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fruits-31371431280The Ministerial Family is at the heart of church life


The Ministerial Family is at the heart of church life. We can go to church every Sunday, knowing this is where we should be, we can give ourselves to a community knowing this is the right thing to do.  As we turn the corner on our way into church, we can pop on that “lost in wonder, love and praise” grin, and convince everyone that “it is well with my soul”.

I imagine that isn’t the case with your family most Sundays, it seldom is with mine.  We often all arrive separately, some even in time for the start of the service!

If we want to mirror Godly, Biblical leadership, marriage and parenting in our churches, it is vital that we invest in these aspects of our own lives.  

If we’re not careful, making time for each other in ministerial life can become an added chore, because if we make plans, and they are broken, hard feeling creeps in. Whilst I recognise the usefulness of marriage enrichment courses as a tool in preparation for marriage, my experience of them has always been difficult to ground.  Instead we find it more useful to become aware of the pressures as they arise, name them, and then address them.  

Communication is fundamental, as the home is where we all find our identity, and have a place at the table.  Belonging and being listened to is important for all of us however we are living out our christian life. When the day has been rotten because of a difficult deacons meeting or not being picked for the under 11s football team, we all need to be heard.

When we are called and placed in a church, I believe we all have a calling to be there; the whole family, to walk alongside it, and to embrace its community.  To serve it, to bless it, to let it shape our lives and stretch our faith. We all give ourselves to it.

So, this is over to you.  We need your articles.  If you are growing up in the manse, or are grown up already, if you are married to a minister, or a minister yourself.  If you’d like to reflect on an aspect of family or church life, then let’s all hear it.  Please send it to manselife@baptist.org.uk

You don’t have to have the literary skills of J K Rowling or the theological knowledge of N T Wright, but we want to hear your stories.  They can be very real, raw, funny or sad.  We can anonymise them if you would prefer.

*I use the word Manse because that’s the name for the accommodation that often comes with the job of Baptist Minister. Your church may not come with a home for you and your spouse/family.  Either way, you are included.

Christina Carter
 

The aim of Manse Life is to raise the profile of what personal life is like for a minister, and ground it in reality. We are doing this because ministry life is unique. There are incredible joys, amazing privileges, and inspiring times. These are all brilliant. There is also heartache; fear, frustration, loss, relocation to name a few and there is often no recourse for these feelings.  By providing an outlet for people to write constructively about their personal experiences at home and church and share these in a positive environment we believe will bring hope and a sense of perspective. It will help people feel less isolated, to find common ground, to reflect, provoke thought, spur faith, share ideas and best practice, and to raise a smile.  

Manse Life is totally inclusive whatever your personal and family circumstance and whether you live in a manse or not. For those who do have immediate family around them, they too are very welcome to contribute.

To contribute an article, please send it to manselife@baptist.org.uk. If you want to share anonymously, we will ensure no names are mentioned.


 

 
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As the old saying goes “no-one knows what goes on behind closed doors.” It’s true, and even more so when those doors are the doors of a manse.
You can’t spend more than three decades in ministry, as I did, without witnessing the best and the worst in people.
May we introduce ourselves? Sophie (tabby and white) and her daughter Sasha (white with a grey ear and tail) are Manse Moggies in a third floor flat in Glasgow, which we share with a single, women minister
When we wanted to offer safe house accommodation to a single mum and her two young girls, because they were in danger of her violent and abusive father when he escaped from prison, we could do this without a second thought
My situation may not chime with yours. You may have small children or teenagers, or you may be a single minister making a move alone. At every stage of life, for every person involved, resettlement holds its own peculiar battles.
Because we are the family of a minister doesn’t mean that we have no voice and must acquiesce to the expectations of the church