Monday, October 18, 2010

Support Networks - Groups

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

Support Networks - Groups

For those of use that are involved in team ministry, a group support network is an obvious choice. If you have more than 2 married men working together in ministry, you have a group of ministry wives ready to go. The support is exactly the same as the personal support, but a group can meet all of those needs and more. Within a group, you are likely to have women who mentor you and other women you mentor. Over time and with persistence, strong friendships can form & the group can keep one another accountable as they meet together.

I am privileged to be in such a group, and I think I can honestly say it is the one of the best things that has resulted from our move to Adelaide to our current church. Our group of ‘Preachers Wives’ now number 12 wives, spread over 9 congregations who meet at 5 different locations. We meet fortnightly each week to pray (in two separate groups this year, we are just too large to meet together). Annually we go away together for 3 days.

These women helped settle me into Adelaide, away from family and other friend networks, and they have now become some of my closest friends.

In some ways I always feel a little guilty talking about our support networks here because I know they are somewhat unique. Many other friends in ministry have nothing like this and would love to. So, I don’t mention it to invoke feelings of envy – but rather opportunity. Are you a rector’s wife? You can organise this. Are you are assistant’s wife? You can suggest it, or at least organise it with those who are interested.

And, of course, you don’t have to be in team ministry to make this work. Get together with wives from other churches in your area. Meet with other missionary wives in your region, other lecturer’s wives at your college, etc, etc. Sometimes, I think everyone is waiting and hoping that someone else will start something – maybe it should be you!

If you have experience of other group networks that are helpful – please share with the rest of us. Sometimes we all just need some ideas!

Next time: Support Networks – Formal


arthurandtamie said...

Hi Wendy

I wasn't sure what I thought of this series when I first read it. I think I was worried about whether I'd find the right women to connect with and feeling tired at the idea of starting something and having another thing to be responsible for.

But I went to a Ridley young women in ministry evening tonight (which I should have been invited to a while ago but they'd got my age wrong!) and I realise what I was missing out on. I don't think I'd registered that that was what I needed but I feel so much less alone after just one evening!

It was more a ministry support group than a ministry wives support group but I see the wisdom in what you're recommending in these posts now!

Wendy said...

I'm glad you had a good time Tamie. I think sometimes your experience is what many people have - they don't know how good a support network can be until they get involved. I know it's probably what has kept me going over the years! Hope it remains encouraging.