One of my recent prayers has been for God to guide me to opportunities for community with other people working in ministry–particularly children’s or preteen ministry. The lifestyles we live and the issues we face are unique and complex, and it’s great to be able to talk it out with others in the same position. I wasn’t sure what it would look like or how that would develop, but God is answering my prayers.
Last month, I emailed several local children’s ministers and just asked if we could all go to lunch. I told them my dream to have a network that we could share ideas, pray for one another, and collaborate on reaching our city. I wasn’t sure of the response that I would get, but I took a shot. The response was overwhelming. Each of them passionately replied that they were longing for the same type of network. We were all desiring a place to connect and grow with others who were experiencing the same stuff. We met for lunch and had a great time. The discussing ranged from “how can we encourage one another” to “here are the triumphs and trials from my ministry experience” to “where do you buy your crayons.” It was a refreshing time. We will definitely be making this a regular get-together!
Today, I got a text message from fourfivesix.org about joining a peer group with 5 other preteen ministry leaders from around the country. We are meeting via conference call every 3rd Wednesday to talk about how God is moving and what is working in preteen ministry. I am really looking forward to this time of learning and hearing from other ministries. I think God will use this time to teach us how He wants us to better minister to preteens in Little Rock. And perhaps what we’re doing here can help someone else in another part of the country. (If you work with preteens, I encourage you to go to FourFiveSix and sign-up for a peer group! The site is under reconstruction, but keep checking back because it’s worth it.)
God is reminding me of the power of community–to be doing life together. Whether you work in ministry or in another field, take the initiative to make some connections and start developing community. It will help everyone to grow in their field/job, but it also provides encouragement and friendship that we need to stay passionate about what we’re doing.