Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Nuggets of Wisdom

Several summers ago at youth camp, Allen and I met Steven and Kristin Gaither. At that time, Steven was serving as youth pastor FBC George West. It turns out I kind of sort of knew Kristin and knew of Steven at UMHB for the whole semester I was there, but they were 2 years ahead of me and were already engaged at that point and I was, well, a freshman. Different worlds.
Anyway, we really connected with them, and over the years have remained friends. I would go so far as to say Allen and Steven have a weird bromance thing happening, but I won't speak for them. :-)
About 3 years ago, Steven stepped out of youth ministry and into a Senior Pastor position. I asked Kristin to share with us a little bit about that experience….

While attending a conference in February of 2011, the pastor invited anyone who was interested in pastoring a church plant to come to the front. Steven and I both felt a strong nudge from the Holy Spirit, but we didn't follow through in immediate obedience. We weren’t looking for an out. Things were going great! The church was growing and we were getting along just fine. We wrestled with God concerning this call to pastor for several weeks before finally surrendering. We both felt that the right thing to do would be to talk to our current pastor and let him know what God was doing in our lives.  Our pastor was not shocked by this and offered his full support. We did not know if we would be at RHBC for two more weeks or two more years. 

Well, God moved rather quickly and by the end of that week, Steven and I were going in to interview with a small church. Being in the ministry for several years already, we had walked through the process of interviews several times, but this was different. I wasn't sure if we were ready. This was for being the actual pastor! I had no idea what being a pastor's wife looked like. Was I suddenly going to need to learn how to sew, sing and play the piano? Was I going to be required to cook at home every night? Will they find out that my kids argue all the time? It was time for me to seek out some Godly wisdom from those who had gone before me. I sat down and messaged several pastor's wives that I know asking for any advice they might be willing to share. I refer back to these nuggets of wisdom very often. They are as follows:

1. Be yourself and allow your kids to be themselves. We don't have to pretend to be somebody or fake having it all together. Others want us to be authentic and genuine. All of our lives are broken and messy in someway or another and when we let each other in the journey becomes easier and the pressure is released!

2. Love God, Love people. This really simplifies things, but is not easy to do.  Luke 10:27 tells us to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. Obedience to this verse requires us to take our eyes of ourselves and that is hard! It helps me when I need to navigate through a decision though. Will my choice show love toward God and toward people? 

3. Pray about where to serve and learn to say 'no'. Often times in the ministry we tend to fill our plates with so much that everything becomes a duty and we stop enjoying ministry or maybe that is just me! The wife of a pastor should be at every church activity, right? She needs to direct VBS, lead the children's choir and organize the food pantry. All of those are great things, but if the Lord is not calling you to serve in those areas then it is ok not to. It is okay to say no. Prayerfully consider the activities that you are involved in. 

One of the biggest lessons I have learned though in this transition is that my husband needs my support and encouragement daily. Genesis 2:18 (NLT) reminds us, "Then the Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him." Whether your husband is children's pastor, youth pastor, worship pastor or lead pastor give him a word of encouragement today. 

I can look back on the different experiences that we have had in the ministry and see how they have all played a role in preparing us for the position we are in now. We can trust the Lord to guide us. I want to leave you with 1 Thess. 5:24; "The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it." 

Thank you Kristin for sharing your heart with us! If you leave a comment, I'll be sure to let her know. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great week!!

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