Ministry wives take time out

Ministry Wives Take Time Out

The rest, relaxation and refuelling provided by our recent Ministry Wives’ Retreat has made the event the new highlight of Becca Jenkins’ year. Here she explains why.

In lives often over-stretched by the needs and demands of others, taking time out for the retreat at the stunning Holland House Tudor mansion in rural Worcestershire was a real tonic.

Set in exquisite gardens, the house provided an ideal bolt-hole that was a world away from the busyness and pressures of everyday ministry life.

It was a delight to spend time with like-minded and inspiring women who are on the front line of church mission. Whether in discussion groups or chatting over meals, there was so much encouragement in finding common ground, offering and receiving support, and praying for each other.

We were all blessed by faithful and compelling Bible teaching from FIEC Associate National Director Johnny Prime and FIEC Women’s Ministry Co-ordinator Elinor Magowan.

Strength

Setting the tone for the conference, Johnny reminded us that weakness was part of our humanness but that, like Jonathan in 1 Samuel 23, we could help each other to find our strength in God. Wonderfully, Jesus is our ultimate ‘Jonathan’ who comes alongside us in our weakness.

In a world of endlessly conflicting demands, each of Elinor’s three talks focused on ‘One Thing’. I loved the way she used this motif to draw out God’s priorities for our lives.

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    Elinor Magowan teaching at the retreat

‘One thing I ask’ is, in Psalm 27, the Psalmist’s desire to gaze upon God, not just to give him a passing glance. I was challenged to see God first as beautiful and not just useful.

‘One thing I know’ took us to John 9 and the formerly blind man’s confidence in what Jesus had done for him. It was an encouraging reminder that we don’t need to be apologetic about sharing our testimony, because the gospel is good news for our friends, too!

Look forward

We ended with Paul’s ‘One thing I do’ from Philippians 3. It was so helpful to have our perspective reset. We’re not meant to dwell on past achievements or regrets, but instead look forward to eternal realities, and press on in the present. As American pastor, author and broadcaster Alastair Begg once said: “There’s no better place to serve God than where he has set you down.”

Wonderfully, however, our service of God is in his strength, not our own. So, we were brought full-circle back to where we had begun – finding our strength in God and cherishing our living relationship with Christ above everything else. He is sufficient for us, not only until next year’s retreat, but all the way to heaven.

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