BSF. go!

>> December 29, 2008

If more Bible study and spiritual growth are on your list of resolutions for 2009, then, may I suggest that you look into Bible Study Fellowship? BSF is an interdenominational Bible study class for women (though they have men's classes). You meet in small groupgs to review the homework, listen to a lecture and sing. This year we're studying the life of Moses and going through, chapter by chapter, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. I don't know what you may have heard about BSF in the past, good or bad, but if you've ever considered attending, let me give you an extra nudge.

You can find BSF classes all over the country, all over the world, actually.

Here's why I think it's perfect for pastor's wives:

  • You can attend and no one has to know you're a PW (no expectations).
  • You can attend a women's Bible study and you don't have to host, prepare, clean up, make snacks.
  • It starts and ends on time.
  • You meet new people outside of your church circle.
  • You learn. You grow. You love your Bible more. You love God more.
  • You can take your kids to the children's program where they learn from the same passages you're studying (starting with age 2).
  • There's daily homework to keep you studying throughout the week.
  • It's free (though they accept offerings).
For those of you who attend really high-tech services with a huge band, lights, praise team and jumbo trons, you might be in for some culture shock. BSF is extremely low-tech. It's church UnPlugged (except for mics and an overhead, that's not a typo...not powerpoint....overhead projector). You'll sing from the host church's hymnal accompanied by a volunteer pianist. No matter. It's a rewarding experience and I encourage you to check out the website, find a class near you and contact the class administrator. Or you can just show up at the first meeting of the month when they have intro classes for new people.

Anybody else here a BSFer, like me? What other "systems" of Bible study have helped you keep your nose in the Word?


merry christmas from the clutch chicks

>> December 25, 2008

We'll be taking a short blog break. Will be back next week. Merry Christmas!



>> December 24, 2008

For any veggie-conscious readers out there, you know that the holidays can be such a drag! Or maybe you have a vegetarian coming over for Christmas dinner... you don't have to skip all the fabulous recipes.

Just this year I found a new hit. So if any of you are drumming your fingers, searching the web for a creative (but easy and quick) last-minute holiday dish - your search is over. Of course, it isn't fat-free... but there are some sacrifices we simply must make on Christmas! (And hey, it DOES have spinach!) You can easily make a non-vegetarian or vegetarian version of this crowd-pleaser.

Chik'n Artichoke Bake
8 oz dried bow tie pasta
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 tbsp olive oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 c milk
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
2 c chopped Worthington brand "Fri-Chik" (or cooked chicken if you prefer)
2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese (8 oz)
1 14-oz can artichoke hearts (drained & quartered)
1 10-oz pkg frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed to drain)
1/2 c oil-packed dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c soft bread crumbs
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp butter, melted

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta until tender, and then drain. In a medium skillet saute onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

2) Whisk in a bowl: eggs, milk, Italian seasoning, salt, red pepper. Stir in Fri Chik, Monterey Jack cheese, artichoke, spinach, tomatoes, half of Parmesan, cooked bowties, onion and garlic. Pour into large casserole dish.

3) Bake covered, 20 minutes. While baking combine a topping of remaining Parmesan, bread crumbs, paprika, and melted butter in a small bowl. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle topping over pasta. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes more, or until golden brown.


christmas cheer

>> December 23, 2008

A few years ago my family revamped our holiday traditions.

We actually didn't grow up making a big deal out of Christmas. Besides being church-mouse poor, we were rather counter-culture. If the whole world out there did it, then we usually didn't.

That changed about the time I became a teenager. We started getting a tree, giving gifts, and getting out of control. Well, not really out of control... but you know what I mean.
So four years ago, we corporately decided to change gears. Instead of presents, we wanted to create other family traditions. That year "the boys" (dad, my husband, and my sister's fiance) built a quilting frame. Then "the girls" worked together on an heirloom quilt in ivory satin and chocolate taffeta - to a marathon of old Christmas movies.

The next year, we painted each others' profiles/silhouettes on large canvasses. They've been hanging in our respective homes ever since.

Last year, dad got "the boys" each a .22 rifle and took them to the woods to teach them how to shoot. (We're all vegetarians, so no innocent animals die.) But they all love their annual tradition of target practice. It's their man-thing while the girls cook Christmas dinner. Before they all have to wash the dishes!

