The Church Planting Spouse
Think about that for a minute.
Today I was sitting in the first day of Redeemer City to City’s Urban Church Planting Coach training when the importance of caring well for the church planter’s spouse came up. As we spoke, Tami Resch briefly explained the findings of a recent study done of church planting wives, and ranked the sources of frustration that they experience (in order):
- Their Husbands: We really can be tough to live with at times.
- Isolation and Loneliness: How many nights each week are you spending outside your home?
- Spiritual Health: How are you encouraging the spiritual lives of your family?
- Ambiguity: Are the expectations on your spouse clearly defined or are they expected to stand in every gap you have?
- Re-Creation: Do you make time for intentional family Sabbath?
- Exhaustion: Related to re-creation, how closely are you monitoring your family’s emotional, physical, and mental energy reserves?
- Finances: Do I really need to explain this?
As Theresa and I were discussing the list, she agreed with all
but the first one of the list. We spent some time talking through our experiences in Baltimore, and agreed it was one of the most difficult seasons of ministry that we have ever been through. I asked her what words of wisdom she would pass along to church planters and their spouses as they were getting ready to go plant. Here is her response:
This will be an exciting time, but will likely be some of the most difficult years you will experience as a couple. Before heading into the field do everything you can to ensure that your marriage is healthy, and that both of you have support systems in place: as individuals, and as a couple. Fellas, never forget that your wife is planting the church alongside of you, and feels the stress far more acutely than you ever will.
I may be partial, but she is wise.
How do YOU care for the ministry spouse in YOUR life?