10 Ways to Become a Woman of Influence

Have you thought of building friendships with the ladies that serve with your in your church?  As a pastor’s wife, you have a group of ladies around you that are hungry to learn from you and most of all, to have a friend that loves them and prays for them.  I thought I would share some of my ideas in beginning a ministry with these ladies.  I would have loved to have had this in my life when we were in full-time ministry.

  1.  Get together once a month for lunch and use this time to get to know one another so you know how to better pray for each other.
  2. Attend a women’s conference together and learn things that will build your personal lives as well as the church.
  3. Go on a shopping trip together.  This would be a fun and casual way to build a relationship.
  4. Have the ladies in your home for a luncheon or dessert.  It’s very rare these days to host people in our homes.  Practice true hospitality with these special ladies. Show them what hospitality is….don’t just talk about it.
  5. Have each of the staff couples over for dinner in your home.
  6. Do a Bible Study designed for  pastor’s wives together.
  7. Suggest books that you know would be an encouragement to their marriage, home building, child raising and ministry.
  8. Get to know their children.  Pray for each child.  Find out their birthdates and send a card on their special day. Be a friend to their kiddos.
  9. Pray regularly for these women.
  10. Always be a source of encouragement and be a true friend to each lady.

You may be in a small church and not even have a staff to work with.  I’m sure there are some teachers, ministry leaders and deacon wives that would love to have you take an interest in them.    You have people in your path that need your wisdom and guess what? You need them!  You may find that you are being ministered to yourself.

You will be teaching and sharing your wisdom of life in the ministry with these ladies as they get to know you and watch you as you love your husband, home and children.  They will see how you love the church and each member.  You will be giving an example to these ladies that they will carry on in their lives as they minister along with their husbands.  These couples may move on to another church someday and I can almost promise you that she will be so grateful for the love and the wisdom that you showed her during her time under your care.

Don’t miss this opportunity to make a difference in someones life.  Don’t leave it up to someone else to reach out.  Even if you have a thriving women’s ministry in your church, don’t think that is enough.  You need to have a true bond with the women who walk in the same shoes as you.  You need to be a team and support one another.

I hope you will begin today and build a ministry with the very ladies that are in ministry right alongside of you.

Maybe you have already built a solid relationship with your fellow staff wives of your church and ministry leaders.  If so, I would love for you to share what  you have done or plan to do to reach the women in your circle of influence.

You may be reading this and not in full-time ministry.  I hope you were still inspired to use the tips that I shared and reach out to the women in your life and design a way to build a relationship and become an inspiration to them.  It could be the women in your business, the women in your husbands office, your neighbors, friends, and family.  We have some work to do, don’t we?  I know I do.

I’m linking with A Wise Woman Builds Her Home blog.

 

The Glass House Can Get Messy!

After being in full time ministry alongside my husband for two decades of our marriage, I discovered that yes, being a pastor’s wife is a lonely place to be. At least that is how it was when we served. During our time, money was extremely tight, we never had any extra money for anything outside of the basic needs. I really didn’t mind living that way.  I never really thought about it much; I just knew that this was our calling and I was at peace with that. My focus was on my home and family. There were few times that I wished we could take a simple vacation or at least get away once in a while without the worry of finances. I did feel the pressure to be able to supply Christmas or birthday gifts for friends and family members that had grown accustomed to not really receiving anything of much value from us. Our lifestyle was very different from what I see today with the mega churches on the rise. I’m wondering if anyone would understand how we lived in those very lean years.  I feel like one of those people that try to tell their kids that they walked to school barefoot in 10 feet of snow.  I have some stories from our years in ministry  that make me wish I walked to school in 10 feet of snow!  We will see if I’m brave enough to share them in the near future.

A few years ago when I was serving as women’s director of our church, we were preparing for a large event. One of the new staff wives had agreed to put a table together with her ministry information out. With just a few hours before the event would begin, her table sat empty and I hadn’t heard from her. I asked a couple of ladies if they had seen her or knew if she were coming. No one had heard anything.  I then went to the office and thought I would ask her husband if he knew if she was coming up to prepare her table before the event. He very angrily looked at me and said, “My wife is very busy packing for our cruise, so no, she won’t be coming.”  I said, “okay” and slipped out quietly and removed her table that was waiting for her. No problem. All I could think of was, “Wow!  first of all…enjoy your cruise and second of all…if my husband had talked to  someone like that, his head would have been on a platter at the next staff meeting!” So, yes, times have changed since we were in ministry.  I have to admit, I had a very hard time with the man who talked to me that way and his wife who never apologized and for the lady that was in his office as I walked in who obviously went and told him I was asking about his wife’s plans.  I got over it though, I grew to love this couple and only wanted the best for them as they ministered.  They did a wonderful job as they served the church.  Now, for the lady that trotted in to tell him that I was asking about his wife….I struggled a little bit longer on that one…but, I got over it.  All is well!  Seriously!  It is!

