—Leslie Bennett, Women’s Ministry Initiatives
We’ve all heard astonishing tales of survival against impossible odds.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Aron Ralston. While hiking alone through the Bluejohn Canyon in Utah, Aron suddenly found his life in jeopardy when a dislodged 800-pound boulder pinned his right arm against the canyon wall.
After five grueling days of entrapment, the experienced mountaineer was dehydrated and in a physical state of delirium. He was close to abandoning all hope of rescue when he made the unthinkable decision to free himself by amputating his arm with a dull, two-inch pocket knife. Once loosed from the boulder, Ralston rappelled down a sixty-five-foot sheer cliff face and hiked out of the canyon. 127 hours after the tragic accident, he was rescued.
There have been plenty of times as a leader when I’ve felt trapped with little hope of escape. While ministry is a precious joy and privilege, it isn’t necessarily easy. Whatever your leadership role entails, there’s no avoiding the challenges that will inevitably arise. From budget restraints to burnout, from a lack of training to a lack of volunteers, from being misunderstood to being dismissed by decision makers, from the limitation of too many demands with too little time to . . . (well, you fill in the rest.)
Even on the most brave days in ministry, our heroic feats can fall short. The thought of giving up threatens our minds until we remember to cry out to the Lord, who knows precisely how to rescue the godly from trials (2 Peter 2:9; Ps. 69:13–16).
During the month of August, the Leader Connection is bringing you a blog series, The Women’s Ministry Leader Survival Guide. Each Monday and Thursday, beginning August 5, you’ll hear from one of eight key women’s ministry leaders (beginning with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth!) who will share their number one tools for surviving and thriving in ministry. We’ll learn how they combat challenges like criticism, burnout, difficult relationships, and home and ministry balance.
We hope that this blog series will be like a pocket tool to deliver you from impending trouble (even the danger of bone-crushing boulders!). I pray most of all that it will be a compass to lead you to Jesus, the ultimate Rescuer, whose life was crushed so ours could be freed from sin and death—the greatest threats we’ll ever face.
If you find yourself in the heat of a battle today, sister, we’re in the trenches with you. What’s vastly more important . . . the Lord your God is with you. The battle belongs to Him. Stand firm. Together, we’ll keep our eyes on Him and watch for deliverance to come. (Read 2 Chronicles 20 for an encouraging boost of faith!)
Hang on . . . help is on the way!
Hey women’s leaders, what’s your “go-to” ministry survival tool? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!