Now that we have completed the first year of church planting and I can look back with perspective on one of the hardest years of my life, I hurt for those who are going through the first year without this understanding. I wish I had had someone to come alongside me and tell me these truths and challenge me to live them out. I pray this will be of some benefit to a new or future church planter’s wife, unaware of the part she will play, oblivious to the enemy’s schemes, perhaps lonely and without a mentor or close friend.
Your ministry is primarily your husband (who happens to be a pastor).
Being the wife he wants you to be to your children and in your home may not allow you to be the incredible minister’s wife you envisioned. You may have imagined yourself running the women’s ministry and heading up a Titus 2 program, or maybe you simply imagined yourself getting to church on time with three kids in tow (did I mention dressed nicely and hair combed?)! Either way, defer to your husband’s expectations for you and follow his lead. Communicate with your husband about your gifts and passions, and find out how they can be used to serve the church and at what capacity you will be able to serve without sacrificing your family or spreading yourself too thin. Our husbands may keep us from the burden of our own unrealistic expectations. A faithful wife and mom finds many open doors for ministry without having an official title or position.
You share in their calling, you are their helpers in ministry and you have a unique position to walk with your husband in this calling.
While this statement is absolutely true, no one else but you, your husband and other ministry couples know it. Some people will only see your husband and ignore you. You may even have people come over for a meal and talk to your husband the whole time. I have actually had this happen. It is very humbling to realize only you and your husband (and a select few) know it’s a shared calling and the part you play. The enemy can even use this to make you feel like you aren’t as connected to your husband as you should be because of his line of work, saying, “You must not be connected since he keeps so much from you,” “You really aren’t a part of this calling” and, “He lives a separate life from you and the kids.” The enemy strategically attacks in this area with the goal of weakening the marriage and possibly creating identity issues in the minds of pastors’ wives. The call of God to plant a church is on your entire family, and He alone will bring the task to completion. God will use your specific gifts, imperfections, encouragement, support, prayers and your commitment to the call to build your local church body. Although you may never be recognized from the pulpit for all you do, we serve a God who sees, and He sees all you do and all you sacrifice, and He is honored by your selfless service to the body. Don’t allow the enemy to rob you of the joy it is to be your husband’s helper in the ministry and to see it as a unique position that is often undervalued by men but of incredible value to our husbands and to God.