newbies, to veterans who've led for many years—develop ten essential qualities for dynamic and delightful leadership. With a blend of warm humor and "I've been there" compassion, Jodi weaves together memorable stories, biblical insights, and lots of real-life wisdom from her own long leadership journey.
Where do you go to learn how to be a minister's wife?
Bloom offers three book discussion groups per year using Face Book groups and Zoom video chats. We'd like you to commit to one year with a seasoned ministry wife for these specialized Bloom Connect groups, but we know how busy your life can get. Whether it takes you one year or two, we know you will benefit from the connections and encouragement that come with these women who are just like you. All you need is a phone or computer, a Face Book account, and the discussion book. Oh, and of course, register for the April group!
Bloom Connect Group
April 15 - June 9 (8 weeks)
by Jodi Detrick
One of the most common questions I hear from church workers is:
“How do you use social media effectively?”
Most churches have a sense that social media is a big opportunity but don’t know how to capitalize on it.
Social media can be a little intimidating for those of us who aren’t digital natives. To be clear, I’m not a social media expert by any stretch of the imagination. However, I’ve watched and learned from people and churches who use social media very effectively.
So, here are some tips if you’re looking to get into or improve your church’s social media game.
1. Target Your Audience
Social media savvy churches understand who they are posting for. Most likely, random people from the world at large aren’t going to be watching your church’s Facebook page or Instagram feed.
It will be your people.
So, as you think about as strategy for social media, it’s important to realize that this is an avenue to lead, encourage, and strengthen your core church attenders.
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Social media can be a great way to connect with people outside your church but this happens indirectly. It happens when your people repost something the church posted.
When this happens, all their social media friends and followers are exposed to your church. This can be a very good thing.
So, if you want to improve your church’s social media presence, narrow the focus and post content for your people.
And, understand that when you post content that reminds your people how much they love their church they will likely share it. Then all their followers and friends will be exposed to your church.
2. Appoint a Point Person
A second strategy that social media savvy churches employ is to
appoint a point person.
In a typical church, every different ministry has their own social media accounts and each ministry is posting whatever seems right in the moment.
Some good can definitely come out of this but not as much good as could come out of a concentrated effort in which everyone is running in the same direction.
Smart churches appoint one person. For some it is a paid position, for others it is volunteer, but this person oversees all social media at the church. This doesn’t mean that they post everything but it does mean that they are observing, directing, and consolidating posts in a way that makes sense and reflects whatever strategy a particular church has for social media.
Have you noticed that there are a bazillion social media platforms? I mean, even before we start talking about the obscure ones, there are a bunch that it seems like everyone is on:
Actually, no. That would be terrible.
Here’s what I’ve noticed. Social media savvy churches focus. I would argue that you really only need one as a church: Facebook.
Facebook is still by far the most popular social media platform with American adults. Once you get Facebook off the ground, move on to
However, if you are a student ministry or very young church, reverse the order here. Start with Instagram and then move to Facebook.
In our student ministry, we communicate with students through Instagram and to their parents through Facebook.
Wherever you find yourself, the point is: Focus.
Get good at one platform and then if necessary, move on. There’s no need to try to be active in a bunch of different social media platforms.
4. Engage and Answer
Funny thing, social media is supposed to be… well, social.
In other words, if you actually want your people to stay engaged with your social media accounts you need to respond to their posts, comments and questions. Even a simple, “Thanks for your comment” goes a long way in letting people know that you actually care.
Quite simply, people and organizations that only post their content come across as impersonal and focused on themselves. In contrast, people and organizations that respond to comments and questions appear to be warm, personal and others-focused.
This is another reason that someone must be appointed to oversee social media at your church. If the comments and questions are everyone’s responsibility, they are no one’s responsibility.
5. Tell Stories
I’ll never forget a lesson I learned about recruiting volunteers a few years ago.
Like you, we’ve tried every conceivable method to recruit volunteers. No matter what we tried we were always, shall we say, underwhelmed by the response.
Then, one year we made a video of one of our volunteers telling the story of her experience as a small group leader of high school girls.
