In Genesis 2, God says “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.” Were truer words ever spoken? Man desperately needs a helper, a woman who has the innate skills to create and manage their home, family and life. This is especially true in ministry.
I have a friend whose husband was in music ministry, serving with a pastor who was single. She told me once, rather wistfully, that while the pastor was a gifted communicator and leader, with a great heart, there was something missing – a wife! She noted how much a “helper” brought to a church family, how influential and enriching that role can be. One of my interests is researching the stories of women in church history, especially pastors wives. While there isn’t a plethora of information on these women, there is enough to get a true sense of their marriages, ministry and personal journeys. Catherine Boothe was the wife of William Boothe, founders of the Salvation Army. The Boothes were contemporaries of Charles and Susannah Spurgeon, he being the famous pastor of the Metropolitan Tablernacle in London. Other colleagues during that time were Hudson Taylor, George Muller and David Livingstone – powerful voices reflecting the missions heart of English Christians in the 19th century. There is quite a contrast between how Susannah and Catherine lived out their “helper” roles.
Catherine and William were committed to social work and evangelism with the impoverished working class in London’s East End. Catherine’s powerful speaking and leadership skills energized hundreds of Christians to take the gospel to the poor, working to establish stable families and communities. The woman had unbelievable drive and stamina, and the Boothes left one of Christianity’s most enduring legacies. On the other side of town was Susannah Spurgeon. Susannah was a quiet woman, with literary interests and skills. She was bedridden most of her adult life from problems resulting from the birth of twins. She established the Book Fund to purchase Spurgeon’s commentaries for rural pastors who could barely afford food for their families, much less study materials. Her compassion for these pastors led to this quiet but vital ministry.
One ministry was very public, the other was “off the radar screen”, but both were of inestimable value. Their stories illustrate the synergy of a couple, fully committed to God’s call, whose ministries were empowered by each one finding their unique path. Their voices still impact all of Christendom! This leads me to the obvious question: as a “helper”, do I embrace my own strengths and even weaknesses, determined to see opportunities for service? Or, do I excuse myself due to less than perfect circumstances? As a “helper” to our husbands, we not only strengthen our ministry, marriage and families, but our own voice to the generations of believers that come after us. In part 2 of this post we will look at the mystery and power of” synergy”!
Susie Hawkins lives in Dallas, TX with her husband OS Hawkins. She is the author of From One Ministry Wife to Another: Honest Conversations on Connections in Ministry. She has 2 daughters and 6 grandchildren, keeping her life full of craziness and joy. This blog was posted on November 13, 2014 for NAMB Flourish.
Let me assure you, there is a way. And the way starts with you, is managed by you and is maintained by you.
The “way” begins with you making the decision to say, “I will no longer run myself to exhaustion. I will learn to block out time on my calendar exclusively for family. I will put a schedule in place each week that enables me to both lead and love it.” But you have to make this choice. I can attest to you that no one will do this for you....read more
Linda Seidler is a writer, speaker, leader and pastor and has a strong passion for building the local church. She and her husband, Tim, co-founded The Experience Church in Bridgeport, Ohio, where they lead and pastor together. Linda’s drive is to energize the church to reach its full potential and to develop and strengthen leadership. In her spare time, Linda loves to peruse the local thrift and salvage stores and has an affinity for repurposing existing furniture and items for her home. This blog post was written for Leading and Loving It.
I know I'm never going to get that Gal Friday, so what about self-management? You mean it's not enough to manage my kids, my husband, my home, the church? I need to manage myself, too? Yes, ma'am. Tammy also says that focusing on self-management leads to better management of all other areas in our lives. She has some ideas to help us get a grip and bring some order to our lives...read more
Tammy and her husband, Jason, are senior pastors at The Salvation Army Hope Community Church located just east of Toronto, ON in Canada. We have served in pastoral and non-profit leadership roles for 15 years. We have two children, Bria and Blaise.
She is passionate about encouraging women in leadership. Nothing makes me happier than a good thrift shop and a DIY project. I also enjoy connecting with others through social media and I have the privilege of being part of the Leading and Loving It team by managing our Pinterest and Twitter accounts.
"You would think that with all the communications gadgets we have at our disposal, we’d be better at, well, communicating," says Anita Bruzzese, contributing author for Quickbase.com Blog.
Then why is it that colleagues show up at the wrong time for a meeting? Or we become increasingly frustrated when an exchange of a dozen emails with a teammate leaves us more confused than ever?
Although this blog post is written for the workplace, it could easily have been written for the church. We all need a little help sometimes in getting our point across, making ourselves heard, and/or being more confident when we speak.
Do you have room for improvement in your communication style? How could using some of the pointers below improve your communication with your family? People in your church? People you work with? What other areas of your life could improving your communication affect?