Our family is stronger for saying goodbye to materialistic holiday obsessions. And our wallets thank us kindly. I only hope that we can somehow help the next generation to understand...


snubbed by the christian scrooge

>> December 22, 2008

Have you ever been snubbed or shot down when trying to do something nice for someone? This weekend, I decided to invite someone from church, with whom I probably wouldn't naturally hang out, over for Christmas dinner.

After asking, "Do you have plans for Christmas dinner?" I promptly got a mini-sermon about the pagan origins of the holiday and how un-biblical it is to celebrate it.

O.... K. "Well, I was just going to invite you over for Christmas dinner, but that's okay. Maybe another time."

So much for getting out of my comfort zone... Back in the zone.

Anything like this ever happen to you?


in your shoes

>> December 19, 2008

Got a picture of your favorite "church shoes?" If not, take one this weekend and email it to us! We're going to feature everyone's shoe submission in an upcoming post. We can't wait to see what's on your feet. Email


the interview: lori wilhite

>> December 16, 2008


Husband: Jud Wilhite
Family: Emma - 8, and Ethan- 5
Your Occupation: Stay-at-Home Mom
Church: Central Christian Church - Las Vegas, NV


Years married? 12 years

How did you meet? The first time Jud saw me, he was speaking, and I was in the audience. I thought he was looking at me, but then decided that I was crazy. But he was. He figured out who I was and called me with what might be one of the worst pick-up lines in history: “I just, uh, wanted to see if I could take you to coffee and encourage you.” Maybe not the smoothest line, but it worked. And I was crazy about him from our first lunch. Five months later we were engaged. Four months after that we were married. That was 12 years ago. I love him more now than then. I’m the luckiest girl ever!

How long have you been a PW? He was in ministry when we met. So, 12 years.

What is your favorite way to partner with your husband in ministry? Before Jud became a Senior Pastor, I was very involved in ministry alongside him. But now, my role in ministry with him has taken on more of a supportive role ... praying, cheerleading, encouraging. I have quite a few ministries that I do on my own now (working with pastor's wives, our online campus, and leading a "school mom" bible study).

What's the hardest thing about being a PW? I've struggled with different things over the years, but right now I think busy schedules is my hardest thing. We love what we do, but as the kids are getting older and busier, it is getting harder to manage everything. I seem to get to this point about once a year and have to lay everything out and start slashing a few things so that we can get some sanity back.

What are some of the perks of being married to a pastor? There are tons of perks ... tons. Probably too many to name or count. The trick is learning to live in the joy of leadership instead of living in the difficulties. We are so blessed that God lets us join Him by serving in this way. I wouldn't want to do anything else.

Do you network with other pastor's wives? How? I mainly connect through the blog world. I also do quite a few things throughout the year with our staff wives. And this past fall, I was fortunate to get to go to a little round table with some amazing Pastor's wives. I got close with a few, and know that I can call them at anytime (and I have) and they will understand.

What areas of ministry do you feel passionate about? A few years ago I started a ministry for teenage moms. While I've since handed the leadership on, I still love them so much. I am very passionate about reaching out to them, helping, and making sure they know how much God and His Church loves them. I also do some work with Pastor's Wives, and I love it!

Do you have any PW mentors? The "mentors" that I have don't really know that they are mentoring me. That sounds kind of stalker-ish, but I mean that I try to be like a sponge. I try to soak up all the great stuff that my friends have learned over the years and also learn from great people like Lisa Young and Kay Warren.

How do you fit the traditional/stereotypical role of a PW? In what ways do you break the mold? I'm not even sure what the traditional/stereotypical role is any more. When I was younger, I thought pastor's wives would look like that lady in "Footloose" and be pretty perfect. The ideal that I had in my head was like a cloak over me. It hampered me in almost every area of my life and ministry. Then one day I realized that I actually didn't know anyone that matched the ideal I had in my head. I knew amazing women who were doing awesome ministry ... and not one of them was what I pictured in my head. That started a journey of me figuring out who I was and getting to a place where I was OK with that. I'm becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin ... comfortable with who God made me to be. And that He can use me ... even with my faults and failings. In fact, he chose me as Jud's wife and ministry partner knowing exactly who I am.

What are you reading? I'm a huge reader, although I mostly read fiction. I actually have an online book club. We just finished discussing "The Shack" and are moving on to "I'll Have What She's Having" by Bobbie Houston. Then on to "The Host." I'm all over the place I guess.

