Support for Baptist ministers
Support for Baptist ministers is found first and foremost in their regional associations. Each minister is able to lean on their Regional Minister for pastoral support, advice for their particular situation and help in navigating any Baptist family processes.
However, there are a number of resources managed centrally. These include:
Churches’ Ministerial Counselling Service, which offers confidential and subsidised counselling to ministers and their households.
Preparation for Retirement Conference to help those approaching retirement to plan practically and reflect on what the change of role will mean.
Study grants that ministers seeking to gain a master’s or research degree may apply for.
Guidance for ministers in the form of information leaflets that cover a wide range of topics.
Manse Life, a gathering of articles and personal reflections about the reality, good and bad, of home and family life for ministers, whatever their personal circumstances.
Thrive encourages networking among the spouses of UK Baptist ministers at all stages of ministry or mission, from training through to retirement.
In addition, there are a number of networks and special interest groups that support ministers:
The longest standing by far is the Baptist Minister’s Fellowship. The Fellowship seeks to connect ministers together to provide support and encouragement. They publish the quarterly Baptist Ministers’ Journal and maintain a benevolent fund for those in need of compassionate support.
Fresh Streams is an established ‘word and spirit’ network of mostly Baptist leaders and churches, that aims to equip, inspire, connect and encourage leaders and leadership teams. They do this through relational partnerships, online resources, theology schools and an annual conference.
The Order of Baptist Ministry sits within the monastic tradition. It connects a number of ministers who wish to commit to prayer using a structured rhythm of daily office, spiritual direction, regular retreat and mutual accountable relationships. They meet regularly in cells and at an annual convocation.
There are also a number of Facebook and other social media groups that seek to connect ministers together, which can be found by searching social media sites.