One last post about setting goals and starting anew from Bridgette Tomlin's website, Sanctuary: Ministry to Ministry Wives. Bridgette will be our guest speaker at Refresh Breakaway 2017. This post gives us a little different perspective on making choices that help us to thrive in this abundant life God has given us.
Post from January 9, 2017 by Samalee Allen
There is a better you on the other side of a better choice.
The challenge is not to fail, but to thrive. Abundant life is what Jesus offers us. A better choice. We as Sanctuary and ministry wives know this, all too well, when our hubby-pastor calls for an all-church fast and collective congregational groans ensue. These pew-warmers may choose to see fasting as a restriction from food instead of freedom to make a better choice--that choice being a thriving, deeper relationship with the Lord.
It takes a renewing of the mind to see the better choice...read more
Last week we were asked, "Where are you going in 2017?" In keeping with this new year's theme, we have asked Jerry Harris to help us find our way. Rev. Harris, a big proponent of setting goals, gives us sound reasons why we should set goals, and practical, reasonable action steps to get those goals accomplished. It's with pleasure we welcome Rev. Harris to Refresh.
guest post by Jerry Harris
“He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.”
(Proverbs 12:11) NIV
This scripture tells us to “work our land.” What is our land? The writer was referring to the plowing and sowing of their land so they would have plenty to eat. They didn’t have a local grocery store to stop by and pick up some milk on the way home. They had to plant and plan so they would have food to live on. This was vital to their well-being and existence. If you didn’t plan ahead, you would be begging in harvest time.
“A sluggard does not plow in season; so, at harvest time he looks but finds nothing.”
(Proverbs 20:4) NIV
If we want to get ahead and stay ahead of the game of life, we must develop a “working our land” attitude. Since we are not farmers, what is “our land?” Remember that the land was vital to the farmer’s well-being and existence. What is vital to our well-being and existence?
If these things are vital to me then how do I prepare or “work” my land? There must be an intentional attempt to make my land better. Just hoping for it to take place won’t accomplish anything but desperation. Just praying for it to take place won’t accomplish anything but frustration...God won’t answer my prayer! He doesn’t care about me!
“Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”
(Psalm 90:12) KJV
The “number” means to weigh out, to allot, and to prepare. How do we do this? By examining each area of our life and setting goals for the future.
1. Why must we have goals?
Because it is just as difficult to reach a destination you do not have, as it is to come back from a place to which you have never been. In other words, you can’t hit a target you don’t have. A person without a goal is a ship without a rudder. He will drift and float. He will likely end up on the beach of despair, discouragement, frustration and defeat.
A goal is a faith statement! I can’t see it but I believe it!
2. Why don’t more people have goals?
a. Most people have never been convinced they are important.
b. They don’t know how to establish them.
c. They fear they won’t reach their goals and consequently, are embarrassed.
d. They don’t take time to set them.
I would rather attempt to do something great and fall short, than attempt to do nothing and succeed.
3. What are the characteristics of a good goal?
a. Will I be able to know when I’ve reached my goal?
b. With God’s help and a lot of effort on my part, is it within reach and within the time period I’ve set?
c. When I achieve this goal what will be the benefit to me or to others?
Our problem is not the lack of time, but the lack of direction (focus). Our problem is not the lack of time, but our failure to effectively use the time we have.
We must not confuse activity with accomplishment, and we must stop counting our hours and start making our hours count. Consider how Jesus lived His life.
He knew what he had to do and he did it!
“My food (well-being and existence) said Jesus,
is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish His work.”
(John 4:34) NIV
He knew He only had so much time to do it, so he did it!
“As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me.
Night is coming, when no one can work.”
(John 9:4) NIV
You’ve got to start sometime to give direction to your life.
Use the Adjust My Daily Life, Lord worksheet. Now is the time!
Rev. Jerry Harris is Director of Church Planting for the AG Southern MO District Council, and President of Inner City Ministries of St. Louis and Reach Missouri Network. He and his wife, Lisa, have 35 years of pastoral experience, leading churches in rural, metropolitan and city environments.
Yes, it’s already mid-January, but how exciting to think that God has some amazing possibilities lined up for each of us - yes, even for you. Do you believe that? You should, because God says so in His Word. Consider the words of Paul:
"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." (Philippians 2:12-13)
Could it be that part of ‘working out your salvation’ includes setting goals to accomplish what the Spirit may already be speaking to your heart?
I've not always been good at writing down my goals. I've had to learn why I should set goals, how to set them, and how to reach them. More importantly, I've had to learn how to reset goals I may not have met and how to not let discouragement keep me from reaching the purpose God has designed for my life. Yes, that has happened more times than I would like to admit!
