"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?" Luke 15:4
Am I My Sister's Keeper?
Women without friends in church are likely to become dropouts.
Are YOU your SISTER'S keeper?
You ARE your sister's keeper.
WE are OUR sister's keeper!
Begin a reclaiming ministry now with these tips. Download new brochure, Am I My Sister's Keeper?
Below is a sampling of text from the new brochure for reclaiming our sisters.
Why Do Women Stop Attending Church?
Before you begin a Reclaiming Ministry, consider some of the reasons women stop attending church. This will help you as you consider reaching out to them.
Women may stop attending due to…
- Discouragement, either in their spiritual lives or because of something that has nothing at all to do with the church
- Disputes with other members or with the pastor
- Disagreements over doctrine, church standards, or worship styles
- Hurt feelings
- Divorce or separation from spouse
- Transition to a new stage of life, such as marriage or a new job
- Move to another town with no follow-up between churches
- Their children don’t like church
- Lengthy illness, either themselves or a loved one
- Lack of involvement in the church
Many women stop attending church because church was not a friendly place for them. They were wounded by lack of caring.
How to Begin a Reclaiming Ministry
- Make a list of women who are missing from church.
- Pray over the list.
- Ask God to direct you to the women He wants you to reach out to.
- Talk it over with the pastor and enlist his or her support.
- Obtain church board approval.
- Present the plan of a Reclaiming Ministry to the church body so they will be supportive and will be prepared to see missing members back in church.
- Form a committee to organize and oversee the ministry. Some of the team members, called Mentors, are each responsible for contacting and befriending a woman on the list.
- Reach out to the women on your list in friendship and love.
- Remember: The parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15 illustrates how important a single missing person is to God. Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked from making a connection with the woman you commit to befriending.
Prayer is the key to a successful Reclaiming Ministry.
Reach Out to the Women to Be Reclaimed
Things to remember as you contact the women you wish to reclaim:
- For the initial contact, send or take a small gift such as the General Conference Women’s Ministries devotional book or another gift.
- Smile often and let her know you’ve missed her.
- After the first contact, follow up regularly by phone, email, social media, text message, or greeting card. Invite her to lunch at your home or a restaurant.
- Be genuinely interested in her and everything that is important to her, especially her family.
- Be a good listener. Allow her to talk about herself.
- The church’s Women’s Ministries department or the Reclaiming Ministry team should plan social events and small group studies to invite the non-attending women to. The first social event should be away from the church to keep anyone from being uncomfortable.
- Your job is to love your friend and accept her unconditionally.
- Never lecture your friend about her lifestyle or appearance. Remember, lectures will repel; love will win them.
- Do not betray her confidences.
- If she is angry at the church or someone in church, don’t try to defend anyone. Instead, allow her to vent her anger.
- If she has been hurt, let her know you’re sorry. Never try to pretend the offense didn’t occur or suggest that she is overreacting. This will invalidate her feelings.
- Avoid arguing about church doctrines, standards, or anything.
- Invite her to participate in community outreach projects and other ministry events.
- Give your friend to God. It is your job to love her. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict.
Loving as Jesus loves means keeping up a friendship with non-attending and former members even if they never return to church.
Download new reclaiming brochure, Am I My Sister's Keeper?