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Women in Ministry

Lifeway's 2017 Survey of American Pastor's Spouses shows that many women serving in ministry are struggling. Every woman in ministry needs other women who have her back. Trusted friendships outside of our churches can make all of the difference.

Click to go to the Report

Click to go to the Report

Feeling Isolated? You aren't Alone

Current research shows that many pastors’ spouses are experiencing some level of isolation. It's hard to trust others. The challenges are real.

• 69% agree “I have very few people I can confide in about the really important matters in my life.”

• 56% agree “There are too few relationships in my life that make me feel emotionally connected with others.”

• 50% agree “I am not willing to confide in others at church about personal things because my confidence has been betrayed too many times.”

• 49% agree “If I were honest at church about my prayer needs, they would just become gossip.”

• 55% agree “There are not enough relationships in our lives where we feel we can be ourselves.”

• 51% agree “We have experienced personal attacks at this church.”

• 49% agree “I still feel the hurt from previous conflicts in ministry.”

Developing Safe Connections

NEWIM women "get it."  We've experienced the isolation and personal attacks and betrayals that accompany ministry, too.

Getting together with women who are also in ministry, but who are outside of your church community is life-giving. It creates the context to develop trusted friendships with others. There is a real need for women to be with others who can identify, understand and create meaningful connections and friendships.

All of our retreats are designed to provide safe places for women in ministry, opportunities to get to know others in the same ministry role, opportunities to share and pray without the fear of becoming gossip, opportunities for us to be ourselves without having to worry. Trusted friendships with other NEWIM women have been a lifeline for those of us who serve in ministry.

You don't have to be alone. Come to one of our retreats (scholarships are available-just send an email to Participate in an online book club. Sign up for a local small group gathering. Reach out for confidential prayer support. Call us.  We'll help you get connected.

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Every woman in ministry needs other women who have her back!

Practical Advice from Dr. John Townsend 

According to the research of Dr. John Townsend, part of the challenge of being in a position of leadership is that the people we spend time with are not fueling us. Instead of relationships bringing us life and energy, they are draining. In a conversation with Carey Nieuwhof, (Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast #286), Dr. Townsend unpacks insight from his new book, People Fuel that shows us how to evaluate why we are feeling depleted and overwhelmed and then he provides very concrete ways to say No to people who are draining us, and to develop relationships that will bring us life and help us be our best. If you don’t have time to listen to the whole podcast, CLICK to download an 8-page .pdf excerpt of the podcast that Luann Budd created from the transcript.

Flourishing in Ministry Project

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The Flourishing in Ministry project launched a clergy spouse survey in the summer (2018). So far they have found that in the same marriage, spouses are not flourishing as much as the pastor to whom they are married. The researchers are convinced from preliminary data that it is more difficult psychologically to be the spouse of a pastor than to be the pastor. In part, this is because spouses have all of the expectations and isolation, but very little status, compensation, or control. Spouses are in a position of helplessness that can lead to depression. Ministry can be hard. We've all heard the statistics about the challenges pastors face. Now the research is being done that sheds light on the challenges those of us married to pastors face. We need each other. We can't fix difficult situations, but just knowing that someone else is walking with us through it, can make all of the difference.  Contact us.

See also