What's playing on your iPod? Right now the main thing playing on my iPod is the Twilight soundtrack. I love it. I'm also still loving Coldplay's album.

How do you like to spend your husband's day off? My husband is off on Fridays. I used to be very sad about that since both of our kids are in school that day. I was so sad that they didn't have a "day off" with their dad since we do services on Saturday and Sunday. But now, I love it. Every Friday, Jud and I go out for a day date. We have breakfast, see a movie, shop, grab coffee, whatever. It is great time together. I cherish it. Then we do Family Pizza and Movie Night that evening with the kids. It works great for our family!

Have questions for Lori? Ask away! And check out her blog, Leading and Loving It, which offers even more insight about life in leadership.


staying out of the doghouse

>> December 15, 2008

A little humor for your Monday. (the nice crisp video can be found here:


what do you call your PH?

>> December 12, 2008

My PH (pastor-husband) and I were talking the other day about what people at church call the pastor. He's a pretty informal, down-to-earth guy, but he still prefers members to attach the "Pastor" handle to his name.

On the flip side, I correct people when they call me Sister M or Mrs. M... I feel like that's my mother-in-law, not me. I prefer that people call me by my first name.

Sometimes I've found it tricky when I am trying to get his attention or addressing him in a public setting. I don't really like calling out "Ben!" It feels funny. At the same time, I have to be intentional about calling him Pastor Ben. It doesn't come naturally.

I attended an informal pastor's wife/fiance/girlfriend class when he was in undergrad and the leader insisted that we should, without exception, address our PH as Pastor X (last name) in the presence of church members. I think that tradition, if it ever was one, is dead for the new breed (us) of PWs. What do you think? I don't think members should take their cues about what to call the pastor (or any other person) from their spouse. If I call him honey or baby or sweetheart in public, that doesn't give anyone else the right to call him that. So, why should calling him by his first name be any different?

More questions for ya:
What do members call your PH? What does your PH prefer to be called (by his members)? What do you call him at church or in social settings with members?


speaking of networking..

>> December 11, 2008

I found this article by Becky Badry, on the Lifeway site. It's about pastor's wives finding ways to network with each other and the benefits of developing these relationships, including:

Encouragement to keep priorities straight. Women are people-pleasers by nature. Imagine what a challenge it is to try to please the whole church. Keeping God first, family second, and ministry third are challenges that are common to these women.

Mentoring relationships, friendships, and role models. Based upon several surveys of ministers’ wives, a leading concern is loneliness. How can you be involved in a congregation of people and feel alone? It's easier than you think. I experienced it as I entered into marriage at the age of 19. Suddenly I had gone from a 19-year-old youth to being a minister’s wife! It was a whole different playing field in many ways--including socially. Granted, I was pretty unprepared for the change and the role. It wasn't like anyone presented me with a "minister's wife manual" as a wedding gift. However, I sought out other wives to relate to, observed their lives, and allowed them to become my role models and mentors.

A listening, loving, safe environment. As minister’s wives gather, they like to tell their stories. The safe environment of a peer support group allows for ministers' wives to receive affirmation when moving toward Christ-likeness, but also allows for feedback from different perspectives. Prayer support becomes critical for these wives.
They also list ideas for connecting PWs in your community. Check out the article here.


your role?

>> December 10, 2008


you're invited...

>> December 9, 2008 invite your friends.

Every one of us has at least one friend who is a pastor's wife. And they might like to belong to an online community of fellow travelers in the same shoes, too.

So we'd like to invite you to pass on the link to CLUTCH ( to your PW friends. Doesn't matter what country they live in, or what church they belong to...

The more readers, the more we can learn from each other and inspire each other to be God's women in the pastoral home.

Merry Christmas!

the CLUTCH chicks


networking with other PWs

>> December 8, 2008

Back in April, Craig Groeschel, pastor of in Oklahoma, opened his blog up for readers to ask his wife, Amy, questions. The question I posted was:

Do you network with other pastor’s wives in your area? If so, what activities/events have you found to be the most beneficial in terms of support, sharing, spiritual growth, etc.

Here's her answer: (check out the rest of the question/answer blogs here)

Delina, Yes! For the past several years I have co-hosted a pastors’ wives luncheon in our metro area. We gather together at least semi-annually to connect as friends and pray for one another. It has been a wonderful blessing to get to know and deeply care for these women and the churches they serve.

