Ministry Moments

Written by Rachel

Ministry is filled with many wonderful moments and highlights. Some are easy to recognise: achieving long term church goals or finishing the Christmas season, while others are more discrete, like making it through a hard day in one piece or receiving an encouraging note
from a church member who was grateful for your hospitality. It's often these highlights that stay with you and can be encouraging when times in ministry are harder.

I was inspired after reading the recent research about self-care and flourishing in ministry
to try this practical, low-fuss ministry tool. This resource is a great way to celebrate the
great moment in your ministry journey and encourage you in the harder times.

The Concept

Embracing Grace, an American group who support for clergy wives, wrote about the importance of being regularly encouraged in ministry, particularly during the harder
seasons. Their advice was to create a personal encouragement tool; a Ministry Moments folder, to pull out when you need it. The idea is to fill it with good moments, achievements, and highlights from your ministry journey. It might be thank you cards, kind words, inspiring verses, answers to prayer or achievements or little things that made you smile as you go about everyday life.

The Trial
I decided to trial the Ministry Moments Project for a month. I began gathering things
together and was surprised how quickly my collection grew! Kind emails, wrappers from chocolates I'd received, hand-written thank-you cards for talks I'd done, even old sticky
notes from research goals I'd achieved lately. It made me realise how readily people gave their encouragement, and how much was happening in my day-to-day ministry. What I was expecting was a finished product that I could turn to when facing a hard time. What I received was much more than that!

I found that I was actively looking for things to add to my collection and within a few weeks,
I realised that compiling my Ministry Moments was more than just an end product to turn to;
it was a way to help me find the good things in my ministry, even on the harder days. I would have to agree with Embracing Grace; it's definitely a vital ministry tool!

Making Your Own Ministry Moments

The beauty of this resource is that it's so easy to start! All you need is a journal or folder to begin. With much of life being online now, you might enjoy having an electronic copy with
you close at hand. Whatever your preference, here's a few things I learned along the way
to help make it yours:

  • Give it a personal name or slogan (for example 'God Provides' or 'Ministry Smiles')
  • Invest in a good-quality folder or journal, something you enjoy having around
  • Nothing is too small! I've added hot chocolate receipts from catch ups with a mentor.
  • Make an electronic Ministry Moments folder on your phone, laptop or tablet.
  • Take time to stop and look at your Ministry Moments regularly, maybe at the end
    of a long day or while you're waiting in line.
  • Give yourself permission to be encouraged. Ministry isn't always an easy road and sometimes encouragement can be hard to come by. But as this resource reminded me, encouragement goes a long way towards caring for yourself in the day to day busyness.

I'd highly recommend this resource to anyone in ministry or a ministry family. You never
know how God will encourage you through making - and reading over - your own Ministry Moments.