect and I have determined that I created an unhealthy attachment to this blog and its creator(s). This was absolutely not my intentions. I really just want to serve God through my excitement for Jesus. Instead I participated in making this place unsafe for some. While I could deflect the situation to mental health issues I refuse to lay it all their. This is on me regardless. Through discussion with friends they were able to give me exactly what I have been looking for. Scriptural solutions to my problems. 1 Corinthians 3 comes to mind. In my near identical debacle, Paul speaks directly to me and the situation. I became a fool for Christ. This fact while embarrassing has given me resolution for which I am happy to receive and grateful to be able to grow from. Thank you all for tolerating my presence here on the blog for the last 8 years. Moving forward I am going to stay on topic to the question from the post and also keep a space here that limits my input to allow others particularly the women to feel safe to share, grow and lead. I have benefited immensely from this blog – Sheila. Tammy, Becca and many others works including many commenters. THANK YOU ALL

    Todays Question. Number 11? This topic is funny to me. Reason is: I have a friend at Church who is a leader and he often will talk about creating a new mens group (which we already have) but he talks about ideas for a mens Sunday School class or a mens bible study. You get the idea. I cant stand it honestly. I cringe every time. But when a hear about new women’s group ideas I light up. The latest group formed in our church is called the Cup of Grace. It is for women only. They have a devotional they use and it is attended by over 40 women. They have done the mason jar type thing but they often have speakers telling their story as well as various other events mentioned in the post including child care night. Why is attendance so high? Because we don’t have any other groups like it in our church. So number 11 for me is to have more than 1 women’s group in your church! Not to reduce the attendance of one but rather to increase opportunity for others.

    Have a great day everyone and see you around here on the blog.

    With Love and hope for you all,


    • Angela

      These are all terrific ideas, but I have a few different ones. NOT always grouping people by age or marital status or sex…we are all supposed to be learning from each other and helping each other. When I was young I wanted to hang out with older wiser women as well as other young moms, and now that I’m 50+ I want to share my wisdom and be encouraging to all ages.

      Let’s have some women events but also some for mixed groups as well. Board game night, etc. Teach the married folks to make a point to engage with singles and teens.

      Also I have no problem with providing childcare to those who want or need it, but all I ever experienced was dirty looks and actual lectures from total strangers for refusing to dump a clingy baby into a strange nursery, or for bringing a nursing baby to a women’s retreat. In zero of these cases was my baby bothering anyone or even fussing. It was the outrage and puzzlement that I liked motherhood and didn’t need a break from my babies, and certainly not at the expense of them sobbing for 2 hours while some other poor woman had to try to console them. I wanted and needed lots of women’s events where the kids were welcome too as long as they didn’t disrupt things. A mother daughter twa party was nice not because I wanted a tea party, because it involved my girls and me together. My girls, boys and adults all.competed in pinewood derby cars and races every year at one church, which was great and super fun. But also there they had Royal Ranger scouting with badges and campouts for the boys, but the girls were Missionettes and only did girly things which is silly. Most of my girls would have loved a scouting style group too. And why should there be a Daddy/daughter dance but not Mother/daughter and Mother/son dances? Or just have a regular dance and invite everyone including the kids. And another formal ball for teens and adults only, with line dancing and other old traditional dances. I’ve been in church groups where everyone got into swing dancing too. My son met his wife that way. But I didn’t feel welcome unless I could rustle up my own partner. Roller skating is another whole family activity we’ve done with either church groups or homeschool groups.

      The number one most important thing is to release the laypeople to plan and execute all these different things vs hiring or trying to convince a staff person to do it, or do it all. There will be a lot more creativity and experimentation, there can be whole church planning meetings to coordinate and release a calendar, and feedback about what people liked or hated should be encouraged! Some small groups do this, but there should be lots of stuff that everyone is welcome to join in so there are less cliques. Also I’ve never heard a sermon or lesson on avoiding cliques in church, deliberately including marginalized people, encouraging people to help the single parents, invite people to dinner, etc. Our churches are so messed up. We are not the extended loving family that cares well for each other, and has fun together.

      • NM

        I love this comment. I also loved being with my babies and didn’t leave them in childcare at church until they were old enough to walk in themselves and wave goodbye happily. I HATED it when I would take my one year old to just peek at the nursery to gauge his interest, and a pushy worker would try to take him out of my arms and shoo me away. It totally broke his trust.

