Three Lessons For Families in Ministry

After looking back over 30 years of ministry, I can summarize my advice to young ministers and their wives by asking three questions:

  • “Does it really matter what color the room is painted?”

God has called you to minister and reach souls for Him. He’s blessed you with specific talents and gifts to fulfill this calling, but if you’re too busy debating about less significant details of church life, such as what color to paint a wall, you’ll not be fulfilling your most high calling. Seriously, the human body only has a certain amount of “get up and go,” and if you are so busy your “get up and go has got up and gone,” you’ll be too exhausted to accomplish your true calling with precision, and you’ll not have adequate time for your family. You don’t have to have your hands in everything. Place qualified church members in positions where their talents and gifts will shine, then turn them loose and let them shine.

  • Whose children are they anyway?”

You’ve all heard stories about the infamous “preacher’s kid” who is the church teenage nightmare. When we moved to our last church all four of our kids were in—or soon to be in—the youth department. Two years after moving there, Jerry Williams, our youth minister, pulled me aside to confess that he had been terrified when he heard we had four teenagers due to the many horror stories he’s heard told through the years. He explained that our teens were nothing like he had expected. They were all well-behaved, great, godly teens. “What’s your secret?” he asked. “Why are your kids so awesome?” My answer was simple. Our kids have always been OUR kids. They weren’t the church’s kids, nor the “preacher’s kids.” They are ours. That made them our priority. We worked hard to lead them to a saving faith in Christ at an early age, and then we built upon that faith. We encouraged them to pray and read their Bibles daily, even swooping so low as to bribe them to have a daily quiet time by awarding them with money each time they completed reading their Bibles through (Genesis to Revelation). As they grew, they came to believe that their actions represented their faith and the God they served. With that, everything else fell into place.

  • “Why leave the praying up to others?”

As a minister or a minister’s wife, it is easy to rest in the fact that a whole multitude of godly church members are praying for your spouse. In a world that thrives on devouring the godly, this can give a false sense of security. Yes, church members do pray for you both, but no one knows how to pray for your spouse better than you do. You know each other’s shortcoming better than anyone, meaning your prayers are too important to be neglected.

© 2006-2013 Pink Sherbet Photography / Foter / CC BY

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11 thoughts on “Three Lessons For Families in Ministry

  1. What you said about “why leave the praying up to others,” really hit home that I need not assume because things are good with our kids and my husband now that it will always be so. Thanks for encouraging the young ministry generation to be godly and wise.

      • Well, I’m only a ministry wife… my husband is the music man at our church and works with our weeknight children’s Bible club. We have been in full-time ministry for 4 years.

      • Please don’t ever say, “only a ministry wife”, because a ministry wife is a minister’s wife. You go through the same hardships that pastor’s wives go through, perhaps from a different perspective, but it’s just as real. It’s wonderful that your husband does music but is also working with a children’s Bible club. I taught Good News Clubs (home Bible clubs) and King’s Kids (children’s church) for about 35 years. The years will pass by too quickly…and the secret is to dwell on the good (souls reached for Christ and lives changed) and not the bad. All that matters is being faithful to Christ. May God bless your ministry.

      • Thank you for those words of encouragement, I really appreciate them. It is hard to know where you fit in sometimes when most women in the ministry has a title of “pastor’s wife” or “youth pastor’s wife.” While I realize it’s not about the title, I do feel as if there is a big gap for many people to understand just like you said that ministry is ministry. Thanks again for the encouragement, I received your book to do a review and hopefully will be completing that soon. That’s how I came across your website and learned more about you. 🙂

      • You’re quite welcome. You did just give me a new blog topic…”ministry is ministry”. I need to write something on that soon. I do hope you enjoy the book. Do you have any children in your home…probably around 8 to 12 years olds? I have a children’s book titled, Jake and the Heavenly Host. It’s available through Amazon… but I would be glad to send you one if you would like. It’s along the lines of Frank Peretti’s books…This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness. I wanted to give children a picture into the spiritual world while teaching them that God is in control in both realms (spiritual and physical). It’s action packed…meaning boys love it. Teaching at a Christian school so many years, I learned that there are very few books that really appeal to young boys. Girls seem to be willing to read anything… 🙂 Anyway, let me know and I’ll get one in the mail to you.

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