Esnart Gwashure, a pastor's wife in Zimbabwe, Africa, supports Shepherdess International and feels it has a very important role in the church. She sees the purpose of Shepherdess International as follows:
* It creates an awareness of the need for local Shepherdess organizations to provide support for the spouses of ministers. Mrs. Gwashure and other pastors' wives would like to see Shepherdess chapters promoted in every magazine for pastors.
* It promotes and provides opportunities for spiritual growth through chapter meetings at workers' meetings and ministers' retreats. Many of these chapters provide books as resources for newsletters and cookbooks.
* It helps ministers' wives understand their role within the church.
* It helps pastors' wives recognize their unique spiritual gifts and gives them ideas on how to serve the church in the areas in which they are most comfortable rather than being overly controlled by congregational expectations.
* It trains the spouses of ministers to be paraprofessionals in ministry.
* It provides fellowship and support. Ministers' wives have little opportunity to put down roots. Frequent moves and the lack of close friends in the local congregation can result in loneliness and isolation. Opportunity to share with others who have similar problems and joys is a necessity. A shepherdess chapter can lend the fellowship and support needed. A good local chapter newsletter helps bring continuity to relationships and also instructs.
* It encourages the ministerial family to spend time together. Quality time takes special planning and building good relationships take time. Ministers are more effective in their leadership if they have strong Christian homes. A pastor's wife can minister to the needs of women in the congregation in ways her husband cannot.