That year, we had 5x the applicants.
That’s a big difference! That’s the power of story.
Social media can be an incredible tool for churches. Unfortunately, we often fail to realize the true potential.
Social media savvy churches use social media to tell stories—specifically, the stories of what God is doing in the lives of people.
It doesn’t have to be some expensive video that you don’t have the resources to create either. It can be a simple photo of a person with the story in text below the picture. The point is that stories captivate the heart. We were created to resonate with stories.
When churches use social media to tell stories of what God is doing and invite people to join in what’s happening, beautiful things happen.
6. Be Helpful
Lastly, social media savvy churches attempt to be helpful. Social media has a bad reputation for being nothing more than a tool for self-promotion. I agree that this is what social media becomes when it is at its worst. However, it doesn’t have to be.
When people or churches use their social media presence to help others, it can be not only compelling but magnetic.
So, here’s my final piece of advice: Don’t use your church’s social media platforms as a constant advertisement. Be creative and find ways to actually encourage and help people.
I recently heard one social media expert advise that for every one post that is self-promoting, you should post four that help and serve others.
The point is that people tend to tune out people and organizations (churches included) on social media that constantly promote themselves. The most savvy social media users are genuinely helpful and others focused.
If you’re looking for a place to start, I would encourage you to learn. Start following different churches’ social media accounts and take notes.
What do you like, what do you hate? What is worth copying?
(If helpful, you can check out our church’s Facebook page and Instagram feed).
From there, pick a platform, appoint a person and get to it!
Written by Aaron Buer. Article may be found at Breeze.
One year ago, we stepped out of our comfort zone and into a houseboat. God called us to downsize, sell everything, and simply follow Him. He didn’t tell us where we were going, but we knew He was guiding our steps. With an act of blind faith, our adventure began.
Ten months ago: We realized that life on the lake can be cold (even in Arizona!). We spent our evenings huddled around space heaters and learned to store blankets by the front door for our golf cart commute to and from the car. Chilly nights, no space for an actual Christmas tree, and (very) cold showers made winter on the lake more than a bit challenging.
Nine months ago: God gave us a burden for our community and we decided to plant a church. Slowly, the pieces of our story began coming together as God revealed His plan. The lake became a haven for us where we could be still, pray, and wait for God’s direction.
Eight months ago: I looked around at our crowded houseboat and wondered how I had accumulated so much stuff again. I was storing kitchen appliances in my dishwasher, and using the extra shower as a closet. (When five people and two dogs share less than 1000 square feet, you learn to improvise!)
Seven months ago: We bought a dining table for our back patio. We spent many mornings at that table, overlooking the water, drinking coffee, and studying the Bible. In the evenings, we enjoyed our dinner outside as we watched sailboats cruise by. With the cold (finally!) behind us, we began to enjoy the great outdoors again.
Six months ago: Our children changed schools. They had already changed homes, communities, the church they were born and raised in. Now, they had to say goodbye to their friends. It was a difficult year for them, but how beautiful to lead them in saying yes to Jesus and trusting Him with the unknown.
Five months ago: Maddie’s tenth birthday took the form of a slumber party on the houseboat. The theme of the party quickly became “improvisation” as the water and electricity to the marina was shut off hours before the party. We kept the girls entertained on the lake, enjoyed an ice cream sundae bar in the dark, and headed to a hotel to sleep. Our lessons in flexibility were well underway.
Four months ago: Summer was in full swing. We sat on the patio and listened to live bands playing in the distance. Boats cruised the lake, people roamed the docks, and we discovered that we had adjusted to life on the lake. We had developed friendships with the entire marina staff, learned the ropes, took on the challenges, and made this boat our home.
Three months ago: Everything changed. Again. We couldn’t have predicted that the worst storm in twenty years would hit our floating neighborhood, severing our dock from the rest of the marina, destroying walkways, sinking boats, and causing a mandatory evacuation. We walked away from our home not knowing if we would ever return.
Two months ago: We waited for the final insurance verdict on our home. Temporarily homeless, we lived out of suitcases while our future hung in the balance. The insurance company delivered the news: Due to structural damage and damage to the pontoons, the boat was totaled. God gives and takes away.
