New Pastor Wives To-Do List, Part 2
(Six months since we started at our church!)
My husband took a new church in January, so now it has been six months of adjusting to a new church, meeting people, getting settled in! I wrote a post a few months ago about my advice for the first few weeks in a new church. Now that we are half of a year into this adventure, I have some updates!
- Be choosy about your ministry choices
For me, this is now the time where I have the urge to dive in to EVERY area of church, now that I’m a bit settled. I want to help in every area, and see how I can support each ministry. If it were possible, I’d be a youth leader, worship team member, women’s ministry team member, nursery volunteer, and on and on. But I am reading a book of timely advice called Your Sacred Yes by Susie Larsen. Seriously, I recommend this. The main point that I’ve gleaned so far from this book is that you can’t just say yes to every opportunity, or you will run straight into burn-out. Be prayerful and choosy with your “yesses” and God will bless your decisions.
- Open up your home and be hospitable.
Perhaps you are moving or moved to a new place. We are currently in transition still, living in an apartment while we continue to look for a home near the church. It’s not the ideal situation for hosting people. But I’m trying to make the best of it. Just yesterday, I invited another family to a craft class with my daughter at the local Michael’s store. We ended up spending the better part of the day with them! We also have met people at their homes or at restaurants. There’s no better way to connect with people, hear their hearts, and understand their ministry than over a meal! It doesn’t have to be a formal dinner party. Just find ways to be hospitable!
- Pick your discipleship or mentorship “targets”
As a leader in your church, people will be looking to you to support them in their faith walk. You don’t have to be the leader of the women’s ministry to do this! An important part of being a Christian is to support someone in growing their faith. So find some people who you think might need a mentor and ask, either formally or informally, if they’d like to get together. God put you in this new church because there are specific people that need YOU! Find them, and intentionally get into their lives, drawing them closer to the Lord. Also, on the flip side, make sure that YOU are being mentored by someone else. It may not be a person from your new church, but there is sure to be some strong, mature women who would be a great mentor to you. Perhaps even a woman who was or is in ministry. Those are relationships worth developing right from the start!
- Pace yourself
This is hard for me and my husband. We came into the church and wanted to run full speed ahead, making changes and updates left and right. But we have paced ourselves and it has been very beneficial. For example, I wanted Paul to change the sign, branding, logo, bulletin, stage, and children’s program immediately! However, we focused on a few priorities, and have made some strong, slow changes. It’s easier for your congregation too, as they digest changes bit by bit.
- Keep family first.
For us, this is the point where my husband is getting busier and busier, as the momentum of the church picks up. It’s exciting! It’s fun! It’s busy! But it can also be exhausting and hard on family life. Keep your family routines, whatever they are, as much as you can during this stage. Maybe you have a set date night. Maybe family dinners are important to you. Maybe Sunday lunch is your special “thing.” Whatever it is, keep it up, because your primary job as a ministry wife is to keep your family priority.
6. Show your appreciation
By now, you’re learning who does what, who is helpful, and who you appreciate at the church. Don’t forget to tell them! I do this in a fun way, by starting “Volunteer of the Week” at my church. I pick one volunteer every week and write a little blurb about them, which I send to the church secretary. She puts it in the bulletin and weekly email. I also send them a card saying what we appreciate about them, from the whole church staff. It is a way to show your gratefulness, get to know people and what they do at the church, and build community within your church. It’s not too much work, and totally worth the energy put into it. You don’t have to thank people so formally or publicly, just make sure that you are recognizing those who are supporting you, your husband, and the ministries of the church.
That’s what I’m learning right now, at this stage of church ministry! What advice do you have for me? God bless you, pastor’s wife! You are important and loved!
To follow my life as a pastor’s wife, check out my instagram (laurarisdall) or our church website at westpointe.org.
To follow our ministry journey, see below!