Have you ever picked up a magazine from a waiting room and read their how to lists: Ten things to know when buying a car, how to clean your laundry better or top ten money saving tips? It got me thinking, what if a woman is trying to prepare herself to help her husband (current or future!) to pastor a church?
I decided to talk with some ladies who’ve been there, and can advise and inspire other women with tools for the field.
Proverbs 1:4 says “to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth”
Verse 5 adds, “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.”
The Barron's tips from the Field
The Barron’s experience was slightly different since they took over an established church. “I had to give the congregation time to accept us. They loved their former pastor. I learned to reassure them that we were never going to replace anyone. We were there to serve them in their walk with Christ.”
Love people, make them feel they are important individuals in the Church. “I put my heart 100% in the city and never let people know if I missed my family or felt negative sentiments.”
“Be loving and respecting of your husband. Never contradict him in front of people.” If you disagree on something, save it for when you are alone and can discuss it.
If you have children, you MUST dedicate quality time. This is vital to them. No matter how busy you are, don’t make them feel they’ve been replaced by your ministry, or they’ve lost their father.
“I remember on one occasion Pastor Warner said to my husband, ‘Before being a PASTOR, first you were FATHER.’ I never forgot those words.”
The Anderson's tips from the Field
Shirley’s tip was, “Keep your heart right with God first and foremost.”
Pray daily. Read your Bible daily. Love and encourage your husband and children. Know that God is able to use you both for His glory.
Be involved with people, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. “My family has gone to countries where the language is different, when they see you are trying to learn their language it blesses them.”
Fix food for people. Everyone eats and food brings people together. “This is one thing my children to this day say that I have a gift for, feeding people. I figure my husband is feeding them the gospel so I will feed them food.”
Keep your house in order so everything flows smoothly. “I can’t stress this enough, it’s a full time job keeping the house clean and food on the table.” Learn to be flexible, a multitasker. Do it now before it’s forced on you out there!
Write your sisters in the faith. It really helps to know that friends back home are praying.
Some things you will learn out there on the field. God will help you. “I prayed for God to help me see the people how He sees them. I put myself in their shoes and it helped me to witness with love and compassion.”
When your family goes out to pioneer a church, it will make your family closer, you work together as a team. “I remember in Namibia, Sophie was one of the worship singers, Ryan would flip the songs on the projector and Mariah helped in the nursery. We made great memories.”
The King's tips from the Field
Sara says her experience in the field has a lot to do with keeping perspective. “How do you view things, situations, people, and ultimately God?”
“You have to constantly point yourself back to the Great and Mighty God we serve. If He has indeed called you to do His work, He will equip you with all things necessary to accomplish His task. He is a God that is able to enable us. He is our source!”
Keep a lid on your emotions. When you’re working with different people, you’re away from friends and family, attitudes try to creep in. “The enemy will always look for weaknesses and areas to find a foothold which is why your relationship with God is so critical.”
“The more we press in, the more God gives us the strength and energy to do so much. Live every day with a grateful Heart. Thanking God for the privilege to serve in His kingdom- Be a servant!”
The Bravo's tips from the Field
Erica advises you to learn from ministries established in your home church. With their kids in nursery/Faith Roots, Erica helped minister to young kids, but never looked into anything for the older kids. After they got to Modesto they had so many kids of all ages, they had to start a “kid ministry”.
“I kicked myself because I didn’t see all the children’s ministries available to me at my home church.”
Visit every age appropriate ministry at least once. Take the time to learn to teach children of all ages because you never know who God will bring.
“Every kid that came in to our children's ministry the Lord had pressed in my heart that, ‘All would hear the Love of Christ!’ I wanted all the kids, once they grew up, to remember a little church on the corner of 6th and H Street in Modesto, Ca. that told them Jesus died on the Cross for their sins.”
She also advises to frequent the businesses around your church. Make yourself familiar and available. They went to Walmart, Denny’s, Starbucks. A Denny’s server was sick and because of the relationship established, they were able to visit him in the hospital.
“Our jobs were the same way,” she adds. “People heard about Jesus, they asked for prayer, they visited our church, and Starbucks even gave us all the cups for our coffee houses!”
The Hagaman's tips from the Field
Rose had one simple but very important tip: BE HAPPY!
You’ve heard the old adage, ‘If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy?’ “Our children and families are only as happy as we are.”
This carries over to everyone we encounter or associate with. So enjoy life, and be happy.
Those you come in contact with will be blessed.
All the wives I talked to definitely wish they, “would’ve known,” and all of them agree that there’s plenty you can do to prepare now.
A few more parting thoughts
Erica -“God called us to reach the lost, and His Word never comes back void.”
Gloria -“Your testimony speaks more than a thousand words.”
Shirley -“It is a risk well worth taking.”
Sara -“There is so much to say! God is good, He is faithful, He is with us!”