One month ago: I wrestled with my feelings and thoughts, trying to make sense of the situation. God spoke to my heart through the story of Abraham. This familiar story suddenly came alive with new meaning. God asked Abraham to make the ultimate sacrifice by giving his son as a burnt offering. So Abraham and Isaac set out towards Mount Moriah where Isaac would be killed as an offering to God. I’m sure we are all relieved every time we get to the part of the story where God stops Abraham. It was a test, after all—to determine if Abraham was fully surrendered and willing to give up that which he loved most.
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
I believe that John and I walked through a test this past season. How would we respond? Would we trust God? Would we have integrity on the journey? Would we willingly sacrifice the things we love the most in order to walk in complete obedience? Would we step out in faith despite the cost and criticism along the way? We were willing to do whatever God called us to do because we truly are passionate about radically following Him, and we are fully confident of His leading, now more than ever.
Our adventure continues: We received back via insurance the entire amount we originally invested in the boat, which means we are moving back to land. We’re moving back to a house where my kids will have their own rooms and I will have a bathtub! (It’s the little things.) I look back over this past year and am so grateful for the lessons we’ve learned, the joy we discovered in the middle of a quiet lake, and the memories we made as we stepped out and trusted God. In some ways it feels like a chapter in our lives is coming to an end, but deep down I know that this is just the beginning.
The best really is yet to come.
This article was borrowed. It, along with other resources for ministry women, can be found at Her Green Room.
Lindsay Petri is the Arizona Women's Director by day and writer by night. She is passionate about helping women find freedom in Christ, and is transparent about her own struggles on the journey towards peace and joy. Lindsay and her husband pastor a new church plant, Reclaim Church (launched September 2017), in Peoria, Arizona, with their children Bobbi, Noah, and Madelynn.
How often have you heard that phrase, “Today is a new day!” It’s pretty common, but how often do we forfeit what that truly means? Too often a new day comes, and we don’t enjoy it to the fullest potential because we are trying to walk out the blessings of a “new day” while still trying to carry the weights of yesterday.
I know it is easier said than done, but with God it is possible to put away yesterday’s weight.
Don’t allow the enemy of your soul to rob you of your new day! The devil’s objective is to kill, steal, and destroy any way possible. He wants to kill your will to walk it out, he wants to steal your joy, and he certainly wants to destroy any plans you have to succeed in your walk with the Lord.
Your past does not define who you are. Your mistakes are not who you are. Through the strength of God you can stand in the truth of who you are. When we choose to do that, we then can put off every weight that sets out to hinder us and we can march on knowing that we serve a God of second chances. We serve a God of “new beginnings,” and a God who is able to meet us where we are.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:1-2, NIV).
Make a choice to enjoy the blessings of our “new day.” Maybe everything is not going how we planned. Maybe everything is not perfect and this day may not be our best day . . . but God is good even on our worst day.
I like to think on these simple truths:
Dear friend, sometimes we have to say it out loud. Sometimes, we need to declare the truth audibly—out loud, so we can hear it.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”
(Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
God is so faithful. Prayers and blessings to each of you as we run this race together!
This article was borrowed and can be read at Her Green Room.
Lisa and her husband Steven are lead pastors at Faith Assembly, Winterville, N.C., and have been in full-time ministry for the last 15 years. She is a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God. Lisa's heart and passion is to see women set free to live their lives in victory as they discover the power available to them through the blood of Jesus. Lisa leads Faith Women, and shares in this journey of life to see women who adore God become all that God is calling them to be. Lisa travels and shares real life experiences and biblical truths to congregations, workshops, and conferences. It is her prayer for women to be changed, renewed, and refreshed in His presence. Lisa loves being a mom to two teenage daughters and is married to the love of her life! She also shares regular devotions to encourage at www.overcominglife.info, and would love to connect with you today!
