Today is the final installment of our series on how to instill creativity into your women’s ministry. In this post, I’d like to give you some tips on being creative with a ministry idea–especially when planning an event or retreat with your women. So, without further hesitation, let’s look at six simple ways to be creative with a ministry idea.

pantone-colors-fall-2008_01. Always keep your theme in mind when planning. First of all, do you have a theme? Is it based on a Bible Study or a verse? Last year, our state women’s retreat used the theme “Interrupted.” It was based on our keynote speaker’s Bible study by the same name. But, our team played off the theme in several ways. Our stage took the word and separated it in half–creating a visual interruption. Subtle, but, yes, it was well-thought out. We used a roving camera at the end of general sessions with one of our team as she “interrupted” the session. The program included thoughts from the planning team and how God had used interruptions to draw us closer to Him.

2. Think about the “look” and be consistent. Use the same artwork in several places. Incorporate the same colors in all areas, from the promotion pieces to the decorations. It should all “flow.”

3. Instill the theme verse in every area. At the retreat last year, we used Isaiah 52:7 which says, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation.” In addition to playing off our speaker’s personal story of God instructing her to be the “bare-foot” church, we used feet in our prayer room. We brought in shoes from missionaries in East Asia to symbolize the beautiful feet of those carrying the Gospel in hard places. Wherever we could use “feet”, it worked.

4. Don’t forget to add the “fun” and the “beautiful.” This may not sound very spiritual, but sometimes we forget to have some fun with our themes. We had a blast re-creating Julia Childs in our promo video and in our rules video. Women love to laugh! And while sometimes women’s minsitry gets the reputation for being “fluff” (please don’t get me started on this), women do like beautiful things. They like details and they like to be pampered. And, honestly, it’s o.k. We’re girls and sometimes we just want to enjoy being feminine.

5. Shop with all of these things in mind. If you are using a certain theme or color, keep your eye out for items in stores that might match or “go” with your theme. Visit the local arts and crafts store. And if you’re planning several months in advance and want to know what colors might be available, search on the internet to find out what  will be in style for the next season. You can bet you’ll find stores with those colors. (by the way, the colors used in this post are from 2008 so they may be a little out-of-date!)

6. Be mindful of your budget. We can get carried away with our creativity, but we all have financial limits. Look for bargains, end-of-season sales (I recently had a seminar leader who used plastic eggs for her class and bought them six months in advance for 80 percent off the original cost). Look for ways to re-use items you already have purchased. (glass vases and globes can be re-used in a multitude of ways) Look in your own house for items and borrow when you can. None of us have lots of extra storage space in our church facilities and we need to be good stewards with our resources.

So, how are you going to be more creative in your ministry? We’re anxious to hear how the creative process works for you.