Now you are probably wondering what in the world does this have to do with ministry? Everything!
Sometimes as ministers/minister's wives we get into that vein that we have to do or be involved or at least be informed of everything going on in the church. Unfortunately we fail to realize that many times we are working outside of our spiritual skill set. Oh, we may have a lot going on at church but the level of effectiveness suffers because ladies we are not Wonder Woman!
We pastor a small church. For years I was the Worship Team Director, a small group leader for the ladies Bible study and the campus Bible study, a Sunday school teacher, and the Worship leader for children's church. At the time I had four children at home, three of which were small. My whole life revolved around what was going on at church because there was either no one to do it or no one that I thought could do it as well as I could. I lived by the code "you do what you have to" justifying it in the spiritual cloak of being a "helpmate" to my husband, the Pastor. Somehow I managed all this for many years but it soon became evident to me that I spent all my time preparing for my next meeting while preparations for my final meeting were suffering. So what did I do? I quit! I took some time, humbled myself before God and asked "Lord, what would YOU have me to do in YOUR church? What are my gifts? Where do I fit?" It was not easy because I had to hand over some responsibilities to people who I knew would do things differently than I would. And one group just fell by the wayside altogether. Did the church shrivel up and die? Much to my surprise, it didn't. In fact, in most ways, it is thriving! By my stepping out of the way, it allowed others to step up and be used by God in their giftings now that my sorry tukus was out of the picture.
One group that had been meeting is still not meeting and I have heard many comments from the members of group lamenting that fact but I just don't feel it's something that the Lord wants me to be doing. I'm waiting for the Lord to lay the burden on someone's heart who is gifted and can give it the time it deserves. And it's not because there is no one who could do it either. After 10 years in a prayer/Bible study group, any of the members should at least have a basic understanding of what elements are involved, but still no one has stepped up to fill that void--at least until now. This tells me that it was not as effective as I had hoped it was or that is just was not that important.
In the past two months there have been a few "ladies meetings." Are they what they used to be when I led them? Not at all but they are providing a much needed Biblical element to relationships between the women of our church. What is even more exciting is that they are being initiated by the younger women in our body, ladies who I still view as "kids" because I watched them grow up in our church. (Note: These "kids" are now married and have children of their own! LOL! I guess I refuse to acknowledge it because it would remind me that I'm getting old!) LOL! I see the wisdom, timing and provision of God as HIS plan is starting to come together. And I must add that it is so refreshing for me to attend a meeting that in no way am I responsible for planning and to just sit and watch how the Lord is been working in the hearts and lives of these kids-turned-adults. Some of them are really getting it and as part of a minister's family, nothing could be more gratifying. The torch has been passed! I also realize that our church has moved from one era to another, with this era being more Biblically correct in it's structure and that thrills my soul!
Moral of the story? Ladies, what would you do in the church if you were not the Pastor's wife? Do it!! What would you never do in a million years? STOP doing it!! What is God asking you to do? What can you do in the Biblical definition of being a "helpmate" to your husband within the structure of the church? Do it but don't allow your pride the satisfaction of thinking that you are indispensable because you're not. We are all part of a team and when we find exactly where we are meant to function we will do it effectively and successfully. The Kingdom of God will be enlarged and advanced-all to the glory of God which is the goal of our mission!