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Helping Women in Church Planting Survive and Thrive

When Jeannie reached out to Parakaleo, she was desperate. She and Bill (not their real names) had moved across the country to start a new church, leaving behind their entire support system. They gathered and nurtured a core group for over a year, and then launched Sunday services. It looked like they were “succeeding” as church planters.

But behind the scene, they were exhausted, discouraged, and isolated. The pace had been relentless. Bill worked nonstop, and Jeannie felt “I’m basically a single mom.” They started marriage counseling, but couldn’t afford to continue. Their challenges piled up:

  • Promised funding was withdrawn.
  • Several core team members quit.
  • They often didn’t know if Bill would receive his next paycheck.
  • Jeannie had to staff the nursery every Sunday—after being a full-time stay-at-home mother of their own small children all week.
  • She developed a painful medical condition that required surgery and physical therapy.


Jeannie questioned whether they could survive church planting. “Our ability to bounce back when discouraging things happen is fading,” she said.

Jeannie connected to a Parakaleo coach, who helped her identify and untangle the overlapping stresses in her life. The coach listened and validated Jeannie’s struggles, which were not unusual for ministry families. Most importantly, her  coach shared Parakaleo tools to apply the gospel to Jeannie’s own heart. Reinforcing the gospel—that she was more sinful than she could grasp, yet more loved by Jesus than she could imagine—rejuvenated Jeannie. She joined an online Parakaleo group, and eventually attended a Parakaleo training event. Now, several years later, Jeannie and Bill are seasoned church planters. God continues to slowly build their flock, draw new people to Jesus, and provide supernaturally.

Parakaleo’s year-end Here for Her campaign helps to ensure that women like Jeannie get the support and training they need to thrive in ministry roles. To see our new videos and find out more about Parakaleo’s Here for Her campaign, click here.   https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/here-for-her-2019

Updated on June 15, 2020

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