If you’d like to start something like this in your community, here are a few ideas:

  • Start with two or three pastors’ wives you know and ask them to invite their friends.
  • Ask your husband which pastors he knows whose wives might be interested.
  • Pray and ask God to show you ministers you’ve never met that you could invite.
  • I’ve found that most pastors’ wives can make it to a midweek lunch. Many love to bring something and contribute.
  • Chances are good you’ll be shocked at how many ministry wives crave these friendships.

I strongly recommend you start uniting ministries however you can in your community!

Have any of you have success networking with other PWs?


mammas don't let your babies grow up to be pastors

>> December 7, 2008

This video was depressing. It ain't this bad, ladies?! Right?


open thread

>> December 5, 2008

What's on your mind?


the interview: michelle wegner

>> December 3, 2008

Husband: Rob Wegner
Family: Madeline-10, Whitney-8, and Isabelle-4
Occupation: Stay at home Mom, but I have picked up a few babysitting and puppy sitting jobs in the neighborhood to make ends meet. I am the only mom that stays home in my neighborhood, so it works out well for me!
Granger Community Church, Granger, Indiana
Years Married: 15

How did you two meet?
Rob and I attended the same church growing up. When I was 12 and he was 15, he became good friends with my older brothers. It was love at first sight for both of us. We were best friends first, but started dating when I was 16 and he was 19. We were married when I was 19. I have never regretted being married so young.

How long have you been a PW?
15 years- Rob started working at GCC right out of college. I followed him here after we got married.

What is something you wish church members knew or understood about you (or your family)?
We love to see you in public, but my children get confused when you start crying and telling their dad all your problems at the mall or the McDonald’s play area.

What is your favorite way to partner with your husband in ministry?
I love hands-on ministry in India or at Son City Kids, our ministry to the children of inner-city South Bend.

What's the hardest thing about being a PW?
Making and maintaining friendships.

What are some of the perks of being married to a pastor?
Of course the very spiritual answer would be “all the changed lives” , but other pastor’s wives know that already soo…

Traveling with him to India and seeing the Taj Mahal.
Conferences that are located in WARM places during the winter.
I got to eat lunch sitting next to President Jimmy Carter and his wife Roslyn once. That was a pretty big perk.

In what ways would you still like to grow in your role as a PW?
I love the age and stage our children are at right now, but it really limits my “hands-on” time for ministry. I am really looking forward to the day when I can travel to India more often with Rob, not just to see exotic things like the Taj Mahal, but reaching women and children of the third world is a huge passion of mine. I look forward to the day when I can invest more of my life there.

How do you help your kids deal with the pressures of being pastor's kids?
My kids are pretty fortunate to be raised in such an amazing community and church. I rarely see our church members treating our children any differently than the other children at our church. Our senior pastor, Dr. Mark Beeson and his wife Sheila paved the way for us with their children. They did not allow their children to have special privileges or use the term P.K. with them. Neither do we.

What is the most meaningful thing you do to support your husband?
Being a dutiful housewife (sarcasm intended). I am not Suzie Home-maker, but I do my best to maintain our household at a level that brings peace and happiness to all. This is really hard considering I have rheumatoid arthritis and have three extrememly spirited little girls.

Do you have any PW mentors?
I sure do. Gail MacDonald has been an amazing friend and mentor to me in many ways. She is a fountain of wisdom, and she speaks to the deepest part of me.

Sheila Beeson, our senior pastor’s wife is an amazing wife and mother to her grown children. She and Mark did so many things right in raising their kids, I just want to be like her.

What are you reading?
Alaska by James Mitchner and Edges of His ways by Amy Carmichael

What's playing on your iPod?
I don’t have an iPod, but I do have a Zune, which was supposed to be my Christmas present. (I accidentally opened it because the package had my name on it.)

I just downloaded Handel's Messiah. It's a huge part of my personal Christmas tradition every year. The girls don't appreciate it, so I listen with my headphones.

Other stuff that's on it:
John Denver (don't laugh)
David Crowder
Hillsong United
Rich Mullins
Celtic Woman

Your husband is a pastor at a church with four weekend services (2 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday), how do you manage that weekend schedule?
The girls and I usually attend Saturday nights when Rob is on. It's easier for me to get them ready in the evening than the morning. I used to attend several services before we had kids. I really wish I still could, but with 3 kids, it's just too much.

Have you encountered any "expectations" in that regard?
Nope, none whatsoever.

