Wednesdays With Women in Kidmin

12 Dec
Wednesdays with Women in Kidmin is about bringing together some of the leading 
women in children’s ministry to share their knowledge and passion. 
For us to gather and learn from each other…to sharpen each other.
As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.
Proverbs 27:17

Connecting with Women in Ministry
– Lindsey Whitney

It’s Sunday afternoon. You just completed Children’s Ministry Olympics for another week in a row. You’re exhausted. You’re running out of ideas and you wish you had someone to talk to about the inner workings of the ministry.
 
Support and encouragement is crucial to the work of the ministry. Often we can find support within our own church, but sometimes we need to look a bit farther. Connecting with other women in ministry not only boosts our own well-being, it helps us keep a focus on what’s important in ministry. So how do we find other women in ministry to connect with?
 
I’m so glad you asked!

Online

I am constantly amazed about the incredible people I meet online. The internet (and google!) provide access to unlimited ideas, resources, and connections to fellow ministry workers.  We’ve always had books and conferences, but so often the speakers and authors are no longer in the trenches. The women you find online, however, are usually still doing ministry week in and week out and can relate to your own experiences on a whole different level. So how do I connect to other women in ministry online? Here’s a few ways:

The Blogosphere

As you may be aware, thousands of blogs are being added to cyberspace every single day.  According to CNET, two new blogs are created every second.  Wow!  Here’s how to find other ministry workers in the sea of blogs:

• Use Google to search “Children’s Ministry Blogs” (or whatever your focus)
• Check out CMBlitz
• After you find a great blog that resonates with you, check out the comments and click on the names of other commenters to travel to their blogs
• Email the author of a blog you enjoy to find out more about their ministry or to thank them for the work they do on their website
• Visit online communities such as CMConnect and Kidology to find like-minded people in ministry. Often these type of sites will have forums where you can post about problems or frustrations you’re feeling. People are hugely supportive in these types of arenas and will offer advice and prayer to encourage your heart. Be sure to return the favor when you see a topic that you can provide some expertise in.
Twitter

I was pretty nervous to hop onto Twitter, but once I took the plunge, I found it to be one of the most helpful tools online in connecting with other ministry workers. Not only can you search by hashtag, but Twitter also recommends people to follow based on the things you tweet about and based on the people you are already following.  
What is a hashtag, you ask? This is simply a way to categorize tweets and make them easy to find through the search feature. For example, search #kidmin and you’ll find hundreds of other Children’s Ministry workers as well as tweets about Children’s Ministry.  You can also search based on your curriculum (#thinkorange, #252Basics, #Trumin) or based on your focus (#fammin #Stumin).
 
Online Bible Studies

Recently, I joined an online Bible Study through The GoodMorning Girls.  Though not all of these women are directly involved in ministry, this group (facilitated through Facebook) still provided an amazing amount of support, encouragement, prayer and accountability for my spiritual growth. The best teachers are the ones who teach from their overflow of their heart and that begins with a rich devotional life. This group helped me to make a strong commitment to studying God’s Word and provided many opportunities for me to pray for others.
 
In Real Life

It’s great finding friends online, but there’s something so helpful about talking with a fellow woman in ministry face to face, preferably over a cup of tasty coffee! In fact, I recently read that a woman’s level of life-satisfaction is directly related to the amount of time she spends with other women. Time spent with men (even her own husband) is irrelevant. Now, I don’t know how sound this statistic is, but I do know I feel an immense amount of satisfaction after spending time with my girl friends. So how do we meet other women in ministry in real life? Here’s a few ways:

Conferences

Recently I attended the CMLeaders Conference in Columbus, Ohio where I met some new friends in the ministry. I was attending CM Leaders as a live blogger, so I spent much of my time stalking speakers and begging them to answer some questions for my blog. However, by the grace of God, I did end up at Wendy’s with a couple of ladies from a church in Cincinnati over the dinner hour. These ladies do ministry together in their church, both serving part-time in order to accomplish full-time work. Their story was exactly what I needed to hear for this time in my life and I was so glad that God arranged for that meeting. I was also able to connect with Barbara Graves while at CM Leaders which was so exciting. In the case of Barbara, an online connection turned real life when we both attended the same conference. Very cool.

Family Ministry Conversations

Recently, I was introduced to Family Ministry Conversations powered by David C. Cook. Though I have yet to attend one of these events (I’m waiting till they come a little closer to Erie,PA), my blogger friend Trevor Lee (read his write up here) and it sounds like it’s an excellent opportunity to connect with other ministry people in your area.
 
Team Meetings

Donuts anyone? During the last Saturday of every month, our midweek ministry team gathers in a home for our monthly team meeting. A few months back we forgot to coordinate who’s bringing what in the snack department and ended up with 4 boxes of donuts!  Oops!

Despite the menu for the day, these meetings are a great way to give and receive encouragement and to gather feedback on the Children’s Ministry program at our church. I always feel so refreshed after these meetings, either because of the inspiring stories I hear or simple because of the fellowship of like-minded ministry workers. It’s taken a long time to build the kind of culture we have in our mid-week program, but every time we have a gathering like this, I’m reminded that it was all worth the effort!

Birthday Breakfast Club

This last type of gathering doesn’t have anything to do with ministry, but it does have a lot to do with tending to my own well-being. I’m crazy about Children’s Ministry. Sometimes I feel like I eat, breathe, and sleep the ministry and honestly, I like that! But I also know I need to step away from it at times and just hang out with Christian women, without a ministry-agenda. There is a group of 5 or 6 women who meet to celebrate birthdays, usually at Bob Evans on a Saturday morning.  We discuss all kinds of things from kids, politics, extended family, health, movies, books, vacations, fitness and what’s one sale that week at the grocery store. Conversation flows easily and I always leave the restaurant walking a bit taller. Time flies when I’m with these women. One time we sat for four hours without even realizing it!  We got up to leave, thinking it was 10 or 11 when in reality it was 1 in the afternoon! This group of women helps me tremendously when it comes to encouragement in my life.
 
So What About You?

How do you stay refreshed and encouraged in ministry? How do you connect with other women in ministry?  Leave a comment and let us know!

Lindsey Whitney is a blogger over at Growing Kids Ministry. A blog designed to help parents, teachers, and Children’s Ministry workers who want to help the kids they love grow in their faith. You can connect with her via Twitter or on Facebook.

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2 Responses to “Wednesdays With Women in Kidmin”

  1. Heather Graham December 13, 2012 at 4:06 am #

    I love this! You are right – it is so important that we find brothers and sisters in Christ who can encourage and keep us accountable…. the internet is a great tool! So excited that I found your blog & am following, now! Thanks for joining in on the GFC hop! ((Hugs))Heatherstringtownhome.blogspot.com

  2. Wendy December 13, 2012 at 4:45 am #

    So excited to have found you as well Heather! Looking forward to getting to know you more! Blessings!

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