When our family moved from Texas to the Pacific Northwest 10 years ago to be church planters, we felt prepared for the sacrifice and costs that would come our way. My husband and I had been in ministry for several years and had already stepped out in faith several times; we knew some sacrifice and cost would be involved. But we quickly realized that sacrifices would not only be asked of us but of our children as well, and that pill was much more difficult to swallow.
My immediate response was to fix it. I didn’t want my children to have to wrestle through sacrifice so young. But I quickly realized "fixing it” wasn’t an option. The best thing I could do was recognize the costs they were experiencing so we could process it together in a God-honoring, emotionally healthy manner.
Some of the things my daughters sacrificed were related to geography; they were so far away from friends and family. They missed family gatherings and celebrations, and that was hard. They left behind wonderful friends who shared their beliefs and morals and were thrown into a world that looked completely different. Our girls currently attend public schools in Vancouver, BC. While we absolutely love our schools and have so many good things to say about them, the reality is my girls haven't met a single Christian in the hallways. To try and help them through that season, I'd buy devotional books for teen girls. Sadly, the devotional books would only emphasize things like the need for surrounding yourself with Christian friends, and that simply isn’t an option for them.
My girls also experienced sacrifice when it came to privacy and having their own space. When we moved, our home immediately became the church, the office, the fellowship hall, the children's and preschool area, etc. My girls had to learn the meaning of sacrifice the minute we moved. We had people in our home constantly; the lack of privacy was deeply felt.
They have also experienced sacrifice of things and opportunities. As church planters, we live on a “missionary salary.” Our needs are always met but there is very rarely—if ever—room for extra. We have an incredibly full life and are extremely thankful for all God has given us. But the reality is, our kids do without quite a bit. We don’t go on vacations like their friends do, and we don’t have the nice things that many others do. We learn to live with less which honestly is a great but hard lesson to learn. We have also learned that they miss out on opportunities their “old” friends have. Because of social media, they see their friends having church, school and extra-curricular experiences they never will because of our calling.
I know that these things are not essentials. Our lives are not in danger and, compared to other countries and regions, we have so much. But the sacrifices felt by my children is something I can't help but recognize. I know that it is hard for them to see others doing things we don’t get to because we have chosen to follow Jesus. But I cannot simply recognize it. I need to respond biblically to their sacrifices and feelings. And while we have not perfected this by any means, let me share a few ways we have learned to process this along the way.
1. We allow our children to feel the pain of sacrifices.
In his book, Inside Out, Dr. Larry Crabb explains sacrifice and the feelings that follow so well.
“Biblical change never requires us to pretend that things are better than they are. Christ wants us to face reality as it is, including all the fears, hurts, resentments and self-protective motives we work hard to keep out of sight, and emerge as changed people. Not pretenders. Not perfect. But more able to deeply love because we’re more aware of His live.”
Ultimately, I want my daughters to be changed for His glory by our church planting journey. I know that cannot happen if we pretend everything is perfect along the way. We allow space to feel disappointment, pain and longing so that we can see our need for God in a way that will never be satisfied on this earth...continue reading
Amy lives in Vancouver, B.C., Canada with her husband, Tim, who serves as a church planting catalyst. They have three daughters. Tim and Amy are both originally from Dallas, Texas, but moved to Seattle, Washington, in 2007 where they were church planters for eight years in urban and suburban settings. Amy currently serves as the coordinator for church planter wives support with Vancouver church planting, as well as the North American Mission Board's consultant for church planter wives development. More from this author
Many times throughout life, we are called to be still. This call is prevalent throughout the Bible. A very well-known verse, Psalm 46:10, says, “Be still and know that I am God.” I have found this instruction to be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding of the biblical calls; I usually prefer issues to be solved immediately. I find it frustrating and painful to be still, as I would rather not suffer so long. Suffering is overwhelming; prolonged grief, is, at times, almost unbearable. But often, God calls us to inaction during the dark periods. Being still does not imply we stop our daily routine, rather we give our burdens to the Lord, allowing Him to navigate.
During a very stressful time in my life, the Lord impressed a message on my heart. He gave me an image of the two of us on a plane together. Even if you know me, you may not be aware that I did not like to fly. However, my job insists that I fly for 17-36 hours at a time—and often! During this time in my life, I felt so wasted by the stress and filled with such anxiety, the thought of allowing someone else to steer a plane that I must sit on was beyond overwhelming to me.
