Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Support Networks - Formal

This series was originally posted on In Tandem, a blog for ministry wives

Support Networks: Formal

Here I have in mind the formal support networks that arise from the organisation you are a part of – the denominational group, the IFES network, the missionary organisation, etc.

Some of us are involved with denominations or organisations which already have a support structure up and running for ministry wives. Use it! There are other women there who understand the system you are in. Like any group, it won’t be perfect, but it opens up opportunities.

Some things which you might be able to access that fall into this category are:
- conferences
- organised prayer groups
- organised meetings on various topics
- newsletters

There is a support network in the area I am in, and while there are times I have been involved, it’s not really a structure that is ‘like-minded’ ministry-wise with me. Instead, I have stayed in touch with the structure in the city that we trained – I receive the newsletters and return for the conferences every two years. It’s a highlight where I can be encouraged by a large number of like-minded ministry wives, as well as catch up with a lot of friends.

Last year for the first time I attended the AFES Wives Conference – which is the network that supports the wives of university Christian workers around the country. While very different to the diocesan conference (ie. I went thinking I would know no-one, and it took strong encouragement from my husband to get me there) – it was a time of great encouragement and meeting new people.

If you have access to these networks, use them – they are there for you!

Next time: Support Networks – Online

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