Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oh How I Like Them...

Let's talk about ministry today.

One of my most favorite things about blogging never even makes it to the blog...it's the emails.  I love them.  I think, in part, it's because it means that something I've written actually made sense to someone.  It connected.    

They all usually start out the same.  Dear Sarah, my name is so and so, and I know you don't know who I am...or I hope I'm not bothering you....I know you're busy but...

I chuckle every time.  If they only knew how much I love getting their email...and how un-busy I can make myself ;)  

They almost always involve women who've been reading my blog but not commenting.  Generally, they're either in ministry or heading there, sometimes to a tiny town and they've found relief that there's someone else out there living it too...and actually enjoying it.   I think the fact that I'm a little quirky makes them feel  better too...if God can use me, then He can certainly use them!  

There's some things that I've shared with them, that I'd like to share with you. It's of course, a random list...and my "wisdom" is completely and utterly limited beyond measure.  Am I clear?  I still consider myself a "newbie"...I've only officially been a pastor's wife for 3 years and 7 months, it hardly qualifies me for anything, except to encourage.  It's also stuff I'm reminding myself of...constantly.

  • Be who God wants you to be.  This is generally a better version of who we know we are and completely different than what people think we should be.  Don't fight Him on this one...He knows what He's doing.
  • Love them.  Give them the benefit of the doubt.  Believe people like you and are happy with you unless and until they tell you differently.  It's easier to love on people you think like you.  If you're constantly paranoid of what they think, you'll resent them and make yourself miserable.
  • Priorities.  God first, family, then ministry.  If things stay in that order our life works.  Whenever it gets mixed up, and it does, I end up resenting one...or more.  
  • Find some good friends, and your closest confidants should be outside your church...for everyone's well being.
  • Try not to be annoyed when people act as though you're waiting for a bigger church to come along.  As if you're biding your time, gaining experience so that when the time comes you can move "up."  As though a tiny church would surely not be your first choice.  Resist the urge to lecture them...and refrain from using the phrase let them wallow in their own stupidity, when referring to said people.  (Ok, so maybe this one's just for me ;)
  • Smile and laugh.  A lot.  I like people who smile a lot.  Who doesn't?!?  Be friendly.
  • Be comfortable knowing you are not all things to all people.  You are not supposed to be.
  • Be in His Word.  Be filled with it.  Or you will run dry.  And when you have nothing left to give...resentment once again rears its ugly head, and you'll want to quit.  Because aside from Him, we have nothing to give in the first place.
  • Remember it's not supposed to be easy.  
  • Remember who you  serve.  Remember who called you to it.  
  • Enjoy it.  It's what God has designed and planned for you to do.

Some other emails have been about running...more on that tomorrow :)


Did I mention I like emails?  Thought so.
 

20 comments:

  1. Excellent post! Those are some great words of wisdom...super encouraging.

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  2. i wish i had known those things when we started out in the ministry 8 years ago. it would have saved me a lot of tears...

    God is such a patient, amazing teacher.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  3. such wisdom!!!

    thanks for every point - so good, so true & even though we may have heard some it, its ALWAYS good to hear again & be encouraged.

    i am 110% all for family first & then ministry. you were blessed with those kids & its your job to be their parent first, to raise wonderful christian children.

    ministry is hard sometimes, well alot of the times but He didn't call us or are husbands if he didn't think we could handle it. it goes back to TRUSTING HIM.

    thank yo sarah, for being so awesome & honest & always sharing from your heart.

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  4. good stuff, girl!

    just fyi, you showed back up in my feed today!

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  5. Boy I needed to read # 3 today. It seems almost weekly we make sure we have at last two to 3 nights a week to be home - and then something in the name of "ministry" or "emergency" or "meeting" springs up and then suddenly we are not home even one evening all week.... I think when my kids come I will feel better about saying "NO"!

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  6. Good good stuff! Great advice for so many of us in so many differente areas of ministry.

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  7. This is good advice for practically anyone who has to interact with other believers! ;) I'm glad to hear that your next post will be about running questions; I've debated e-mailing you about running but I thought you'd be "too busy!"

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  8. good words

    -FringeGirl

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  9. Okay, I hope this makes you laugh, and I thought about it when I saw you wrote "Smile and laugh. A lot." When I was driving home from work yesterday, I noticed how depressed and tired everyone looked in their vehicles...so I decided to smile. Force it if necessary. Smile for absolutely no reason other than to smile. And then I got so tickled with the idea that I looked probably like an idiot that I actually made myself laugh (I am easily amused), and I wondered what those other drivers must have been thinking when they saw this crazy girl driving her car home and laughing to herself. Maybe I made them laugh, too! =D

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  10. I found your blog on my Aunt Kaye Kaye blog roll.

    Would you like to do my Bible verse a day challenge?

    MaryMargaret Butler

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  11. oops I didn't know my aunt was logged on. Sorry

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  12. I am never going to be a pastor's wife (I'm quite sure;)) But I LOVE this list!!! Thanks.

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  13. Thanks for these reminders. I've been a pastor's wife for 20 years and I'm still trying to learn how to be a pastor's wife. :)

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  14. That is some good dang stuff.

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  15. I am definitely encouraged by your post. My husband and I are in the process of raising funds to become missionaries in Eastern Europe. I really needed to be reminded that it's not supposed to be easy. I keep waiting for life to slow down enough for me to catch up and get ahead. I guess I need to enjoy the relief of knowing it's supposed to be this way. : )

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  16. We are twins!

    We run and laughing is our favorite!
    (FYI: technically, there may be more ways that we are NOT twins, but I'm not going to quibble.)

    Say "hey" to Mom for me. :-)

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  17. This was a very good post for me to read today. God has called me to do something I just DO NOT WANT TO DO.

    He has asked me to be the mother of a son who has decided to follow a homosexual lifestyle. Not only follow - but be a political advocate. A very public political advocate.

    It's not ministry in the typical sense - but it's ministry nonetheless.

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  18. Thanks for this post. It was refreshing and I cannot hear some of those points enough.

    I have also been reminded lately that Jesus understands the silent years of ministry. His, i guess you could say, "public ministry" did not start until he was in his thirties.

    Everything is in God's timing. :)

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  19. I loved your post! It came at a great time for me today as I was just pondering some of those same thoughts. I, too, am a pastor's wife and we are also at a small church. I've been at this a bit longer than you, and you seem to have a pretty good handle on this whole living in a fishbowl thing! I especially liked the ides of refraining from referring to people as "wallowing in their own stupidity" although I personally like "ignorance on fire". I'll be checking you out more often, and please feel free to stop by my new blog (had to make my old one,"sleeping with the pastor", private b/c church members were offended (and this is where I refrain!) www.welcometopattyville.blogspot.com

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  20. That is great, simple wisdom and encouragement!

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