A few weeks ago I put together the first ever meeting for the South Bay Network for Women in Ministry. Nine women's ministry leaders from our area came together from different churches to meet, encourage one another, and pray together. Someone asked me if I was discouraged that there were "only nine" women, and I responded that I was overjoyed that nine came! Not only are women's ministry leaders sometimes hard to find, but our busy schedules make it difficult to find openings to meet all together.
It was at this meeting that I heard the heart's of so many women in our area:
-the feelings of loneliness that come with being in ministry
Although that sounds like a sad time, the meeting was full of smiles and laughter! Finally we had a place to be together, to relate to one another, to offer an encouraging word. Within these women's hearts was hope, joy, faith, and courage. These women are courageous! They are stepping out in new areas, in areas where their presence as a woman might not always be welcome. They are ministering to other's needs, while they still have deep needs of their own. They are balancing families, babies, jobs, all along with ministry.
We spent two precious hours together, and at the end I felt like I had made nine new, great friends. As we prayed for one another and shared our hearts, each of us opened up and allowed the others to minister to us. I have thought daily about these women and prayed for them. What an honor to be in their midst.
If you live in the South Bay (Southern California) area and would like to join us, please contact me. If not, you can still find a thriving online support community for women in leadership over at Leading and Loving It. This ministry has blessed me personally and actually propelled me forward in starting our own local networking group.
Maybe God might call you to start a group like this today; contact me for more details!
Recently I attended a women in ministry conference, and one of the sessions was led by a mentor and friend of mine. She spoke about balancing family and ministry and gave some great advice. One of the things she shared about was her "24 Hour Rule."
She and her husband had decided early in their marriage to establish this rule anytime there was a big decision that needed to be made, or if there was a conflict or problem - that they would wait 24 hours before acting. Rather than making hasty decisions or reacting to issues, they would pray and wait.
What wise advice to people in the ministry. So many times we are faced with decisions, and can easily act out of emotions or the influence of those around us. I know for myself, when faced with an issue or decision, the first thing I want to do is call my closest girlfriends and ask for their advice. Depending on what they say, I will want to act, and act quickly. I also have a habit of coming up with great ideas late at night when I'm supposed to be sleeping, and then wanting to rush out of bed and send an email or buy something online so that it will get off of my mind.
The 24 hour rule is something that I plan to implement in my own life. I've had to face quite a few situations in relationships where someone offended me, or I offended them, or there was a misunderstanding, and I have wanted to fix it right away. Yet those 24 hours can provide space to pray, to breathe, to rest in the Lord, and trust in Him instead of trusting in myself.
- Wanting to buy that flat screen TV? Wait 24 hours.
- Wanting to call back that person and tell them how you really feel? Wait 24 hours.
- Wanting to leave your husband who has frustrated you for the last time? Wait 24 hours.
- Wanting to quit your job? Wait 24 hours.
- Wanting to start that new project that you're so excited about? Wait 24 hours.
- What do you need to wait 24 hours for?
It just might make all the difference in the world.
If you are stopping by from the Ultimate Blog Party over at 5 Minutes for Mom, then WELCOME!
I am a pastor's wife, speaker and writer, passionate about sharing Christ's love with others. Currently I am booking for MOPS groups in the Southern California area, as well as any women's retreats, conferences, or leadership events you may need a speaker for! I have a huge heart for women in ministry and desire to encourage you in whatever stage of leadership you may be in. This blog is dedicated to women's leadership issues. I'd also like to invite you to visit my other blog where I write about family and motherhood over at The Wonder Years.
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