I’ve asked several ministers who receive care from eleven:28 ministries to tell you in their own words what this ministry does. You’ll see them from time to time here…
I didn’t expect my first year of ministry to be exactly as they said it would be. I wanted to be the minister that was different. My short time in ministry has been ambiguous, lonely, and strenuous. There have definitely been some beautiful moments, but after only a year I wondered, is this what burn out feels like? Is it normal for me to go through all of these things so soon? Is there anyone I can trust to let these feelings out to?
Rhesa contacted me and asked if I would like to be in her first group of women who would mentor and love each other, grow closer to God together, and commit to prayer for each other’s ministries. I was all in. I was so tied up in my own problems at that point I didn’t realize that other women had experienced the same things I had; some had experienced much worse things. In covenant groups I found a place where I could share without wondering if they thought that I was mad at God or if I was not grateful for my job or my family. The best days were when we went around the room and maybe didn’t get to discuss the book we were reading or check off everything on the schedule for the day. The best days were when we were able to give voice to other’s struggles, cry with each other during hardships, and to give thanks to God for his presence in each woman’s life as they shared their stories.
I remember just being so depressed when the first year came to an end. I had hardly spent any time with these women, just 10 days total, but I felt the need to continue relationships with all of them. I needed them to share their life with me so that I could share mine with them. I loved and appreciated all of these women as if they were some of my greatest friends.
I definitely see so much value in what Rhesa does in covenant groups. She did some spiritual direction with us where God and I met in a different way than I have ever gotten to meet him before. I honestly never expected to be able to encounter God in what seemed to me to be a strange way to pray and meditate and reflect, but he has been faithful and shown himself to me in such beautiful ways. I find myself longing to meet him again in different ways so he can show me more about himself. During our Spiritual Direction I realized things about myself a lot of the time but the best part was an opportunity to rest with God and feel his presence.
My ministry is better because I have been a part of Covenant Groups. My spiritual life is healthier, and I don’t feel so alone. I don’t have the resentment I was starting to feel toward my church, and to God for calling me to this church. I can be fed somewhere else so that I can feed my flock here.