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.
- Danielle Bell
Ministry can be a lonely place. So, for me, being a single woman in ministry has had to be one of my greatest challenges. I am a sanguine to the supreme. the more people and conversations the better. So, to go home to an empty house after a rough Sunday or Wednesday left me feeling quite isolated. I mean who could I “unload” on that evening? Who would listen while I vented, or doubted, or dreamed? I discovered quite early in my single ministry years that without community I would crumble under the weight of ministry life.
So I began to be intentional about relationships. I made it a priority to make sure I was plugged in with a women’s Bible study where I could be fed, challenged, and also support my peers. I landed in an eclectic group of women who are serving faithfully in many areas. I can’t express the encouragement this group has been to me. Not only would we meet weekly, but also over coffee or out of town for conferences. It also doesn’t hurt that this group is made up of my best friend; my mentor; and some of my dearest, safest, and transparent relationships! In my transition to a new city and church this summer, these precious faces were the hardest for me leave. This was partly because they were the ones that spent countless hours at my home helping me get it ready to sell and then coming back to pack up all my stuff. The great thing is, though we are now divided by a three hour drive, it is these gals I see and talk to the most! They will forever feel like family to me!
On the ministry side, a deeper more diverse kidmin networking community became a focus. Through social networking, blogs, and many chats at conferences I now have colleagues that are just a phone call or email away. Most of these people are passionately serving in children ministry and from word one I feel like they “get me.” These sweet folks I share the children’s ministry trenches with have become more than avatars or statuses on a screen, they have become allies and dear friends. They assure me I am not crazy when I am having feelings they once had in a difficult season. They laugh with me when I share how I made yet another mistake and their passion for children/families absolutely floors and humbles me. They are real life role models that also like to have a lot of fun. The miles between us don’t ever seem to matter, because when we come together we pick up right where we left off.
So while the Beatles may tell us that “one is the loneliest number” and the enemy certainly wants us to feel that way, I’ve decided that community matters. There were definitely moments I wanted to (and honestly did) curl up and pout, but I have decided to do the work required to reach out and build a network. Sitting on the sidelines alone is never fun when there is a plethora of people to connect and do life with personally and in ministry.
I believe this principal is true for all of us, whatever stage of life we are in currently. We have to be purposed in making sure we are getting fed so we have something to pour out on those we serve. I also believe ministry with friends can help us be more effective and it’s honestly just more fun!
Danielle Bell is passionate about seeing children grow in an authentic relationship with Jesus. She serves as minister to children at Dawson Family of Faith in Homewood, Alabama. Danielle is a contributor to Children’s Ministry Magazine and also leads the Inside Track Team and Connect Groups for the KidMin Conference.
Find her at: www.dandibell.com and on Twitter @dandibell.