How do you like to spend your husband's day off?
Sleeping in, going out to breakfast together if the girls are at school, hanging around home, going hiking, having family pizza/movie night so I don’t have to cook.

Michelle is an active blogger. Check her out here. Have any questions for Michelle? Ask away!


his day off

>> December 1, 2008

Due to our husbands' unconventional schedules, it's oftentimes necessary to do creative things with time management in order to make married life and family life work. You need a day to catch up on things around the house, do family things, run errands or relax with a good book or favorite TV show. Some pastors choose to use their day off as a sabbatical of sorts, where they disconnect from all errands, responsibilities, stresses and concerns and commune with God.

So, tell us about your husband's day off. Is it always the same day each week? Do you get to spend it together with him? If so, how do y'all spend it? Have you made any "rules" about his day off? Do the church members know to respect that day?


thanks for something

All the festivities are done. The turkey is eaten (and you've probably started your new year's resolutions list already!). Black Friday is behind us. Your Christmas decorations are probably on display already. The weekend services are done. Now that you have time to reflect on this Thanksgiving, we're wondering, what PW-related blessing are you most thankful for?

Okay... I'll go first.

I'm thankful for a husband who, despite the hundreds of things he has to do, and the mountain of work that he has when we get back, knows when and how to go on vacation. It helps that we're in a place where our cell phones don't work, too. I know I couldn't be any other pastor's wife. He even left his ministry-related reading material at home, though we ended up reading So you don't want to go to church anymore together.

Your turn!


holiday gratefulness

>> November 30, 2008

This year was an unusual Thanksgiving month for us. My job took me to the UK and then Russia for the first two weeks of the month, then a week at Andrews University.

Then, for Thanksgiving week my pastor husband had to travel to Brasil for 10 days to prepare for next year's mission trip. Our church is planning to build two churches in the Amazon interior. I'm thankful for his passion for taking people on mission trips - it changes lives - but the idea of being at home alone on Thanksgiving was pretty bleak.

So I spent the holidays in Chicago with cousins. We made a massive batch of yummy chocolate cherry cookies, gluten steaks, chik'n artichoke bake, potato leek soup and pumpkin pie.

There was a very cool barn door with an old sign on it. Just begged to be photographed. And it felt very spiritual, too - the light bursting through the window and the One Way arrow...

Another thing I'm thankful for this year is female friends. Loneliness is something I've struggled with for years, and knowing that it's usually unwise to get close to (even the nicest) church members doesn't make it easier.

My husband challenged me a couple of years ago to purposefully focus my energy on building some strong female friendships. I prayed for quite a while about whom to even begin getting to know! Since then, God has put a variety of amazing women in my path and I feel incredibly blessed.

This year I got the unusual and precious opportunity to spend several days with some of those girlfriends (some of whom were fellow PW's), and for that I am grateful.
R>L: me, my cousin, a friend, a fellow pastor's wife, and another friend - out in the snow


who to invite?

>> November 21, 2008

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a "family holiday".

But in our previous church district, my husband and I decided to expand our horizons a little bit. Our table guests were sparse last year, just the two of us and my parents – and we come from the philosophy that at times like these, the more the merrier!

So we started talking around to our friends in the congregation to see who wanted to share the holiday dinner together. Several showed interest, but in the end all declined.

We were disappointed. All our friends seemed to have better things to do than spend time with us! ☹

So one night, the week before the holiday, I decided to pray about it. I really felt strongly that we needed to invite someone over and I just couldn’t figure out whom. So I asked God “What’s your plan? Is there someone I’m supposed to ask specifically?”

And then I thought of Mr Hughes. A tall and distinguished elderly gentleman who’d sat in the same spot on the same front pew every service for the past 20+ years. He played the violin sometimes for special music, and attended church alone because his bedridden wife couldn’t come along.

Occasionally he would stay for fellowship dinner, and when he did, he would always go back through the line a second time to pack a little Styrofoam plate to take home and share the church dinner with her.

Mr Hughes always had a quick smile and a hug for anyone who would spare him a moment’s notice. He was a true Southern gentleman of the old sort. They had no children in the area, or family to share the holiday. I was almost certain they’d be eating a microwave dinner at home alone.

So I invited Mr Hughes to join us.

He arrived right on time, and started off by saying that he couldn’t stay more than an hour or two, because his wife was having a bad day.

