A ministry wife often hesitates to call herself a leader. We shy away from the “leader” label. Yet every single one of us is. Some may like it. Some may not. But it is unwise for us to resist, ignore or deny it. We're leaders, and so, embracing the leadership role will help us begin to steward it more effectively.
Michael Hyatt shared some powerful realities of leadership that fascinated me. While reading them, I looked in the rear view mirror at my 41 years of leadership primarily as a ministry wife. I could actually recall the landscape of the four types of these realities Hyatt said could play out in leadership life.
He nails it.
As leaders, we possess more power than we think. But we can only use it for good if we understand and embrace it. We need to remind ourselves of these four leadership realities:
Article borrowed from the NAMB website.
Sometimes we lose sight of the message God wants to give us when we hear a Bible story over and over as children and again as adults. Sometimes God asks us to do something without giving us all the details of the assignment up front. Our prideful hearts get a little puffed up as we “imagine” how God’s plans will turn out.
Then, as God reveals the details to us, we are aghast that He would “dare” go against what our hearts had imagined. We can’t see how His plan could possibly produce our expected outcome. We argue with God and try to convince Him that our way is best.
Pause with me as I reminisce a moment.
How many times have I been like Jonah? How many times have I thought God “messed up” in His planning? Now, in hindsight, posing the question, it looks ludicrous, but in the moment of hearing God speak to my heart, my cognitive thought that God made a “mistake” was very real. I may not have found myself literally on a ship headed in the opposite direction, or in the belly of a fish, but was there really a difference—considering the obstinacy in my heart?
If we choose to not heed His Spirit’s calling, we then find ourselves ensnared as a product of our own choices to not pursue God’s will as He intended. It is easy to sing, “Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders,” in a worship service. It is difficult to walk on “the great unknown where feet may fail.”¹ When we realize where those deep waters lead us, then—like Jonah—we may choose to run.
What He asks may not be for us to go to Nineveh, but what if His calling is to a place of ministry where it becomes apparent we can lose everything—finances, friendships, familiarity? What if that place of ministry strips us of everything we thought we knew about ministry? What if the lack of familiar ground and surroundings disrobe us of all the pretenses we clothed our identities in?
But . . . what if that place of ministry causes us to trust so much in the Savior that we begin to see life through His eyes, His heart, and His truth? God in His mercy, providence, and amazing grace is patient, provides a way of escape, and gives us another chance.
As a ministry wife, I have learned and am continually learning that trusting His calling, His timing, and His plan is sometimes much harder to accept in my heart than I expected.
We have had “calls” in our life that required sacrifice of comfort. We have had “calls” that have required even greater trust.
I have wept. I have mourned. I have had a pity party or two for what I thought I lost...read more
How many times, as a ministry wife, have you been asked a variation of this question: “What is the will of God for my life?”
We counsel people on this consistently, but if you are anything like me, you can still find yourself thinking, analyzing your situation, or questioning your next move—until you think yourself into a rut.
This past year, for me, has been filled with seasons where I needed to hear from God for big transitions happening in my life. In a moment when I felt completely defeated and unable to make a decision that I felt peace about, the Lord led me to a story in Acts 16.
Here we find Paul and Silas locked in a jail after casting a demon out of girl who could tell fortunes through demonic inspiration. After Paul and Silas prayed for her deliverance, her owners weren’t too happy because a well of income had run dry. They caused a scene and demanded that Paul and Silas be imprisoned.
In the middle of the night, as Paul and Silas were worshiping in their jail cell, an earthquake occurred and their shackles and prison doors opened. It would be easy, at least for me, in that moment to think, “Wow, I was just praying and worshiping, and God has just provided a way out of here!” It’s an open door to an apparent, desperate, and obvious need. They could have left in a split second without thinking twice. It’s hard to imagine that I wouldn’t have.
But they stayed right where they were. Now, that seems to us to be just plain irresponsible. If they die there, they can’t continue their call, right? What were they thinking? It’s like watching a movie and yelling at the character on the screen to do what you know they need to! Like, “Get out of there!”
However, Paul made no sudden moves. He and Silas saw the jailer was about to kill himself because he thought all the prisoners had escaped. The jailer knew that whether he took his own life or not, his fate would be death if he lost all the prisoners. Paul yelled out, “Don’t hurt yourself! We are all here.”
The jailer was amazed—and you know how the story goes. The jailer and his whole family come to know the Lord and are all baptized before the sun is up.
Then I noticed something in the text I have never paid attention to before. I guess I never really thought through how this story ends. The order from the officers came and then . . . Paul and Silas are released. But didn’t they already have an open door?...read more
The smell was more nauseating than anything else. Coupled with the constant motion of the water and the seaweed wrapped around him, the man expected nothing but death.
How did he end up in this place? Why didn’t God just let him die in the sea? Why did he have to end up here to die a slow, painful, agonizing death?
The gastric juices kept burning his flesh. Open sores were appearing all over his body. He found no way to be comfortable, no way to rest. Why couldn’t he just die?
He found a piece of wood and rested as much as possible. If he laid across it just right, then maybe he wouldn’t have to tread through so much water and dead fish.
He drifted to sleep.
He heard the voice. Plain, simple. No details yet, but that didn’t matter. He heard God speak!
Once again he felt the excitement! God needed him!
God in heaven had a job for me. I am to prepare to take a message!
Just like the prophets of old, Elijah and Elisha!
Maybe someone will write a scroll about the things God will do through me!...read more
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.