  6. Angharad

    BTW, there is a typo in your header for this article – ‘Minisry’ not ‘Ministry’!

    • Jen

      This was good read and a subject I have entertained internally, but didn’t speak out for whatever reason. This needs to be talked about sand changes should be made regarding these women events. I’m very partial to the things the men do and the FOOD! My church is really good with the men’s, children, and women events, but I would discuss some of these ideas I haven’t thought of with the event leaders in hope for some changes that can fit everyone from time to time. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Nessie

    Somewhat related, when a few women are put together in a discipleship-type relationship, make sure to pair them well… As a mom, I was often put with young women, single or married, of whom it was assumed desperately wanted to be married and/or have kids. That just isn’t always true! And they often thought I was radical, liking outdoor work and activities. Having a mentor who can show you a more mature version of *you* , not a cookie-cutter SAHM, could really help people grow deeper in their faith and how it applies to where they are now.

    Paintball sounds amazing!! What about some video games? My kid has played with others online and not cared for their messages in play. If Christian women got together on the same servers (or whatever it is- I’m obviously not a gamer, ha), they’d hopefully have less-extreme language shared.

  8. Laura

    As a dog lover and self-proclaimed “dog mom,” I think a dog lovers’ event would be awesome. Meet at the local dog park and fellowship or meet at someone’s house where all the dogs can socialize in a fenced-in yard. Of course, be watchful of your dog to see how they get along with other dogs. Women’s ministry events do not have to be limited to sermons and Bible studies.

    I’ve met and fellowshipped more at the dog park than I ever did at church.

  9. Amy

    I have a flip-side comment about the childcare/parenting issues. I divorced my daughter’s dad when she was a toddler, and we had 50/50 custody. My time with my child was precious to me because I had a lot less of it than other moms. I found the “get away from the children” message borderline offensive and it didn’t meet my needs or circumstance. Something like a mother-daughter date night where I could spend time with my daughter without having to worry about cooking, meal cleanup, household chores, etc would have been a huge blessing to me.

    • NM

      100% agree. I have a good friend who is a military spouse and she hates when they separate kids from parents at church. They’ve had more than enough of that with deployments. She was raised catholic and they always sat in mass together as a family.

  10. Sarah

    I work in campus ministry and we usually have a men’s event in the fall with some kind of destruction as a metaphor—smashing pumpkins to represent defeating sin, or something similar. Last year, our girls started complaining about the boys always being the ones to destroy stuff, so for our women’s retreat that spring, we had a destruction time! We had the girls pick a fake plant in a cute little pot and write down sins or idols they struggle with, then we had them smash them with a hammer (while playing the final countdown over a Bluetooth speaker for more fun). It was a huge success, all the girls talked about it for the rest of the semester, and they all shared about the ways it felt empowering in their walk with God. So my biggest vote for women’s events is let us break stuff too lol.

    • Lisa Johns

      I’d love a cute little pot with flowers to represent patriarchy smashing…

  11. Boone

    If you’re going to do self defense training contact your local police dept or sheriff’s dept. and se who they recommend. Often they’ll have a program that they’ll be glad to share. If they don’t have anybody check with local dojos. Often they’ll come free in hopes of signing up some new students. Stick with traditional styles such as Wado Ryu, Wado Kai, Shotokan or Tae Kwan do. Even Krav Maga if you have access. Avoid MMA. They tend to be extremely macho.
    One thing I can’t stress enough is that if you’re going to do self defense or firearms training have a lawyer address the group (make that part mandatory) on the legalities in your area. The last thing you want is a member arrested or sued.

  12. Elle

    I am a married woman in my 30’s with no kids. My church seems to be focused on either “young professionals” or families. I don’t fit in anywhere.

    On a side note, the women with children and/or grandchildren talk about their kids/grandkids a majority of the time and I cannot relate.

    • Lisa Johns

      I have kids and one grand now, and I really don’t like talking about them beyond answering basic catch-up questions, mostly. But it does seem like the default small talk topic. Maybe we need a personal list of conversational ice-breakers for gatherings, so we can choose a topic we like!

      • Elle

        I like that idea!


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