5 Reasons to Go to the Ministry Wives Retreat

5 Reasons to Go to the Ministry Wives Retreat

Our annual retreat for women married to men in ministry offers refreshment and rest over 48 hours. Here’s why ministry wives should come.

1. Fellowship with other women

Being married to a ministry man is first and foremost a privilege. Helping him to shepherd his flock, wherever that is, through good days and bad, through unexpected kindnesses, the relentless and the calm, through sleepless nights and the joys of baptisms, through Christmas chaos and the crashing into holidays.

There is no situation or church exactly alike and no ministry path is the same: that is why we need fellowship with other women, to help carry their burdens and have them carry ours.

Many of the ministry wives on this retreat were, I observed, both physically and spiritually tired. Challenges with people in the church, housing difficulties, financial stresses, parenting and caring for elderly relatives, juggling paid work and home life as well as church pressures, to name a few. It was a good thing to press pause on life, to listen, to pray, to laugh, and sometimes to cry.

Meeting other women and hearing about their lives, took me out of my own struggles and in some cases, allowed me to encourage others if I had experienced similar trials. There were women from city centre and rural churches, big and small, and it is always good to see the many, many ways God is working all over our country.

2. Food

Forget about planning food, cooking and washing up for a couple of days. It’s all provided! There was even afternoon tea.

3. Saturation in the Bible

I was hungry before this retreat. I'm often out during the morning service to help with creche and not able to attend the evening service because my husband is a solo pastor. I needed feeding, in more ways than a full English breakfast.

As we studied the book of Revelation I was reminded of Isaiah 44:3: "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants."

Revelation 7:17 stood out for me also: "For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”

My soul was thirsty and It was good for me to be saturated in the Bible, to ask questions, to hear it read, and to chew on it. I needed to remember the one who offers me streams of living water and to drink.

Rachel very helpfully walked us through several passages in Revelation and I don’t think there is a book which helps me to focus on heaven more.

4. Sleep

If you want to stay up in the evening to chat and meet others, there is time.

If you want to go on a walk in the countryside, there is time.

If you are like me who needed a nap, there is also time!

The rooms were single occupancy which gives that little bit of privacy and space needed on a retreat.

5. It encourages your husband

Perhaps your husband, like mine, often feels a weight of sadness that I share the lows of ministry life alongside him. He is aware that often I don’t get access to the level of spiritual food that others do. It is a different kind of job which crosses the threshold into family life in a way that my job as a doctor doesn’t.

It surprised me, while writing this and talking to him, what an encouragement it is for him to know that retreats like this exist and that he can facilitate me going on one!

BONUS. It’s friendly and welcoming

Finally, it's worth saying that this was my first time attending the retreat. I came alone from my church and wasn’t sure if I would know anyone. People were friendly and welcoming, and I quickly met new people.

If you’re unsure about coming, go for it and I’ll look forward to seeing you there.

The Ministry Wives Retreat takes place each year at the start of May. For details of the next retreat, see our events page or get in touch.

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