Confessions and Lessons of a Pastor’s Spouse – Part Three

Confessions and Lessons Part THREE

 

Today is the last day of Amy’s 3 part series on Confessions and lessons of a pastor’s wife…read her closing thoughts below.

Support your Board and Staff: Maybe you’re fortunate enough to be in a church where there aren’t any staff or board issues, but we had some—with both groups. The staff and board members are the people we became most intimately connected to over time because we worked so closely with them. These are some ways we invested in our leadership team:

-We had the staff and board over together in our home annually for a Christmas party. We didn’t allow them to bring anything but an appetite as a way of expressing our thanks to them.

-At one point my husband felt the need to relax and have fun with the staff, so we organized game nights and special outings like an afternoon of snow-tubing.

-I started sending baked goods with my husband to board meetings. I couldn’t do a whole lot outside of my home with three little ones, so that was a doable way to show my support. During one particularly challenging season of ministry, my husband would come home from board meetings very discouraged. As I continued preparing snacks for the board meeting, it occurred to me to pray for the board members, my husband, and the meeting. To this day, I believe that simple act of prayer kept me from holding grudges or lashing out.

Seek Spiritual Nourishment: As I sought to find my niche in the church, I experimented with different ministries. I found I had a tendency to start ministries, get them afloat and then move on. Sometimes they stayed afloat and sometimes they didn’t. I started a ladies Bible study that met in my home for a couple years, a young adult ministry (when I was still a young adult), and a couple’s ministry with my husband. When I was pregnant with our third child, I felt like I needed something to nourish my soul as a young mom. Our church did not have a MOPs ministry and someone suggested that I start one. Starting ministries required a lot of energy and I felt like I just didn’t have it at that time. I was in need of some refreshment and nourishment. So I started attending a MOPs at another church. It was a spiritually refreshing season for me. Following that year, I was inspired to start a ministry for mothers at our church.

The church we most recently served allowed my husband to take a yearlong sabbatical to work on his doctoral degree. There was a spouse ministries component to the program that took spouses on two spiritual retreats. Both of them impacted me greatly and brought significant emotional healing that enabled me to more effectively minister to others. The spiritual nourishment I experienced during that sabbatical taught me how important it is to carve out a chunk of space a couple times a year for renewal. Sabbath is not only necessary for the pastor, but the pastor’s spouse. A weekend retreat may not be possible, but a full or half-day retreat is.   Reading and discussing soul-nourishing books with a trusted friend is also a huge spiritual lift.

If you are in a pastor’s spouse, you will be challenged more than “normal” churchgoers. But, you are also in a unique position to grow while making a significant positive impact on people. That, my friend, is your joy.

~Amy

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