But during that hour he oohed and aahed over the dinner, regaled us with stories of frontline reconnaissance in the Pacific theatre during World War II, sang songs and cracked jokes and had a wonderful time.

When he left, we packed him a huge plate of holiday food to take home for his wife. As he stood at the door, he had tears in his eyes and told me that this was the first time he’d been out of the house for anything but church or the doctor in years.

I knew we’d done the right thing. Then we moved to a new district last spring, and a few months ago we heard that Mr Hughes had suddenly passed away from an unexpected illness.

At the time, it felt great to know that our invitation gave a wonderful old man a sense of family and acceptedness during an otherwise lonely holiday. It felt good to bless him that way.

As I’m writing this, I just realized that it was also his final Thanksgiving on this earth. I’m glad he shared it with us - I think we were the ones who were blessed.

Who does God want you to invite to join your family table this year?


making ministry real

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Partly because it seems like one of the rare American holidays that actually has to do with relationships rather than material consumerism.

Thanksgiving seems more about getting together with people than going out shopping for more useless clutter. I like that.

But I guess on any holiday, it can get easy to be wrapped up in ourselves. The perfect dinner menu. Just the right table decorations. Whether or not the least favorite relative is showing up this year…

It can be a challenge to see the holidays as opportunities to minister, especially as PW’s when our schedule is dictated by the number of special events at church. And when all we’d really like to do is maybe hide away at home with our husbands and families and have just ONE happily uninterrupted day together.

When I was about 5 or 6 years old, my family made some winter holiday memories together that profoundly impacted my little girl self. I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back I know that we were poor. Not just “less-than-comfortable”. We were totally below the poverty line.

But there was another young family with a new baby who lived near us – and they were even poorer. So my parents decided to help them out. We went to the grocery store and put together a shopping list. Then we packed all the bags as prettily as we could into an open banana box and walked over to their house.

We tiptoed to the door, set the box on the step, rang the doorbell and ran merrily around the corner of their little trailer to wait for them to discover the gift.

My childish heart felt a thrill as we watched them exclaim over the simple box, knowing that I had been part of giving them something they needed.

Thanksgiving can be a great time to involve ourselves and the children around us in the excitement of meeting someone else’s needs. At a season where even selfish society urges us to be thankful, sometimes we need to be the reason for another’s gladness.

Besides, it’s those small things that are small on money and big on heart that make lasting memories for both children and adults. Have you had a similar story you’d like to share here? Or maybe you can think up something creative to do with your kids this year to spread the thankfulness around?


are you out there? - open thread

We sorta already know you're there, but you're probably just lurking around, checking out the blog. Well, there's not *much* to check out yet, but there can be if you help us out.

We're going to reserve Fridays and the weekend for an open thread. Tell us what's on your mind...anything (even if it's not related to your life as PW). Or, if you prefer tell us what would you like to see on Clutch?

Talk to us. We're listening.


the typical pastor's wife

>> November 20, 2008

I've often heard PWs of all ages, of all different gifts, personalities and lifestyles and interests say that they're "not the typical pastor's wife." I suppose on some level, no one wants to be the "typical" anything. But that got me thinking... what is the typical pastor's wife?

What elements define the stereotypical pastor's wife? How do you fit into that description? In what ways do you break the mold?


music video parable

>> November 19, 2008

In addition to being a pastor's wife, I also work with a film team based in the United Kingdom, called tedMEDIA productions.

We work to create cutting edge resources for Christian outreach and inreach, particularly reaching the secular and postmodern audiences of today's emergent generation.

Just today, we've released a new music video about the parable of the Prodigal Son. It is a modern retelling of the biblical story, in an urban style. If urban music isn't your thing, that's okay too. We are producing classical, acoustic, folk, gospel, and hymns as well. :)

But if you like it, please go leave a comment! For now, it is only available on YouTube for viewing and embedding. We hope to provide for purchase and download at a later time.


profile of a PW: lisa chan

>> November 17, 2008

My husband just received his issue of Outreach magazine with Francis Chan on the cover. In case you've never heard of him, Francis Chan is a pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA who does amazing things and really has a heart for reaching "the least of these." His church, who has outgrown its current facilities, decided to build an outdoor amphitheater for $1 million instead of a new, larger church for $20 million.

In an effort to put their personal money where their mouth is, the Chan family sold their house, moved to a smaller house, took in the inlaws and frequently houses college students, struggling couples, etc. in addition to their four children. When he first brought up selling the house, his wife, Lisa, said, "If you really believe that this is what God wants us to do, then I trust you."