There's a lot of information to be found in books and online about goal-setting. Here is what I've found helpful in setting goals:
Yes, January is nearly over, but it’s never too late to seek God’s purposes for your life. Whether we are wives, mothers, teachers, bus drivers, or youth pastors, God has given to us purpose: unique, special, life-changing purpose. As you determine your purpose, consider your gifts and strengths. Ask yourself these questions:
What will accomplish good for the kingdom?
What areas do I need to adjust in my life - spiritually, relationally, physically, and socially?
I encourage you to give it a try. You might be surprised to see what happens!
This is Advent. We celebrate a coming. We celebrate an arrival. The arrival of a baby boy born in a stable. A baby, yet a king. The arrival of new life to a young, bewildered couple. The arrival of new life for you and me. The arrival of a new kingdom.
The Arrival of Grace
Grace is here. Grace came down, in the form of a baby, not only to Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, but to you and me. Today.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Luke 2:40 “And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.”
Read the rest of this Advent devotional here.
Candace Crabtree, Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
For me, being an aunt has been a lovely surprise. Not the actual day it happened - I had nine months to anticipate the event - but the unexpected joy that's followed.
These little creatures kept springing into the world, crawling into my house, then strutting through the kitchen demanding juice boxes. Suddenly there were five of them! Actual humans. All with distinct personalities, cherubic cheeks and germs.
I remember when my youngest niece Holland was born. Her 6-year-old sister's excitement bubbled over. But her 4-year-old big brother Emmett was not nearly as amused. For him meeting Holland was a real yawner.
Emmett's speech was still developing and he routinely switched "she" and "her" for "hers?" As in, "Mom, will you tell hers to stop." So when Emmett learned the family was visiting his newborn sister in the hospital two days in a row, his response was, "We have to go see hers again?"
After my sister left the hospital, the new family headed straight to collect the older siblings from school. They skipped across the schoolyard, and Emmett punched the button that opens the minivan. It slid open like always, only this time newborn Holland was there. Emmett lamented with utter shock, "You mean HERS is still here?"
"Buddy, get in the car," my brother-in-law said, "Hers is going to be here for the rest of your life."...continue reading
Kelly is an author, musician, Bible study creator and teacher passionate to see women impacted by Jesus and His Word…read her bio here
In the middle of a busy day, I found myself having a mental “conversation” in which I was telling off a member of our congregation. Can you relate? I was angry, defensive and offended over a comment he made. This member was bothered that our pastors were allowed to wolf down a meal at our Wednesday night fellowship supper without paying (before running on to complete a 16-hour day of ministry). He even tried to “Jesus” up his criticism by equating our pastors to the sons of Eli the Bible says cheated God’s people. It was eating me up. A situation that did not even concern me was rattling around in my brain, creating all kinds of unwholesome emotions and distracting me from what was my actual responsibility.
Imagine how costly a lifetime of allowing this kind of mess to accumulate and take root could be.
Over the course of a life devoted to ministry, there are bound to be more than a few perceived offenses. But I’ve learned that allowing them to build up in our hearts can render us bitter, paranoid and ineffective. In the middle of this moment of growing resentment, I was reminded of a proverb that spoke directly to my heart.
“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32).
The inner part of us—not our eternal spirit, but our inner individuality of mind, will and emotions—can have a huge impact on both our physical and spiritual well being. Emotions are powerful. They are not sinful in and of themselves. They are merely a response to stimuli. But it’s never good to just let them run wild. This proverb reminds us that this three-fold inner world (mind, will and emotions) can be regulated. This allows us to be able to use our will to rule our emotions and not the other way around. It’s done by surrendering our will to the truth.
The problem is that we don’t always have the truth in file folder number one in our minds. Instead, we keep this relative, subjective, emotional information in the top drawer ready to be perused and mulled over all day, every day. These patterns of dwelling on the negative can become ingrained. The result is weakness, instability and loss of self-control. In other words, it either consumes us from within or propels us into an outburst. Both are counterproductive to our calling.
What is called for is a daily renewal of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). We need to recognize these mental patterns and immediately take them captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). We need to reload file folder number one with information that is true and worthy of our meditations (Philippians 4:8). In other words, take your mental focus off that one knuckle-headed remark, and set it firmly on the truth of God’s Word and what He is doing all around us.
This proverb speaks of “taking a city.” Plowing over a city or a person, even if it is just in your mind, is far inferior to ruling your spirit so that you remain Spirit-filled and accomplish what God has for you. Let’s be reminded of the spiritual discipline of ruling our spirits through renewal of our minds. It will make you more mighty than an army!
How do you fight to become slow to anger?
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.