Tuesday, October 2, 2012
The (in)Couraged Flock
In my growing up years, I was fully convinced that I would never marry a pastor. My Daddy was a wonderful pastor, but by the time I was 9, we had moved 5 times. And while I had seen the amazing community that churches provide, I had also seen the hurts that can go hand in hand with being a family in ministry.
And so, I determined that this life was not for me.
Then I met Dave. At first, it seemed like a safe thing. He wanted to serve God, but he wasn't exactly sure in what direction. Conference ministry? Youth ministry? Perhaps. But not as a senior pastor.
We fell in love and got engaged- and then Dave accepted a position as a youth pastor. I LOVED it! I loved serving by his side, our youth were amazing, the church was supportive. Life was good!
This month we will celebrate 15 years in ministry. And as I look back over these years, I can clearly see how God's plan is so much better than mine.
The irony? My husband is now a senior pastor! Of course, my little girl decisions were not God's intentions. He works in amazing ways. He led us from our first church to our second church where Dave continued to serve as a youth pastor. It was in our three years there that God made it abundantly clear that he wanted Dave to serve Him in an adult ministry. And so we moved on and Dave became a pastor of community life. And we loved it, but God was still working and moving. His call was evident.
Dave has been a senior pastor at Orchard Community Church in Rochester, NY since August, 2011.
God's Perfect Plan...
While Dave was serving as a pastor of community life, I had the privilege to work with a few other women on our women's ministry team. I had no idea how God was knitting our hearts together.
The area that we lived in was transient in nature. As I said goodbye to one of my fellow servants when she and her husband moved across the country, I had no idea that we would continue to stay close. And that God had some big plans for us.
She and her husband adopted a precious boy- just a few months older than my own surprise baby boy!
And we continued to rejoice with one another even from afar. Our families both moved again, but we remained close.
The (in)Couraged Flock
...God did something truly amazing. My friend Amy sent me a message. She had been offered an opportunity to serve with the website (in)courage - a beautiful community of women committed to encouraging one another to pursue Jesus. This service opportunity asked her to consider a woman that could co-lead with her. And she thought of me!
And this is where the story comes full circle. As we prayed about the opportunity and considered the different possibilities for service, we knew that this was exactly what God intended for us - sisters that had served Him together in the same location had now been given the opportunity to serve Him together through an online community. Both of us felt drawn to ministry wives.
I have been the wife of a pastor for 15 years. Amy has been a wise, supportive and trustworthy friend to many pastor's wives. Together, it is our desire to provide a community that will encourage one another, that will point our fellow sisters to Jesus, and that will pray for and with one another.
And so, we are thrilled to be joining with (in)courage to co-lead a community group. We understand the unique needs that face ministry wives - the joys, but also the sorrows. And we know that at times, being the wife of a pastor or a man in any ministry can be isolating. It is so easy to feel alone and to KNOW that you should be a part of the flock, but you are not feeling shepherded.
This is why we are calling our group the (in)Couraged Flock. If this sounds like a place that you feel you could bring wisdom, that you could encourage others, that you would feel safe bringing your brokenness, that you could benefit from being in community, and you are a ministry wife then we would LOVE to have you join us.
To join the (in)Couraged Flock group on facebook, you can email Becky at ohappydaye at gmail dot com or Amy at amyctilson at gmail dot com.
In addition to the (in)Couraged Flock, there are many more community groups that have been formed to specifically meet the needs of women. If you are looking for community, then please check out these groups and get connected!