Spreading the Good News About, With, and Through Parakaleo
Women are hungry for what Parakaleo offers: coaching, caring, and connecting for church planting wives. Shari Thomas, who directs Parakaleo, explains the need for this ministry.
“When a church planter is discouraged, stressed, or doubting his calling, he turns to his wife. She pastors the pastor!
“The spiritual attacks and practical demands on her can be unrelenting,” adds Thomas, who planted churches with her husband John both nationally and overseas. “But unfortunately, most sending agencies are not even aware of the issues she will face or the preparation she will need.”
MNA recognized the need to equip and support church planting spouses when it tapped Thomas to launch Parakaleo in 2006. Parakaleo is growing, and women are being equipped to live out the Good News. The benefits of this support and training flow directly to the churches these women serve.
Parakaleo is starting local networks across the nation and in other countries. New training modules will be available for leaders to use in their local groups this spring. Parakaleo’s blog and Facebook page are reaching more women. Its staff is asked to speak or train leaders at conferences. Parakaleo’s book Beyond Duct Tape: Holding the Heart Together in a Life of Ministry is finding its way into the hands of more and more women, giving them hope and help.
To help spread the word, Parakaleo’s “Alongside Annie” –a fictional church planting spouse and Gospel cowgirl—will be visiting church planting spouses across the country over the next few months. Alongside Annie, (who admittedly bears an uncanny resemblance to the cowgirl in Toy Story) will be accompanying church planting spouses to both ordinary and extraordinary places. Her exploits will be featured as part of Parakaleo’s continuing conversation on Facebook. (http://www.facebook.com/Parakaleo)
No doubt Annie will put in an appearance at General Assembly 2013 and at Parakaleo’s upcoming training events: Basic Training Retreat (April 29 – May 3, 2013, Fenwick Island, DE); Alongside Coaching retreat (July) and Leadership retreat (Sept.). For more information, visit Parakaleo’s website. (www.parakelo.us)