I was 21 years old when my husband first served full time at a church.  Oh, he also went to seminary full time.  This was an exciting time for us.  Together we answered God’s call on our lives to serve Him full time. I was also hungry for discipleship and just to learn the ways of the ministry. I read everything I could possibly read and sought out wisdom from people that I knew in ministry. My former pastor’s wife that I grew up under, took me aside for a short season and shared with me many things that I still remember to this day. I was able to share with her my fears and my struggles. She was my source of encouragement. But, she had her own world that she was very busy with, so I tried not to bother her. I waited for her to reach out to me. Soon, I didn’t hear much from her at all.  There were so many times I thought, “what would she do in this situation?”  If you knew her, you would say, “Um, you probably don’t want to know what she would do.”  She was a spitfire.  She didn’t take anything from anyone.  I wasn’t her…..I was the total opposite.  I was like…”hey,  you can say those mean things about me, you can chew me out just because you can and I will be hurt, but I will still be your friend.”   Since those years, I’m a little bit more calloused and I might not be your friend, but I will wish the best for you.  Maybe. (wink)

After three other churches and many years later, I  learned so much about the ministry; the goodness of people and the oh,  not so pretty part of people.  I learned things about myself as well.  My weaknesses showed and I did eventually learn  to turn my weaknesses into becoming a stronger person.  I’m still working on that by the way.

As I look back on all those years I see something that was desperately missing. I never really saw a strong bond among fellow staff wives/pastor’s wives that served together in the same church. At one of the churches we were at, they had a large staff and my husband and I were basically at the bottom of the totem pole and were reminded on several occasions that we weren’t really on the level of the others due to our time at this particular church and our status of living. As if life wasn’t hard enough, right?  I also saw a power struggle at a couple of the churches we were at among the wives and even the men. I discovered that the less I had to do with anything the better. I concentrated on my home and would soon learn that was even attacked by some. Yes, I even got a note one time accusing me of sheltering my children too much. (I homeschooled our children, and this didn’t set well with some) I missed fellowship but it seemed too messy. Fortunately, I gained a wonderful friend who became a life saver for me. She was a bit older than me, but we had so much in common and I loved being around her and hearing her stories and being inspired by her life. That too, was a sore spot as I was informed by a pastor that I had to be careful with her friendship.

I’m sure some of you reading this are saying to yourself, “what in the world…that sounds crazy. I’ve never had anything like that go on in our ministry!”   I know, right?!  I am convinced that some of the things that we saw and went through just can’t be normal. All I can attritute it to is….the enemy had our number the second we surrended our lives to full time ministry; because, the second we did, all heck (or should I use the word “hell”….that is where the evil one is from, right?) broke lose.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” I Peter 5:8

“So, Beverly, Why are you sharing this…what if it discourages someone!”

I’m so glad you asked!

“And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another.” Romans 15:14

My 10 Reasons for Sharing My Heart:

  1. It helps me to get it out of my head and in print so I can makes sense of some things.
  2. I feel that there may be someone struggling with some of the same issues and need help and encouragement.  (I truly hope you aren’t going through any of the things I did.)
  3. There may be a lay person reading this that will reach out to the men and women that have gladly given of their time and service to the people of the church.
  4. If you are a pastor’s wife, you will seek out the women on the staff of the church and encourage and train the women serving along side of you.
  5. If you have been through similar situations that I share, I only pray that you will be encouraged to forgive, learn and share with others how Christ desires our lives to be in admonishing and lifting one another up to better serve Him.
  6. No one is above anyone, treat everyone with the same respect
  7. Your pastor(s) and their wives need your love, your forgiveness, your encouragement and most of all your prayers.
  8. Always know that the enemy is alive and well and is out to destroy your pastor, his family and the church.
  9. When your church is hurting, you are hurting.
  10. Regardless of where you serve, whether a full time pastor/wife or a lay person….Get in the Word and live your life fully for Christ!

My Disclaimer:

If you know me personally, don’t be trying to figure out who, what or where.  I don’t ever share names of people or places unless it helps the story and I have permission.  I may even mix up a few details so you won’t try to figure anyone out.  I don’t claim to have all the answers and I don’t claim to be perfect by any means.  I also don’t sugar coat anything.  I do know my life and I refuse to let the enemy win anything in my life.  I will use the discouragements, the cruel works of others as examples of how to turn it around for good.   I will use it to be a better person and to help others to not fall for his evil ways.  I will share the good and give all the honor and glory to Jesus Christ, the one who began a good work and continues to allow me learn and lean on Him for my comfort and understanding.

