A BOOK JUST FOR CHURCH PLANTING WIVES!
“Unpacking in our new home in a new state far from our families, I opened a box marked Fragile with big black letters. Inside, buried under bubble wrap, I found my framed wedding vows. While I searched the master bedroom for the perfect spot where the frame could hang, I read what I had committed to Kyle on our wedding day. Just as when I had first written the words, my heart stopped on one line: I vow to support the ministry God gives you….”
With these heartfelt words Christine Hoover opens her amazing new book The Church Planting Wife: Hope and Help for Her Heart. (Keep reading for a chance to win a copy!)
My experience is slightly different. When I stood before my family and friends and covenanted to love my husband always, I didn’t have to imagine what ministry God would give him, because he was already a youth pastor when we got married, and had been for a long time. We were sure of our calling, and of the fact that the Lord had brought us together.
I couldn’t wait to stand alongside Jason in ministry. After months of having to be very careful not to give off the wrong impression during our dating relationship, I was so anxious to be fully and legitimately his, allowed to publicly and proudly hold his hand whenever I felt like it, go forward with him on Sunday mornings when they called for altar workers, and be alone with him all the moments in between.
And while it took a few months to adjust to my new role as a pastor’s wife, for the most part I loved it. While Jason was in meetings early Sunday morning, I sat in the lobby and had coffee with the old folks who came an hour before service started to claim a good seat. On youth trips, we were a united front, expertly wrangling unruly teenagers and transporting them to hotels, conventions, ski slopes, camp, and competitions while building relationships and having a blast together.
Ministry suited us.
And then God called us to plant a church.
Everything I thought I knew about what it meant to be a pastor’s wife was pulled out from under me. We left the church I’d called home since I was a child, and ventured out into the great unknown with two other couples.
I expected the time before we launched to be a Sabbath-rest for us, where we relaxed, vacationed, and poured over the Word together, solidifying the dreams God had given us. Instead, Jason worked 10 and 12 hour days, usually six days a week, getting the building, website, and volunteers ready for our launch. On Sundays, the one day I was used to being that busy, time stood still. We slept in and ate breakfast together, visiting a new church each Sunday. In the evenings, we roamed around the house, restless without anything to do. I didn’t know who I was anymore, or how to plan my day, or what to expect of my husband. I was confused, angry, and lonely.
How I wish I could have read this book before that summer. But I might not have listened anyway. Before we said yes to God, I thought I knew what it would be like to be a church-planting wife.
I was so wrong. It’s sort of like becoming a mother: there is no possible way you can imagine both how difficult and how amazingly rewarding it is going to be until it (motherhood or church-planting) happens to you.
But just like I found encouragement and understanding from other moms when my oldest was first born, who is better to offer the same kind of encouragement and hope to church-planting wives than someone who has been there before?
That’s exactly what this book is all about. In an amazing blend of both gentle hand-holding and bold truth-telling, this book reads like an intimate conversation with a beloved accountability partner. Christine knows, from personal experiences she shares in the book, what it is to begin to resent your husband’s calling, or to feel like you have no true friends, or like the whole success of the church lies on your own shoulders.
But in every trying circumstance the church-planting wife may face (and believe me, she covers them all) she encourages us to turn our eyes and hearts back to Jesus, to trust what He told us, and to pick up our crosses and follow Him. And in that way, the church-planting life is no different than any other Christian life. But since we’re busy telling those things to others all the time, it sure is nice to have someone who’ll remind us of them, too.
Amy Reasoner is a freelance writer, stay-at-home mom, and most recently, a church-planting wife. She and her husband, Jason, serve as campus pastors for Life360 Ozark, which launched September 2012. They love living in Ozark, watching football, eating ice cream, and making memories with their two small boys, Caleb and Garrett.
If you would like the opportunity to own a copy of Christine Hoovers book “The Church Planting Wife” leave a comment on our blog stating one thing you love about being a church planting wife. We will have a random drawing on February 5th and the winner will be announced on our next blog post.
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