Catchy post title, huh? I know it’s not my most creative work, but today I opted for clarity over catchiness.
Help! I’m The Pastor’s Wife! was the name of a track of breakouts at the Velocity Conference earlier this week, and I was privileged to host it. Before I tell you some of the great takeaways that I had, let me tell you the greatest value I see in a conference track like this: community.
Certainly there is good info to learn in the main sessions of conferences like this – tons of motivation and inspiration. And, we are privy to such practical advice and wisdom in the breakouts, smaller classes designed to meet specific needs. But, nothing beats connecting with other women who share the same up’s and down’s as us…who understand ministry life, right?
To engage in small talk in the hallways…
To exchange stories and ideas…
To make new friends…..
Well, that’s gold for me. Some of my closest friends in ministry are women that I’ve met for only a moment in settings like this, yet we grew in relationship as we connected via Facebook, Twitter, emailing, and texting. These women share my life. They understand what it is to lead and follow. They understand my desire for God. They understand what it is to be loved by many but known by few…..no matter what size their church. They, like me, are privileged to sit on the front row of all God is doing in their church. They pray. They laugh. They share ideas for ministry and parenthood. For me, community is a HUGE value of attending a conference like Velocity.
This year, I wanted to offer practical help for women who find themselves a little daunted by their role as a Pastor’s wife. And it certainly can be daunting, can’t it? So, I invited 3 friends to join me to encourage and equip other women in ministry. Here are the highlights of my notes:
Trisha Davis, RefineUs Ministries and co-author of Beyond Ordinary, When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough:
Trisha spoke on Relational Leadership Principles. She encouraged us to leverage our relationships – all of them – for God. In other words, to invest into people, love them well, and point them to Christ. Here are 2 quotes that made me stop and think:
“We oversee people in our conversations.”
Relational Leaders invest strategically.”
Kathy Ferguson Litton, North American Mission Board and Flourish:
Kathy is my partner in ministry and a dear mentor in my life. She talks, I listen. Kathy’s message, The Sacred Art of Influence, pinpointed not only the value of a wife’s influence over her husband, but specific positive and negative ways we effect them. Here are a few of her words:
“My character will help hold up my husband.”
“The training of our emotions is in the discipline of our responses.” (Ponder that one. It’s deep….and we need it.)
Christine Hoover, author The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope For Her Heart:
Christine is a new friend, and I’m so glad God sent her my way. She has learned many lessons along her own church planting journey, and she candidly shares them in her book. Lessons that made me evaluate my own perspective on ministry and life….several times. She challenged me with this:
“Where the leader goes, so goes the people.”
“Remember, know, and meditate on this: God will be with you.” (We so quickly forget this!)
And, lastly, good ol’ me:
I shared several of the most critical lessons God has taught me about leadership through my journey as a church planter. Here are two:
“Never substitute your service to the church for your relationship with God. God wants your love and devotion more than your acts of service.”
“The pastor and his wife must be strong ministry partners AND strong marriage partners. One role fuels the other: we lead with integrity when our marriage is on solid ground, and our marriage benefits exponentially when we partner together to accomplish whatever task God has given to us. Don’t grow further apart in one area. Claim success in both!”
Another day of good food for thought! I have a few more things to share about Velocity, so stay tuned. Until then, love and lead well today, my friends!