I became very acquainted with the people next to me on a flight. I had a coping system in place. I would apologize before take-off—letting the person next to me know that certainly during the flight, he or she would be holding my hand (and it may hurt!). I had chest pains; I could not breathe; I could not speak. The terror of that time was overwhelming—indeed, an example of my larger world.
When I received this message from God, I had to laugh—of course He chose an airplane! He has a sense of humor! God revealed this mental image of an airplane to me as a safe place where we could be near one another. In my mind, I needed to find that safe place—to allow my thoughts to rest, and to grieve and heal from the pain. So, God chose a plane.
In my mind, when I crawled into the plane, I was OK, but very weak. All the seats were open; I could choose to sit wherever I wanted. I found myself drawn to a well-worn co-pilot’s seat. I knew the Lord was in the Pilot’s chair. As we flew, God navigated all of the mine fields that appeared in the plane’s path. I sat still, very still, not even able to look over at the Pilot. I knew He was there, that was enough. I was not strong—I was too weak, too worn down by life, and thankful someone was steering. All around the plane, a great battle was underway. Arrows were trying to pierce through the aircraft. We could not see who was fighting off the arrows. God kept flying. I kept sitting—still.
As I sat in my seat, I suffered great pain—yet, God still flew. He was carrying me. He was fighting for me. After what seemed like a long while, I could finally turn my head—and look at my Pilot. That is all I could muster. I continued to be still. He continued to navigate . . . for the navigation we needed was beyond anything I could handle or control. After all, I didn’t know how to fly. I continued to be still. I gave up all control.
The plane—a place that once terrified me became a place for the biggest hand-over I had ever given the Lord. I was at my end, and He took it all for me.
I gave Him myself, my kids, family, others, finances, future, pain, hopes, dreams—and in return, He gave me peace—and the ability to continue to be still. He continues to navigate my joy and pain and carries my burdens as if they are a piece of luggage I can check under the plane. My burdens still exist, but they no longer weigh heavy in my arms. Mind you, I usually pack my luggage to the last ounce!
The verse God gave me through this time:
"I will fight for you; you need only be still." Exodus 14:14, NIV
Eventually, after much healing—we began to have conversations. I was too weak before, when I could only speak in what felt more like groans. I knew He could understand these. Now, after years of healing, we have plenty of chats. You see, we are flying this life together. I make plenty of suggestions. He listens—and even allows me to fly when I want to. I have found it much better to give Him the controls! After all, I want to serve Him.
Through stillness, the Lord works. Through stillness, the Lord heals. Through obedient stillness, the Lord will fight for you. It is as if God says to us, “Sit in that cockpit seat and let Me fly this plane. You can trust me, as I can navigate better than you can. You have an army of angels fighting on your behalf—fending off arrows and flames . . . though you have been—and still are in pain, I am in control.”
Certainly, at times we are called to action—but, sometimes when we hear these calls, they are refined in stillness before the Lord.
Article can be viewed at Her Green Room.
Amy grew up in Lynden, Washington. She attended Calvin College receiving a BA in Biblical Studies and Theology. After finishing college in 1997, she moved to Jerusalem, Israel, to attend Jerusalem University College. While there she pursued her MA at Jerusalem University College. Her area of study was in New Testament Backgrounds/Jewish History of the Second Temple Period. Amy lived in Israel for a total of 6 years, and two of their three children were born while living in Israel. After living in Israel, she moved with her family to Belgium where she taught classes at Continental Theological Seminary. After departing Continental, she moved to Springfield, Missouri, where she now works full time for the Center for Holy Lands Studies as the Director.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22, NIV).
Laughter shouldn’t be a secret, yet it seems people have forgotten how to laugh. Grumpy Cat, a celebrity feline, gained fame and an internet presence for her eternal sourpuss face and, while endearing on her, it is not so endearing on the face of those attending “Grumpy Church.”
