Husband’s Position-Church Planter/ former pastor
How long have you been married? 16 years on May 25
How many children/grandchildren do you have? How old are they? I have 7 children. Kylie, our only girl is 15, Matthew will be 13 in June, Caleb is 10, Silas 6, Titus 4, Joel 2, and Jedidiah- 3 weeks
1. Where/How did you meet your husband? We went to school together from K5- 7th grade. Our school was 20 miles East of Springfield, MO, and after my 7th grade year, my family moved to a town 20 miles west of Springfield. When we were seniors in high school we both worked at a hospital in Springfield, and began dating. That was 19 years ago. =-)
2. When did you get saved? I was saved when I was 4 ½. My grandpa led me to the Lord. My sister and I were outside playing at the church. My grandpa (our pastor) came out of the parsonage and asked to talk to me. He took me inside, sat me on his knee and talked to me about Jesus. We then got down on our knees and I prayed and asked the Lord to save me. My grandpa went home to be with the Lord this past August, and I'm so thankful for him, and many memories, but especially that one!
3. Can you share your testimony? (this is the testimony in our information packet) I was born to christian parents who faithfully took me to church, and I was saved when I was 4 ½ years old. I vividly remember sitting on my Grandpa's lap and him talking to me about Jesus and then kneeling down with him and asking Jesus to save me. Not long after I was saved, my parents got divorced, and as a result I went to church some, but not faithfully again until I was 22 years old. I always had a desire to live a christian life, and to be in the ministry (though know one would have known it), but it was all so foreign to me that I never thought I could live that life, or that I would be good enough for God to use me. When we were expecting our first child I knew that I didn't want her to grow up how we were living, and decided that I was going to raise her in church. I went a few times, but I hated going alone. My husband told me he would go after the baby was born. He did go with me when she was a few weeks old, and from that first time we went I was ready to be there for everything! After we became more faithful in church, it wasn't long before I knew that God was going to call my husband to preach. I told him that several times to which he would respond that I was crazy and just trying to change him. I praise the Lord for my grandma who told me to shut my mouth, and let God call him, and if I didn't that he would probably never answer the call to preach. Keeping my mouth shut was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but for 4 years I waited and prayed, and kept my thoughts to myself. I was in a hurry, but God knew I needed that time! It was during those 4 years that God changed my heart to follow my husband, rather than trying to lead him, and he showed me how good life was when I was willing to let go, and to be willing to go and to do whatever God called my husband to. And then in August 2001, he surrendered. In September we moved to Oklahoma City, and in January 2002 he started classes at Heartland Baptist Bible College. It has been an exciting 10+ years, and absolutely the best years of our lives. I'm still not good enough to be in the ministry, but I'm thankful that God chose to use me and it's Him who enables me to do what He's called us to do. Ephesians 3:20- Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us,
4. How long have you been in the ministry? 8 years
5. How did you know the Lord wanted you in the ministry? Was it hard for you to submit to that or did you know 100% sure right away that this is what God wanted for your life? As I stated in my testimony I knew for 4 years that God wanted us in the ministry, and really even before that, so I was ready, and it wasn't hard at all to submit to that.
6. How old were you when you your husband first held a position of leadership? We had worked in different areas of the church, but my 1st official position was as church planter/ pastor's wife at the age of 29.
7. And if you were young, did you have a hard time adjusting because of your age? Did you feel “ready” to be in that position? Did you feel you had a harder time being respected or taken seriously because of your age? I didn't have a hard time adjusting, but then I think that maybe planting a church was easier. I wasn't taking anyone's place, and I was the one in that position from the time anyone came. I don't know that I felt “ready”, but I was excited about what God was doing, and He was so gracious to give us people who loved us back. We had a few bumpy times in Luther, but overall it was wonderful! ( I was glad when I turned 30 though b/c there was one lady who would make comments about me being in my 20s.)
8. Once you had children did you find you did less in the ministry and was that hard for you? I had 3 children, and found out I was pregnant with our 4th when we started the church so I don't know. One thing that I've always loved is that my husband only expected me to be his wife and a mother to our children, and things at the church came after that. I was always very active, and did lots of things, but he also expected other ladies to do stuff too, and he would say that if someone didn't do it that it just wasn't going to get done, that it wasn't all up to me. That was always a blessing to me to not have to be the bad guy, and not be overwhelmed thinking I had to do it all.
9. What are some ways you included and involved your children in the ministry?
a. Baby…Always take them with us everywhere
b. Toddler…take them too, they love door knocking riding down the sidewalk in their stroller. And older people love it when they come and visit with you!
c. School age/teens…They helped more as they got older. They helped us clean, build our building, visit, set-up, although we didn't have a whole lot of that b/c we started in a funeral home, and there were already pews. My oldest son was our song-leader on Wednesday nights when he got old enough, and my daughter would fill in playing the piano. They were always our ushers from the time they were about 5. We are planning on Kylie teaching Sunday School, Matthew leading singing, and all the boys ushering when we start again. They love serving, even though I have noticed as they've gotten older it's sometimes harder b/c they get embarrassed. We also used all the kids in the church, not just ours.
10. Did you ever worry that your children would resent the ministry and what are some ways you tried to make it fun for them? I have always worried about that b/c of my dad and my aunt and uncles who have resented the ministry b/c my grandpa put everything at the church before them. But I've used that to learn from, and make sure we don't repeat that. It's not always fun, it's a lot of work, and I want them to understand that, but I do try to remember to take time out to just do something fun, or to make a game out of our work. One thing I've learned is that their attitude and opinion about whatever situation we're in is often what mine is, so I try to have a good attitude.
