Recently, I was honored to spend some time with Rick and Kay Warren. Kay invited me and a few other ladies to speak on a panel to a group of Pastor’s wives, and I had such fun. My friend, Brandi Wilson and I grabbed a quick pic with Kay, too – if you know me, you know I love a good picture! But, back to the topic at hand. I always enjoy investing into other women in ministry, but I wanted to take advantage of this one-on-one time with Kay to glean her wisdom on a successful ministry life. She and Rick have honorably and faithfully served their church for over 30 years, and during that time they have also invested into countless other pastors and ministry leaders. I admire their tenacity, their compassion, and their integrity.
So, when we were at lunch I couldn’t help but ask Kay what her best piece of advice was for a Pastor’s wife. Don’t you want to know it, too? I mean, 3 decades of leading and loving and living – done well! Over three decades of spiritual growth, leadership development, and wisdom. Over three decades of victories and setbacks, life lessons, and learning to draw lines between marriage and ministry. I have to tell you, I don’t often have the chance to ask something of someone like that, and I was certainly curious as to her answer.
Here’s what Kay had to say:
“If you want to survive and thrive as the wife of a Pastor, you must learn to take care of yourself in every way – physically, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually.”
Kay explained that she learned early on in her ministry life that she could not depend on her husband’s spiritual growth for her own growth. In other words, she was accountable for her own walk with Jesus and her own service to Him. And, she realized that her own physical, spiritual, emotional, and even intellectual health would excel or limit her usefulness to God. So, she eats healthy and exercises, she talks to counselors when she needs to, she dives deep into her own relationship with God, and she works hard to sharpen her ministry skills. She takes care of herself so she will have something of value to offer the world around her when God gives the opportunity.
That’s a great word for all of us, not just Pastor’s wives.
My husband preaches the same message to church planters and their teams all the time: nurture your own vitality. If you burn out, what good will you be to a world in need? So, no matter if you are a PW, a Pastor or Ministry Leader, or a devoted child of God, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!