We can busy ourselves with the work of the Lord yet forget to live—and living involves laughing. One “Grumpy Church” we served in frightened people away with their disgruntled ways. Attendance diminished, and joy was nowhere to be found. For where laughter is, joy is sure to be alongside. Laughter lightens moods and breaks down barriers between people. Laughter invites others to join in. Laughter embraces differences and helps us see ourselves as we are, flaws and all. Laughter can get us through the hard times in life.
As a pastor’s wife, I have learned having a sense of humor is a gift from God. I couldn’t make it through ministry life without it. Laughter reduces stress and burns calories. I would rather spend an hour laughing with a friend than walking on the treadmill (pass the chocolate please). And while laughter produces deep lines on our faces, each one is full of memories and moments to cherish. “I love these frown lines on my forehead,” said no one ever.
Do you remember the last time you laughed out loud? I don’t mean adding an LOL to something funny online, but a real laugh.
Laughter happens daily in my home, many times when I’m the only one in the house. Funny things are everywhere if we take time to notice them.
While reading online reviews for a lice treatment kit, I found one that read, “To get rid of life, you need to see a doctor.” One letter made all the difference, and I laughed.
A classified ad stated a car for sale was in great condition and was “spacey.” I think the writer meant spacious or roomy, but she combined the two and out came spacey.
On a walk with a friend, we passed a house with garbage at the curb. I glanced at it and doubled back to take a picture of a box labeled, Donated Human Tissue. I posted the picture on Facebook with the caption, “What are they doing in that house?” I know it was probably just used to carry something home from work in, but that box made my mind run wild. Are they creating their own human in the basement out of donated parts? What parts were donated? Can I get new thighs there?...read more
Suzanne has been in full-time ministry with her husband Wayne since 1992, pastoring in Pennsylvania and Illinois. She has two grown children and spends most of her days either writing or reading with a cup of tea close by. She enjoys attending auctions and sometimes brings home more stuff than she knows what to do with. She believes life is too short for mediocre food and insists on having good chocolate in the house at all times.
By Amy Rager
Are you, or have you ever been, a youth minister's wife? I have. What about a rural church pastor's wife? I've been there, too. Or an urban church planter's wife? Count me in, also. So many moments in life, I felt like an outlier. Five times at the hands of the elderly widow’s class I received verbal tongue-lashings. Once, I was the oldest female in our congregation. Four times I’ve relocated my family. I’ve served down old country roads; I’ve also served right off of I-65. I've been in ministry through health, pregnancy and illness. I’ve lived below the poverty line, and I’ve lived in the middle class. And in all things, Lord may call us to move again.
Pastors' wives, can you relate to my personal version of Paul's life (found in 2 Corinthians 11)?
Being a pastor’s wife is definitely not characterized by stability or predictability. We serve a Savior who once said, “The wind blows were it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8).
That’s the God we serve—One who moves as mysteriously as the wind He created.
We often use the phrases "surrendered my life to the ministry" or "gave my life to Christ." This surrendering is not just a one-time giving of ourselves, is it? No, it’s an everyday mentality of "this life is not my own, I will live as Christ sees fit."
Adaptability is a necessity for pastors' wives and is likely a quality you’ve already had to cultivate. Tom Rainer says the average pastor changes churches every three to four years. This adaptability we’ve instilled over the years can be a powerful tool in our ministries. Check out the definition of adaptability...read more
Amy is the wife of church planter, Barry Rager, and the mother of four young, energetic children. She and her family served in established churches for 8 years before relocating to Indianapolis in 2013 to plant New Circle Church. Amy enjoys discipling women and is passionate about planters' wives.
You can connect with her on Twitter @amylrager More from this author.
The phrase, “Don’t let the disappointment in a ‘few’ keep you from loving the ‘many’,” comes from a chapter in my book, 10 Things Every Minister’s Wife Needs to Know. In recent days, I’ve gone through a season of disappointment and I’ve had to remind myself of my own words. And unfortunately, I am pretty sure I will find myself there again in the future. You may say, well, that’s just ministry life. But it’s not. It’s everyone’s life, regardless of the occupation of your husband.
