Supporting Your Pastor’s Wife

LEAH JONES|GUEST I watched as a green inchworm crawled up the arm of the preacher’s suit during the middle of his sermon. I could hear the whispers in the pews around me as people speculated as to how the situation might end. But before the worm could make its way inside his suit and wreak even more havoc, I calmly walked up to the pulpit, brushed the small disruptive insect off the pastor’s sleeve, and returned to my seat. Anyone could have done what I did. We all knew he wouldn’t mind a momentary disruption to avoid disaster. But not everyone felt it was their job to help. I knew the job was mine alone. I was the pastor’s wife. A Unique Role A pastor’s wife faces tricky situations, most of which don’t involve inchworms. She has unspoken expectations placed upon her and few people with whom she can have transparent conversation. The women who serve in this vital role don’t have the typical avenues of care or companionship other women may take for granted, not because they don’t have friends or parishioners who love them; rather, because the calling to the role of “pastor’s wife” is layered with relational complexity...

Supporting Your Pastor’s Wife2023-03-24T17:44:45+00:00

How the Church Can Pray for Military Chaplains and Their Families

REBEKAH COCHELL|GUEST The young soldier sitting across the desk from my husband was around 20 years old. He was tall and thin with a foreboding look on his face. He was a little uncomfortable as he had never talked to a counselor before and had never been to church. He was an atheist. Yet, there he was, sitting across from a Christian chaplain, an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church of America.  He had recently run into some trouble and his commander sent him to speak to the chaplain. By the time the counseling session ended, the young man had a relaxed smile on his face. He came back regularly for counseling. Curious about Christianity, he asked many questions, and they had some deep theological conversations. He became the type of soldier who noticed when other soldiers were struggling or in any type of trouble and encouraged them to go to “Chap” for counseling. This is a typical experience in my husband’s ministry as a military chaplain...

How the Church Can Pray for Military Chaplains and Their Families2023-03-24T17:46:05+00:00

WE: A Ministry for Elders’ Wives

I admit navigating the busyness of my own ministry life felt like its own frazzling challenge. And adding to that the task of getting out the door with an infant-necessity-packed car and my two tiny children to drive forty-five minutes “off island” in south Florida felt like an almost insurmountable challenge. In the beginning, I questioned if it was really necessary that I go to all the trouble. Yet each week, the seat I found waiting for me, and the greeting, “Good morning, Meaghan!” reminded me that I wasn’t alone.    Not Made to do Ministry Alone We all have stories of isolation and even frustration in ministry. Ministry can be hard. We have full plates and limited time. During this now-and-not-yet in the biblical story of redemption, the Fall impacts our own hearts, our homes, and our churches. It makes it hard to connect. This is why the gift of a seat next to Sherry Kendrick was so inviting for me. She saw me and encouraged me. I really didn’t know I needed it, but she did.      Ephesians 4:15-16 encourages us, “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love."     As a veteran Teaching Elder’s wife, Sherry did what she knew. In love, she sought to strengthen the body of Christ. She knew this took intentionality and sacrifice, and seeing a need, she shared her gifts and graces. She poured into my life the way that Susan Hunt and Barbara Thompson had poured into hers. She offered herself. She drove me in the large church van to Orlando to attend my first PCA Women’s Ministry conference, Grace 360. Her enthusiasm was contagious.      Maybe it wasn’t necessarily flashy, but Sherry went to great lengths to arrange a Bible study in her church fellowship hall complete with wonderful childcare and warm casseroles, and then Sherry personally invited all the young ministry wives in the presbytery to attend! These connections were nourishment for my tender soul. She took me in as I was. She listened, she prayed, she reminded me of the goodness of our God of HESED. She was safe, and always had a favorite book on hand and a warm smile. I can still recount the ministry stories, real life anecdotes, laughs, and crazy shenanigans of those precious mornings.     Sherry gave me eyes to see what ministry looked like further down the road. Then, she introduced me to her friends. Never missing a beat, these friends introduced me to their friends, and before I knew it, I had a community of care and support. We were not made to live life alone. We were not made to do ministry alone....

WE: A Ministry for Elders’ Wives2023-03-24T18:13:56+00:00
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