Not your average pastor’s wife

November 10th, 2015 Posted by 1 comment

pwI’ve been in ministry with Mike, my pastor/husband, for 37 years. I’ve come a long way from the naive young women I was in 1979. Along the way I decided to not only survive, but enjoy the life God brought to me. In learning to enjoy who I was and where I was, I had to leave behind misconceptions I had picked up along the way and embrace new ways of thinking. Here are some of the things I now know:

1. There is no such thing as a call to be a pastor’s wife.

The term “pastor’s wife” isn’t found anywhere in the Bible. The desire to join your husband in ministry is more probably your own call to pastoring or a gift of hospitality, mentoring, teaching or evangelism.

2. Just because a program in the church is in place, doesn’t mean it needs to remain.

Pastor’s-wife friend, Melisa, from Washington State says she and her husband spent the first four years of ministry in their little mountain town “turning off the lights.” They stopped programs people weren’t supporting, and ones not meeting the current needs in their congregation, in order to get down to the basics of what their congregation needed and could support. Just because your organization offers a program is not a mandate your church needs to be doing it. Seek God’s direction.

3. In God’s kingdom you don’t get kuddos for being married to the pastor of the largest church in town or condemnation for being married to the pastor of the smallest church either.

The size of your church isn’t indicative of your spirituality. The Bible says “some plant, some water, but God gives the increase.” Don’t waste valuable energy on numbers, concentrate on ministry.

4. You need a best friend, or two, in your church.

I’m on firm ground here since Jesus’ best friends were Peter, James and John. So feel free to seek like-minded women to encourage you and enjoy the blessing they will give you. There are those who say you shouldn’t because of the chance of hurt feelings but if you don’t flaunt your friendship, it won’t cause any more problems than the myriad of other things that people can complain about.

5. Your call is as important as your husband’s call.

This is a frightening statement even to write, but despite its truth, when wrapped in years of assumption that a call to ministry is the spiritual kingpin, you, like me, may find it hard to grasp. All gifts are bestowed by God and are equal in the Body. And using your gift is as important for you as it is for your husband to use his. For some it will be easy because your gift will mesh with pastoring, for others it will seem at times to be in opposition to his. Maybe you’re offered a promotion in another state, an opportunity somewhere else in which to use your gift. Don’t immediately subjugate your gift for his, because God who gave them to each of you and knows where He wants you to go will direct your dance if you will allow him.

6. You, by virtue, of being married to the pastor, are not equipped or obligated to perform tasks that the previous pastor’s wife filled or ones in which members assume you are equipped to do.

If you’re not trained, you do not, nor should, be offering counseling. That is not to say you can’t lend a sympathetic ear and pray with them, but don’t step beyond what you are equipped. The same goes for leading the choir, or heading up a multitude of programs. Your position in this particular body should be directed by God and carry the support of yourself and your husband.

7. Avoid the pedestal.

Everyone likes to be admired, however, the only allowable vertical relationship is between us and God.  Don’t allow people to see you as perfect or above them, or better than they. It doesn’t help them and is deadly for you.

8. There will always be expectations for you from others. 

This is true and you cannot stop others from having them, you can only stop yourself from trying to fulfill them. I don’t know what ones you’ll encounter because it varies from denomination and culture, but because someone assumes you will act or perform in a certain way should not be a sentence for you. Neither does this mean that you don’t owe your church respect, that you get to simply be me. Some expectations will not hurt us: certain appropriate dress for services, etc. Learn to discern which you should give into with good grace and which to graciously not follow.

9. If you are blessed with children, concentrate on them, not the church.

Your husband, by virtue of his job, will be at the beck-and-call of the church, so don’t make your children emotional orphans by doing the same. No, they do not need to be the sole focus, but don’t assume that serving the church is more godly than being a mom. It isn’t. A better compromise is to invite them into ministry with you and your husband, let them learn the joy of serving others. It will produce benefits for later life.

10. Enjoy yourself

I never wanted to marry a pastor because I’d never met a happy pastor’s wife. Sad? Yes indeed. But if this is the life God gave you, take the role in your hands and mold it into a life that you can enjoy and in which you can flourish. Like I said, if pastor’s wife isn’t in the Bible, then the possibilities are wide open.



I have enough

October 13th, 2015 Posted by 1 comment

i have enoughWe all know how important it is to be grateful for what we have. To find peace with where we are and what we possess. I found an interesting phrase a while ago that has put a new perspective on the I am thankful mindset that actually has more significance to me.

I am now saying I have enough.

The reason I find this better is that even when I am thankful for what I have, I am still looking forward to something newer, better, or bigger in the future. When I say I have enough, I stop that process. I don’t need a bigger house, my house is big enough. I don’t need more clothes, my existing wardrobe is enough.

A small difference that has helped me a lot.

Going along with an I have enough outlook, I decided to join two of my friends in shedding a portion of my worldly possessions. My aim was to lessen my inventory by thirty-percent.  Sound like a lot? Not really. If you open a cupboard or closet and chose three or four of every ten objects to give away, toss or sell, it’s really not hard at all.

And the benefits have been very encouraging. Thirty-percent less, means one-third less possessions to dust, find room to store, and/or maybe insure. But the biggest plus so far has been the lessening in stress. Clutter makes me tired, nervous. When I used to have to struggle to fit that casserole dish in among the other six shoving for position on the shelf, it’s now a blessing to open the cupboard and have a spot reserved for it. Ahhhh. For those of you, who like me, love to entertain, become friends with disposable pans on those occasions when you would have had to use all six of your casseroles.

However, a word of caution: you need to inform your family that unless they give you consumable gifts, everything that comes through the front door will have a correlating object going back out. If not, you’ll again find yourself overloaded within a year.


P.S. And to help you take baby steps, read this post:


Home church

February 8th, 2015 Posted by 2 comments

homechurchWhen God does new things, changes direction, offers us a road less traveled we often do not appreciate it. We question whether we heard Him correctly or rationalize that what appears to be His direction really can’t be.

For the past several years, through many circumstances, our church is now a Home Church.

I know.

“Really,” you say? “How can that be?” you question.

Believe me, you are asking nothing more than what I have over and over.

Everyone knows that Home churches aren’t really churches at all. At least not here in America. They’re too different.

What’s different about them from real churches?

Do you teach?  Yes. Worship? Yes. Fellowship? Yes. Support ministries? Yes.

In other words, act just like a real church congregation. Just a congregation meeting in a home instead of a building set aside for that purpose once or twice a week.

As usual, my arguments have the substance of wet tissue paper.

Truthfully, the older I get, the more I realize what an albatross around my minister-husband’s neck I’ve been for years. He is the one who catches the vision, speaks it into reality, holds onto the path God has chosen without looking back.

I am Lot’s wife. I look back to predictability, routine, life-like-it’s-always been. I like my life where it is. I don’t like change.

Ann Voskamp says you cannot get clear new water without digging a well, and digging a well involves breaking through the hard barrier of the ground to find the richness beneath.

What God is doing today is not what He did yesterday. Yes, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, but His methods are not. Who knows what the future of the Church will be in America? No one does, but it appears by the growing number of Home Churches that we may be the cutting edge of a surviving American Church.

So, no more whining about what I do not have, about what is comfortable, but instead, eyes forward, I look ahead to what God is doing today, in my life, in the lives of those of us who call Victory Church our home.