Don’t let the disappointment in a ‘few’ keep you from loving the ‘many’.
As minister’s wives, we can be tempted to withdraw or retreat, become bitter, give up, or be resentful of hurts. But when we do that, we end up lonely, isolated, and we miss the blessings of the “many” God has called us to serve and serve with. We sometimes determine in our hearts we will never allow ourselves to be put in that position again – we determine not to be vulnerable or transparent ever again. We tell ourselves it’s not worth the effort or the hurt. Unfortunately, that gets us nowhere in the eyes of others, or most importantly, with the Lord.
Withdraw and Retreat or Honor and Commend
So how are we to respond when we feel that keen disappointment in others? In my recent season, I deliberately decided to respond exactly opposite of how I felt on the inside. Rather than choosing to withdraw (my natural inclination) and retreat, I chose to take advantage of an opportunity to honor and commend others.
Rather than focusing on my personal disappointment, I asked the Lord to show me how I could be an encouragement to others.
What Godly Women Do
As I started to work on overcoming this season of disappointment, the Lord began to give me an actual list of attributes of the women I serve and serve with. This list included attributes from godly women of all ages and circumstances. My list reminded me I am not alone in this battle, and that others walk beside me in ministry life, also fighting the good fight.
This list included:
3 Actions To Take When You Are Disappointed In Others
So what do we do when people disappoint us? This certainly is a reality I would not and cannot deny. I’ve been there too many times as a pastor’s wife and I’m sure I will return there again.
1. Pour out your heart to the Lord.
Above all, I pour out my heart to the Lord. I ask Him to help me not give up. I ask him to help me forgive. I sometimes ask a very trusted friend to pray for me. I seek His Word for help because I know He has the answers better than anyone else.
2. Do something tangible.
In this particular season of disappointment, I did something tangible. I determined to turn my focus from my own personal hurt to honoring and acknowledging some extraordinary women God has placed in my life! Disappointment in others can be very depleting of our energies.Honoring others is refreshing and renews us.
3. Trust God and His Word.
My final words to you who may be going thru a season of hurt or disappointment come from His Word. Trust God and His Word, like these words from Philippians 1:9-11, “This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have more knowledge and understanding with your love; that you will see the difference between what is important and what is not and choose what is important; that you will be pure and blameless for the coming of Christ; that your life will be full of the many good works that are produced by Jesus Christ to bring glory and praise to God.” (ERV)
Refuse to become so disappointed in people that it rocks your faith or commitment to Christ. Keep your eyes on Jesus. God will see you through.
In December, a dear woman in our church handed me a tin of Christmas treats she'd made for our family, and as I received them, I felt tears immediately welling up in my eyes.
She didn't know and couldn't have known, but I had been in need of encouragement--even something as simple as a tin of cookies, something that expressed I'd been thought of and that I was appreciated
I'd actually been fighting against this desire for weeks, fighting against it because I felt it had crossed a line into craving approval and validation. Craving reward. Maybe even a little self-glory. The craving was strong in its temptation; my faith felt fragile and weak.
Is it so wrong to want reward? Sometimes I just want to know from God that what I'm doing for Him matters. Sometimes I want to see the fruit of my labor and get to rejoice at how the Lord is moving in and around me. But then sometimes a desire for reward is more sinister. I feel in my bones the lure of applause, money, worldly success, comfort, ease, and self-glory. All temporary, all things that might provide immediate gratification.
So in regard to encouragement, which is it: right or wrong?
Where do you go to learn about being a minister's wife?
It is our desire here at Refresh to see that each woman has a positive experience in partnership with their husband in ministry.
Bloom wants to provide guidance, support, connection, and encouragement to wives new to ministry through a connection with a seasoned and trained minister's wife using a Connect group created specifically for you. We'll use books to guide us in our conversations about the challenges, issues, benefits, and rewards of being a minister's wife.
We believe when women are strengthen, our families and churches are strengthened, and the ministry of the gospel is strengthened.
Interested in joining a Bloom Group?
Let us hear from you. Next group starting April 2018.