The Center for Leadership Excellence, in partnership with COSROW, is pleased to lift up the voices of women in ministry encouraging fellow women in ministry. Please enjoy this month’s Encouragement from Dr. Christine Harman, Director of Christian Formation for the North Carolina Conference of the UMC, and feel free to forward it to a friend. Anyone can sign up to receive these monthly emails here.
For several of my childhood years, we had the habit of spending Labor Day underground. School would start the next day and this was the last opportunity for a summer activity. One year, as we were in the middle of a four-hour tour through Mammoth Cave, the guide told us to stop for a break and sit on some large boulders along the trail. Everyone in the group was most grateful and told him so. “Oh no, this isn’t a reward for what you just came through. This rest is to prepare you for what’s ahead.”
So many times in ministry the challenges seem endless. They range from small and ongoing to tsunamis. And even when they seem to ease up a bit, we know they will resume. Breaks feel like a chance to rest, yet all too often that break is not a reward but a time of preparation. The question may be how we avoid giving up.
Perhaps it is in those moments that we need to call on our ‘balcony people,’ those persons who cheer us on, offer encouragement and support. Their gift of exhortation can offer a boost far greater than any energy drink. It can help us find, and keep, the perspective we need to deal with the ups and downs of ministry.
Read Galatians 6:9:
Let’s not get tired of doing good, because in time we’ll have a harvest if we don’t give up.
Reflect: Who are your ‘balcony people’? Who are those individuals whose words offer support and the encouragement that helps you minister in these up and down times?
Take Action: Identify some of your ‘balcony people’ and reach out to them. Also, think about other persons for whom you are one of their ‘balcony people’ and check in to see how that person is doing.
Center for Leadership Excellence and the Commission on the Status and Role of Women