Again I plan to offend both genders equally in this post.  However, after the second paragraph no men will read it.  Therefore, I am sorrowful that I will probably only end up offending women.

Within the mentally challenged community, there is a need for evangelism and discipleship.  The Special Gathering has been formed with this primary mission.  For the past 20 years, I’ve served within the developmentally disabled community as a minister of the gospel.  I presently serve as Area Director for Special Gathering of Indian River.  Part of my job discription is fund raising.  We seek to raise most of our funding from churches.  We believe that Christ has commissioned the church.  We want to be a part of local congregations.  Becoming a part of ministrial groups is part of this process.  I want to discuss becoming a part of a ministrial group made up of women.

If you become a part of group of pastors that is made up of women, there will not be men in the group.  The reason is not that men are not invited and welcomed as part of the group; but because men won’t come.  Therefore, I’ll speak specifically to women in this entry.

If you are part of a women’s ministrial meeting, there are still rules that need to be followed.  However, they aren’t unspoken rules and they are simplier rules.  They have probably been hashed out clearly.  Yet, when you first come into the group, you will still need to know the rules.

  1. Unlike a group where men are included, you can talk as much as you wish.
  2. What you hear must be kept within the group.
  3. It is hoped that you will speak openly and honestly about your needs.
  4. Outside the group, you will be expected to never speak about what you hear about other people’s needs.
  5. You should come prepared to share.
  6. You should come prepared to not share outside the group what is talked about in the meeting.
  7. Usually no subject is off-limits. 
  8. You will be expected to keep confidences forever.
  9. Trust will be given among the group but you will be expected to return that trust by not speaking about the things which are talked about when the meeting is over.
  10. Do not discuss with other members what one member has shared when the meeting is over.
  11. If a group of women have learned to trust each other, they will almost always become a closed group.  Don’t be offended.  Along the way, someone has spilled the confidences of one of more members.  They have learned from experience whom they can trust.

In case you haven’t figured it out–the most important rule within the group is that these people have shared openly and honestly and you must never share what has been discussed.  Outside of the meeting, you should assume that you cannot discuss anything that is mentioned in the meeting.

Women are pretty special folks and they aren’t fragile.  However, they take seriously the need to be able to trust a friend.  Trust can only be gained by being trustworthy.