“ …when shepherds do not spend time in solitude, receiving their soul’s nourishment from God, they may start to feed on the sheep …”
Ruth Haley Barton extols the value of solitude and silence for ministry leaders in her article, First Things First: Practicing What We Preach (http://www.transformingcenter.org/2016/07/practicing-preach/)
Entrust’s Women-to-Women Ministry Training (WWMT) leaders schedule regular retreats of silence as individuals and sometimes as groups (silent groups). Some feel these focused times with God are more productive than hours of hard work, meetings, talk, planning.
Don’t eat YOUR sheep for lunch. Plan a few hours of true silence with the God who loves you and longs to speak to you and to hear your voice. Your soul will rejoice and your sheep will thank you!
Kathryn Geerlings is a wife, mom, creative type, constant learner and a great writer. She’s a fan of Entrust and we’re a fan of hers. Enjoy Kathryn’s blog post about her time in Switzerland with women from several nations, learning new ministry skills. She’s vulnerable and funny and the photos are fantastic!
Bonding through quilts and frogs … in Switzerland.
We always enjoy a day off during our intensive Women-to-Women Ministry Training (WWMT) trainings in Switzerland. This year the participants and facilitators spent a lovely spring day in Basel. One of the participants in Discovery Bible Study (DBS), Ann, is a quilter and wanted to find a quilt shop in a suburb. I decided to go with her even though I am not a quilter.
Ann is an introvert and was ready to explore Basel and the quilt shop on her own. All she felt she needed was a map and her sense of adventure. However, she was willing to have someone join her on this expedition. I tend to be more task-oriented and often forget to make room for the Holy Spirit, so I wouldn’t normally have seen a reason to go with Ann. But, I’m glad I went.
God used that day of walking, talking, eating lunch in a beautiful quiet park, discovering a sign we could not begin to understand (Frog Crossing?) and just spending time together, to help us get to know each other better. God stretched Ann out of her normal mode of aloneness and reminded me of the importance of listening to the Lord.
–Trish Barrett, WWMT facilitator
Nine women from multiple nations are grappling with God’s work in their lives as you read this. Entrust’s ministry partner, Equipping Women International, is holding an intensive Developing a Discerning Heart (DDH) module in Brazil through April 5, involving seven participants and two facilitators.
Ask God to open each woman’s mind and heart to how they need his healing touch — recognizing any lies they may believe, people they need to forgive, new truths God wants them to hear and stand firm in. Pray for safe travel, as the road to the meeting site is notoriously bad. Pray for physical health for each one and for their families at home. And pray each woman will pass along what she’s learning now, to those in her realms of ministry, after this training is complete.
Women from points across Europe, Asia, Africa and North America are gathering as you read this, on a picturesque hillside in Switzerland. Not to yodel. Not to milk cows. Not in search of Heidi. Yes, to sample stellar Swiss chocolate. And primarily, to share fellowship as followers of Jesus and to sharpen their ministry skills. Tomorrow is the first of several days of study, discussion, practice in preparing lesson plans and leading small group studies and honing inductive Bible study techniques.
Pray for them. The chocolate helps, but your prayers will sustain them most of all.