11. What would be the best thing you would tell a mom who is raising her children in the ministry? Put them 1st, but also make them understand that there are times when other people need you, things have to be done, and that it is a joy to serve the Lord. Expect your kids to act a certain way and do things b/c they're your kids, and b/c you love the Lord, and not b/c you're in the ministry and that's what's expected. I've always told them, it doesn't matter that we're in the ministry, we would expect you to do and act this way b/c you're our kids, not b/c of what people think.
12. Are you naturally a submissive person or do you sometimes have a hard time easily following your husband? I am NOT naturally submissive! I'm prideful and want my own way, and I have to give it to the Lord. A friend once told me early in my Christian walk when I really needed it- she said, “I don't submit to my husband b/c I love my husband, but b/c I love my Lord, and want to please Him.” I've always remembered that, and it's been a blessing and a help to me.
13. What do you do to encourage your husband when he is discouraged with the work? I usually just say, well what does God want us to do? Did He call us here? Not in an ugly way, but to say, just keep going on, God knows where we are, and what's going on right now, and he'll get us through this, too. And I pray for him, and tell him so. When he's away and getting ready to preach, or when he's had to meet with people I'll text him or send him a note to tell him I love him and I'm praying for him.
14. How do deal with any criticism toward your husband from others? After I get through wanting to poke their eyes out, I usually just pray for them.
15. How do you deal with personal criticisms? I 1st examine myself to see if they might be right. Is there something I need to change? And I talk to my husband about it, and if he doesn't think there's a problem, God doesn't think there's a problem then I just blow it off, and go on. I can't control what other people think or say.
16. Do you set aside date nights/days with your husband? We set aside time every morning and evening to spend time with each other. And then we go out for lunch and stuff, too. A lot more now that we have a 15 year old who can watch the other kids!
17. What is the biggest thing you have learned about being married to a man in the ministry? That he's just a man, and he needs me to encourage him, and love him. That it's an honor to be used of God serving Him where He's put us.
18. What are some ways you protect your husband from “those” women in the church? I warn him about them. He's also very careful. He made it very plain to the church from the pulpit that women were never to come to the church without calling 1st, and if they did show up he would either ask them to come back later, or he would leave. He doesn't make visits alone, and he won't hug any woman, just shakes hands. We're also very seldom not together so that helps, too.
19. Do you and your husband have devotion or prayer time together daily? Family time, not just the 2 of us, although we are planning to.
20. Do you have a hard time sharing your burdens with your husband in fear that it will discourage him? Sometimes, but not usually. There are a lot of things though that if I'll just talk to God about 1st I don't find the need to tell anyone else.
21. What do you do to encourage yourself in the Lord? Read, pray, sing songs. Read my prayer journal and remember what God has done in the past, and what He can do today!
22. What is your favorite Scripture? This is one. I have several! Ephesians 3:20- Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us,
23. Do you have a favorite song? When We See Christ, Farther Along, What a friend We Have in Jesus
24. What is your biggest struggle in the ministry? Honestly, I don't have one. I love the ministry1
25. Do you have find that you are not able to have close lady friends in your church? I choose not to. I befriend them all, but I try not to have any of them be closer than another. But I did do things with all of them at different times.
26. When you are discouraged, do you feel like you can “show” that feeling to ladies in the church? Or, do you feel like you always have to portray the “perfect” happy Pastor’s wife? I have let them see it, I think they all knew I wasn't perfect-lol. And it was a good thing b/c when we were going through trials that people knew about they would often comment on it being a blessing to them about how they saw us draw our strength from the Lord. I think it helps people to see that you're as human as them, but equally as important that they see the Lord in you.
27. Have you ever made a big mistake or offended someone, and if yes, how did you go about restoring that relationship? Fortunately there was only 1 big major offence, and although she never fully got over it, I just apologized, told her I was wrong, that I loved her, and killed her with kindness.
28. Do you have other lady ministry friends that you go to for counsel and “venting” purposes? Sometimes. There are ladies who I know I can always go to, and others who God has brought along in time of need. Many times I just go to the Lord, and never tell anyone else anything.
29. Other than praying, what is the most encouraging thing ladies in the church can do for you? Tell me they're praying, cards, taking me out for my birthday, remembering special days for me and for my kids. Brought food when I was sick, took care of things so I wouldn't have to. (those are things ladies in our church did that were a blessing)
30. What is your favorite way to serve the Lord in your church? Teaching ladies, and girls, but my very favorite is standing at the door greeting everyone. I always liked to make sure I talked to every person there, every service. There wasn't anything I didn't like to do.
31. Do you currently have special Ladies Bible Study, meetings, or fellowships? No, but only bc we're in between
32. What ways to you encourage your ladies to get involved in the work of the church? Ask them at 1st to help me do small jobs that I really don't need help with, but want to include them, and then eventually they are comfortable just doing it on their own.
33. What is the most important thing you want to pass down to your children? To love the Lord with all their heart, mind, body, and soul
34. In all of your business, how do you fit your personal time in with the Lord each day? It comes 1st. I get up before everyone else so I can spend time with the Lord and my husband, then I get the kids up.
35. Out of all that you have learned being in the full time ministry, what is the most important thing you have learned? To love people and give them time to grow. Compassion makes a difference in their lives. When they know you love them you can teach them the hard things along with the basics.
36. How would you describe the “perfect” Pastor’s wife? One who loves the Lord, loves her husband and her children, who is 'real', and loves the people that God gives her to minister to.