I have the wonderful privilege of leading a Virtual Community Group for my favorite PW blog/community: Leading & Loving It. We meet once a month on video chat for the sole purpose of encouraging one another in our unique positions in ministry. There are at least a dozen groups to choose from this year ranging from Lead Pastor’s Wives to Church Planter’s Wives to Women Leading Women’s Ministries to Youth Pastor’s Wives to Women In Ministry in Europe! Then there’s my group. Last year I labeled us “Single Staff PW’s” but that sort of made it sound like some sort of Single’s ministry…or a group of PW’s no longer married to their P’s…. So this year I used the label “Solo Pastor’s Wives” but that doesn’t really do us justice either… Maybe I should call us “Wives of Pastors Who Do Everything” or “Pastor’s Wives in Churches Where Your Husband is the One People Call When Anything Needs to be Done.” But that’s a little hard to fit on a business card…no matter how true it may be. 🙂
This week was a prime example of the variety of things that are required of a pastor & his wife when there are no other pastors on staff at a church. And let me just say from the beginning that I am not complaining! I just looked back over my week and realized the wide range of abilities that God gave us in order to do the ministry He has called us to do this week! Monday my husband led a finance committee meeting while I did laundry. Tuesday I volunteered to be our 4th grader’s room mom so I can continue to meet and influence the other moms in our community while my husband volunteered to be the assistant cross country coach so he could continue to influence the youth & dads of our community. Wednesday I led praise team practice and planned the music part of our upcoming worship service while my husband studied, planned & taught a theology class that would challenge and encourage both baby Christians and experienced church members. On Thursday I took some ladies to visit a church member in the hospital in L’ville while my husband prepared his Sunday sermon, made phone calls, and did some local visiting of his own. On Friday we attempted to take the day off…we went yard-saling together and then took the girls to a minor league baseball game after cross country practice. While at the game, though, my husband counseled a pastor who has left the ministry while I started a prayer chain for a church member’s brother who suddenly went missing. Saturday morning my husband and I both served Gatorade and cookies to dozens of cyclists who used our church as a pit-stop on a 65 mile bike tour of the county. Saturday afternoon I filled in as a chaperon on the youth road trip while my husband took care of things at home.
Then it was Sunday! My favorite day of the week! My husband helped with Sunday School records while I assisted the teaching in the younger adult class. Then I helped lead the music before he preached. Then we both stood at the door shaking hands and speaking words of encouragement to each person as they left the church service. That afternoon my husband gave a man a ride to pick up his car and barely made it back in time for church. He led the Sunday night Bible study while I led the children’s lesson. After church he made sure our girls got a bath while I took food to a needy family in the area and then went to a church member’s house to wash her hair since she broke her leg yesterday and her husband did not know how to help her. After a few more phone calls my husband and I finally called it a night.
I used to think that a good pastor’s wife had to play the piano, dress perfectly and lead women’s ministry. But I’m coming to realize that a good pastor’s wife simply needs to love God, love her husband, and love people…and be willing to go with the flow…because you never know what ministry God will throw at you next! Good thing He provides strength and ability right when we need it because this coming week looks like it’s gonna be filled with even more interesting assignments. 🙂
BTW…if you are a pastor’s wife or woman in ministry check out the Leading and Loving It community groups! They are a great way to connect with other women who can relate to the issues and challenges of being Married to the Minister. And if you happen to be married to the man who does it all in church I would love for you to sign up to be a part of my group! Just put my name (Stephanie Shouse) in your form when you register. Registration is open now and our first group chat will be Tuesday, September 6!
What about you? What sorts of ministries do you find yourself doing that you never dreamed God would call you to do?