I am sitting here on an extroverted high with a bit of introverted exhaustion after a week at RHMA’s Small-Town Pastors’ Conference.
Yearly we gather near the corn and pumpkin fields of Illinois in order to have fellowship with like- minded people in small-town and rural ministry. It’s a unique conference in that way, which welcomes the special association of those that are frequently single staff members in small churches where they are serving. There’s a different type of mentality that can come along with that type of pastor and pastor’s wife, and a special type of comradery that comes from being with people who just “get it” when it comes to your ministry.
But as I’m sitting here typing this, I’m enjoying a retreat with a friend who is in ministry in Dubai. We are laughing at the similarities between ministry as a small-town pastor’s wife and an expat ministry member.
We found that through our varied ministries, we are both called to connect and encourage and strengthen those in ministry as supporters. We have giggled that her work through her mission leads her to support ministry wives in Argentina, Thailand, and India, while my ministry focuses on those in the US and Canada. This friend and I have the same mission that encompasses the whole world. What a time we live in where all that is possible through travel and technology.
We share about so many things, the joys, the hurts, the feeling of inclusion in the body of Christ and the exclusion of being in ministry.
But especially the LONELINESS. Loneliness is prevalent. There are the hurting relationships, the confusion about where you belong in a culture, the stress of feeling you have to do it all (even in a multi-pastor 4,000 person church). She is a breath of fresh air for my soul, offering a different perspective quite literally from around the world. This perspective has drawn me out of that place where I’m blind to things that are familiar.
Our mission here at Flowers for the Pastor’s Wife is just that. Encourage one another in the place that we are, hopefully with a perspective that leads you closer to Jesus and equips you to better serve Him and your church family.
Some of us are feeling exhausted by the transitions of life (raising my hand up high!) and some of us are feeling refreshed and ready to jump into ministry after a period of renewal. Some of us have been called to shepherd those out in the desert of Arizona, and some in the deserts of Africa. We are not all one in the same flesh, but we can all be one as Christ’s Church. Using our gifts to be the parts of the body we are called to be by the Holy Spirit, we can find peace in our ministries.
For a long time I wished I had someone that understood the specific struggles of being a small-town pastor’s wife. Fifteen years into ministry, I have begun to find those around me (or even far away) that are safe to share my own struggles with. Some of those people have been professional counselors, friends that have seen me through thick and thin, those who live in our town but don’t go to our church, and dear prayer warriors inside our church who care more about this pastor’s wife for who I am rather than what I represent.
For years I wished there was something like Flowers, where I could connect instantly with like- minded ladies who “got me.” Flowers for the Pastor’s Wife is here to support you in your ministry through our writing, our book clubs, our community on Facebook, and through our scholarship program.
Have you looked into our scholarship program? You can read about it here. You can fill out the form to get support in whatever area you would like to grow. Would you like a couple books on a certain subject? Would you like some financial assistance to attend a retreat or conference? Would you like to seek counseling to speak with someone who “gets” ministry? We are here to support you. Complete the online application by the end of June 2022.
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