It’s a curious thing to consider ministry as a woman today. We are incredibly overstimulated and overextended. I don’t need to tell you all of the ways we fill our minds and schedules. In fact, far be it from me to make this space a reminder of how impossible it can feel at times. Instead, I want to share something very simple with you and give some practical context for real-life applications.
A couple of weeks ago, I had five baskets of clean laundry just sitting in my living room. I can’t recall all that was going on, but I needed care. My dear friend came over with a loaf of banana bread, cookies, and ingredients for one of our favorite soups. It’s a pretty simple dump-and-heat recipe, but on that day, I wasn’t even up for chopping the veggies. I sat at my kitchen counter while she washed, chopped, and cooked. We talked and talked.
We planned to fold laundry but we didn’t get there and that was OKAY because though the laundry was waiting for me, I was left that evening revived. She’d covered dinner, a snack, and the next morning’s breakfast. That evening I was able to sit on my couch folding all five baskets while watching a show with my husband in peace.
I was so refreshed that I decided this was such a simple ministry any woman or group of women could do. Insert “Soup. Bread. Cookies.”.
We all crave the community/village God designed for us, but today’s lifestyles make that more challenging than ever. In spite of today’s hurried schedules and demands, I propose that it is possible to minister to other women and their families with very little impact on our family time or budgets.
Now, if even the thought of this overwhelms you, hang with me. I have some practical tips for making this a breeze. First, here is a printable you can put by your planner or calendar to remind you about this simple ministry.
Step # 1.
Choose your best, easy, inexpensive soup. Start a double batch. You can do this in two separate pots if that makes it easier or put the ministry soup in your crock pot. (Just make sure you label your crock pot and let the receiver know you’ll pop by in two days to pick it up. – Depending on circumstances, you can even offer for them to leave it on the porch for you. Think new baby, think sickness, think high emotional seasons where small talk is painful.)
Step # 2
While the soup is cooking, start a batch of EASY, yummy breakfast bread. I’m talking a pumpkin, banana, or cinnamon. The dump, mix, and bake variety. (Bonus tip: line your bread pan with baking paper to save on mess clean-up. Deliver the bread in a gallon zip-lock bag if you don’t choose to purchase those cheap bake-and-toss bread pans. If you do buy those, consider buying a pack of them so you have 10-12 so you can repeat this ministry intentionally each month or so.)
While the bread is baking, whip up a quick batch of cookies. Maybe you have an easy, from-scratch recipe. If not, take and bake is FINE. I promise you. ( Sweet Lauren’s are a great grocery store option for our sensitive receivers. ) Deliver these in a zip lock too. No need to get too fancy with this.
The idea here is NOT to impress the receiver with your fancy dishes or flashy presentation. If that is your love language and you can genuinely say it is a holy delight to give a full presentation, by all means, walk in your gifting, but this ministry, at its heart, is about the simplicity of loving another woman where we are able and where it truly helps.
By preparing food for her and her family, you gift her sabbath. You gift her time and the ability to rest. Your simple soup, bread, and cookies may be the life preserver that helps her find a smile while she folds the mountain of laundry.
Who are you going to minister to?
Friend, do not wait for a new baby or a celebration-worthy date. Make next Thursday a celebration-worthy date simply because you can. Below is another printable where you can keep track of who you want to minister to. I’m convinced we do 0% of the things we want to do when we don’t have them in front of us. This page is not for pressure, but for intention.
Last practical thought: If you don’t have the time for this monthly or at all, do you have the resources to grab a hot meal for pick up? Can you swing by a grocery store and pick up these three items? My point here is that this ministry is for all women. Not just those who have time, money, or other resources. It’s for all women to receive too. Not just those with visible needs. Maybe you’re the spent woman. Try doing this as a form of meal prep for your own family as you gift another. Invite your husband and kids to help you.
Better still, get together with your girlfriends one evening and do this together. Yes, two women can bless one woman together. Yes, even three women. Stand around someone’s kitchen talking and making. Many hands make light work. Many good hearts gathering makes many glad hearts, refreshed.
I’d be delighted if you’d come back and comment after you try this. I’d love to know how it made you feel inside or how it built community to pour out a fragrant offering before the Lord and care for another woman.
Thank you for the soup, bread, and cookies.
I love you, my dear friend.