Be sure to subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss a post.  Tomorrow, I will share some ways for women in ministry to build a team among one another in order to be stronger and lift one another up.

Make a difference in someone’s life today! (in a good way)

An Idea:  Pick out a pastor’s wife or fellow staff wife and send her a card with a word of encouragement….today.  It will make her day!  I can almost guarantee that!

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” I Thessalonians 5:11

Blessings!

Confessions of a Former Pastor’s Wife

I am working on a book that will deal with the things that I witnessed personally and with others while serving in full-time ministry along side of my husband.  Yes; the good, the bad and the not so pretty.  I have such great memories and how thankful I am that God allowed me to serve in such exciting ways.  I also have some memories that hurt deeply and I saw the not so pretty side of ministry.  I wasn’t sure if this would be a subject that would be needed and I shared an article with one of my favorite author ladies, she is an author/pastors wife/women’s ministry leader/loving wife and mother, Lois Evans. Click here to read more about her.  She published the article on her blog for pastor’s wives and so I thought I would use that to start off my series, Looking Back at the Glass House. Click here for the actual post.  I hope it makes a difference somehow for someone.  If you know  someone who is serving in ministry, I would love for you to share this with them.  Enjoy….

My Dad’s A Preacher!

“Oh, I bet you can’t, because your dad is a preacher!” Has anyone ever said this to your children? Would they know how to respond? You may want to prepare your children today, because more than likely, they will hear these very words throughout their childhood and into their teen years.

The Word of God is filled with verses that encouraged me to teach my children to love and serve God with all their heart, soul and mind. My goal was for my children to have their own convictions and not mine when they were grown. During our teaching and training years, we are able to teach, share and hopefully instill God’s ways into their hearts that will last a lifetime.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9

There was one area that I was really particular about and that was to teach my children that if we did or didn’t do something a certain way, it was not because their father was a preacher. We honored God with our words and our actions because of our duty to bring honor and glory to God, not because their dad was a pastor. I have yet to find a verse that says anything that sounds like, “and because your father is a pastor you can’t ______________” or “and since your father is a pastor you must ________”

I learned this lesson when I was about 16. I had only been a Christian for a couple of years. Going to movies wasn’t really a big part of my life and my family didn’t have the extra money that it took to go. As I was growing in my faith and attending Bible Studies, I heard often about how Christians didn’t go to movies. One day I was talking to my very good friend at that time and asked her this question, “what do you say to people when they ask you why you don’t go to movies?” She very smugly said, “my father is a deacon and so we don’t go to movies.” I then said, “Why? She said, “because my dad is a deacon and we just don’t do that.” To this day, 41 years later, I can still hear that conversation and even see where I was sitting and I remember in my mind thinking in my head, “that is not a good reason at all!” Granted, I understand now what she was really saying, but that type of answer just wasn’t good enough for me!

Many years later when our son was about 8 years old, he had spent the day at the home of a very good friend. This was a sweet family that attended the church that my husband was serving as the associate pastor. When our son came home that evening, he was telling me all about his day and informed me that the family had sat down to watch a movie together. It was a movie that was out at that time that my husband and I had rented before and we actually stopped it because of the subject matter. If I told you the name of the movie you would probably laugh because it is a mild movie compared to what is normal today. I had told our kids about this movie and how we had stopped it due to the things that were in the movie. When the father of this family was starting the movie and mentioned the name, my son said, “I’m not allowed to watch that movie.” The dad then said, “oh, probably because your dad is a preacher.” Fortunately they didn’t watch the movie that day. When my son told me this story, it was a perfect opportunity to explain that his daddy being a preacher has nothing to do with it. It has to do with keeping our hearts and minds pure and not watching things that God doesn’t want to fill our minds with.

The words, “because your daddy is a preacher” was never said in our home. The convictions that we had and I pray even today, as they are adults, are because of their love and honor of God and His ways not because of man’s rules.

“But, as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, Be holy, for I am holy.” I Peter 1:15-16

Beverly Dillow

www.HisHeartMyDesire.com

Looking Back At The Glass House, are Beverly’s writings on her life as a pastor’s wife. “Many lessons were learned and if I would have had a mentor along the side of me, I may have endured that season just a little bit better!” Her prayer is that “Looking Back At The Glass House” would serve as a mentor and be an encouragement to those women in the middle of serving alongside their husband, while raising a family and loving her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I’m linking this post at: A Wise Woman Builds Her Home