Whether you are a at a church of 50 people or 5000 people, the role of pastor’s wife is a unique one. There have been seasons of ministry that have been exciting and wonderful and life giving. But, there have also been seasons that have been confusing and difficult. In ministry, there are very high highs and very low lows. And because of the nature of the position, there aren’t a lot of people appropriate to talk with about the struggles.
Sometimes it can feel very lonely.
In an effort to grow during these times, I have found comfort and counsel in strangers who have walked this road ahead of me. They are my mentors from afar, those who have written books or maintain websites specifically designed to encourage the pastor’s wife.
They have been a gift to me.
Here are a few of those resources.
Jill Briscoe has been a long-time mentor for me, although she doesn’t know it. I had the opportunity to attend a conference she was speaking at when I was quite young in my ministry journey. They way she carried herself and the kindness that she showed me personally gave me an example by which to follow. She has written many books (and I recommend them all), but this one is specifically for the pastor’s wife.
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp
Although this book isn’t specifically for pastor’s wives, every pastor’s wife needs to read it. Not only will all the women in your church read it, but we as leaders need to be reminded to be grateful. It is too easy to focus on the negative things about ministry and forget that God has given daily gifts of grace.
Help! I’m Raising Kids While Doing Ministry by Josh Mayo
This is one of the best books that I have read about raising PKs. It’s very practical and helpful
I just love this woman. She has a fresh and fun personality expressed in her writing. She also has a website that she tends to every so often. This book covers issues such as the importance of your influence on your husband, having friendships within the church, being your own person, raising kids in the ministry, and dealing with ministry hurts.
I am just now in the middle of reading this book, and I am devouring it. Susie has a very rich writing style, sharing stories, scriptures, and insights that are perspective shifting.
The aforementioned Jill Briscoe takes special interest in pastor’s wives. Years ago she started publishing a magazine specifically for us. Since then, the publication has broadened it’s readership to all Christian women, but the information is still quite helpful for PWs, and there is a special section specifically for us on the site.
This website is my favorite. Lori Wilhite (wife of Jud Wilhite) and her team have created this website to encourage and connect pastor’s wife. She is a non-stereotypical pastor’s wife who is fun-loving and just plain cool. I have two favorite things about this ministry. The first is their virtual community groups. Through technology, they unite pastor’s wives from all over the country (who meet together weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly) over the Internet to support one another through laughter, prayer, listening, and problem-solving. It’s a safe place to share. The second is the annual Just One conference that they host online. It’s free and can be attended in the privacy of your own home. They have prominent pastor’s wives from all over the country share on a given subject matter. It’s very good. They maintain the archives from the previous conferences on the site. Check ‘em out.
You can’t talk pastor’s wife, without talking Kay Warren. She, too, has an incredible heart for us ladies married to ministers. I have been “mentored” by her through some lunch gatherings down at Saddleback and she is so authentic and honest about the joys and trials of ministry. Her site has some great resources (including more books to read) and I highly recommend getting some of her audio trainings.
I know that there are so many other good reads out there, and I would love it if you would sharing your findings with me. In the meantime, may we use all that we experience to allow God to shape and mold us into the women of grace that He has purposed us to be. Thank you to all of the women that help us along in that journey.
Grateful for my mentors from afar,
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