Tonight is #17 on our Twenty Town Tour across the state. My intentions of blogging on the road just haven’t happened–mostly because I’ve been behind the wheel! Although I haven’t written much about the experience, I have received enough ideas to blog for another year. We’ve met incredible women across the state, heard about ministries that are changing communities, and just had fun developing new relationships while encouraging existing ones. Here’s some quick thoughts we’ve learned along the way:

1. Never underestimate the response you receive by keeping things simple. The concept of our tour was very simple–20 events lasting an hour and a half. We gave women resources, encouraged them with God’s word and then we let them do the rest! Women shared their successess, challenges and ways we can help them. I didn’t have a fancy presentation prepared. We used giant post-it notes and markers. Guess what? We discovered that women enjoyed the simplicity of what we did. They connected with people from their own church and they connected with others. We need to remember to keep things simple.

2. No matter where we traveled, the challenges are pretty much the same. Over and over, we have heard how women want to connect with the generations. They are burdened to connect with younger women. They want to see more women involved. They are battling a culture that is constantly busy. Some are discouraged because they just can’t seem to get anyone else to care. We’re listening. Our office will be committed to helping churches with these challenges. We definitely don’t have all the answers. But we serve a God who does.

3. Small is the new “big”. You’re tired of the big conferences. You’re tired of the speakers who seem so distant. You want up close and personal. Time after time we’ve heard that women want us to come to them. More regional events. Smaller audiences. More discussion, less lecture. We’re getting it. And the response has confirmed this. We had planned for 600 women to attend one of these events. We even bought 750 give-aways thinking we’d have some left for later use. We had no idea that close to 1,000 women would register! We get it–small is big.

4. We need to celebrate successes instead of rushing to the “next thing.” When women begin sharing success stories, it’s hard to get them to stop! Are you celebrating success in your women’s work? Maybe it’s time for you to gather women in your church and celebrate the goodness of the Lord and how He has worked on your behalf. Take time to celebrate, thank your volunteers and thank God for His faithfulness. It can motivate people to serve again.