This Lisa Chan is an amazing woman with a voice and message to match. Hopefully we'll have an interview with her on this blog soon. I'm gonna start working on it. In the meantime, check her out and be inspired.


when his ministry cramps your style... (part2)

(read part 1)

It's a high calling, I know. Wait! Let me introduce myself. I'm Delina. As a PWs in my early 30s, I've often thought it would be much easier to embrace biblical womanhood if I was married to Joe the Plumber. As Sarah discussed, we can all think of plenty of reasons why being a PW might be undesirable, inconvenient, annoying, or as I like to say, "cramping my style." At face-value, you can live your life resenting your husband's call to ministry or you can choose to step it up a notch. Or maybe a few notches.

But what does this look like? It might be that you won't allow your career aspirations to compete with his. It might mean you'll intentionally seek out friends in unexpected places when you live someplace you don't want to live, away from family, friends and anything familiar or comfortable. It may mean that you'll ask God for a heart change when you're resentful because you're moving away from each district just as you were finally beginning to feel at home and make friends. I don't know what it'll look like for you. But God does. And I know that when you submit your dreams and desires to Him, you can be assured that His plans for you exceed your wildest imagination. They're good.

Trust that he has a plan to use your gifts, skills, experience, knowledge, interests. More importantly, know that He's intensely interested in molding you into the woman He created you to be.

I will never forget the words of one wise woman who, during our time in Seminary, told me: "God brought you together, so always know that your husband's calling and your calling will never lead you in opposite directions."

The next time something seems to be "cramping your style," I invite you to step back and ask God to change your heart and your perspective to better reflect His plans. Ask Him to help you figure out what to cling to, and what to let go of in your life.

No, it's not easy to, above your own desires, take up the role as helper, encourager and partner in ministry. But it's what the awesome, infallible, infinitely wise, and providential Creator of the Universe designed for you. He's entrusting this awesome task to you. It really is your calling too.

So, tell us, have you ever felt like you and your husband were being pulled in two different directions?Have you ever felt like you were competing with his calling to ministry or there didn't seem to be room in your lives for both of you to pursue your individual callings?


when his ministry cramps your style... (part1)

>> November 16, 2008

Hi, I'm Sarah. As a pastor's wife in my late 20s, I've often heard other minister's wives in my generation express regret or even antagonism toward their husband's career.

"It’s his job, not mine! His congregation, not mine. His calling, not mine."

It's natural to struggle against our own hearts. Some of us don’t want to be called. We’d like to let all the divine calling be for our husbands.

Admittedly, being a pastor’s wife (PW) has its unique challenges and joys. It’s not like being the wife of the banker or doctor or even the plumber. People watch us, measuring our performance against their own (often unreasonable) expectations. And let's be totally honest, the life of a PW can occasionally be downright inconvenient, getting in the way of our plans, our dreams, our visions of how marriage and family life would be.

In this generation we’re often trapped between culture and our biblical calling. Society says we can have it all – the career, the kids, the home – but never urges us to ask God what He calls us to be.

Before we can begin to acknowledge, accept and even embrace our role and calling as PWs, we must first find our identity in biblical womanhood.

And it’s not easy. In fact, it's counter-cultural. American society (exported worldwide) urges women to be self-serving, self-involved and self-absorbed. We just call it independence, ambition and confidence. It’s a daily struggle to reject contemporary culture and surrender first to God.

Proverbs 31 describes the biblical woman as someone who isn’t afraid to work with her hands, and who loves serving people. This woman is strong, loves beauty, and stays organized. She’s someone who blends kindness and capability so well that her husband’s reputation is built up because of how she acts. Everything she does enhances the lives of those around her.

Heavily influenced by the feminist movement, American culture tells us to protect ourselves. Be independent. Focus on our own needs first. Look out for ourselves, because if you don't take care of yourself, who will? But Scripture says we are created to serve each other. Live for the well-being of others, and the church. Set aside our wants for the good of other people. And submit ourselves to the authority and leadership of the man God placed at the head of our households. Ouch!

As biblical women we choose to live differently than other women around us. Different attitudes. Different priorities. Different expectations of ourselves and others. It’s about sorting through our culture, and taking only the best and most biblical. It's about holding tight to what is good.
(read part 2)

How has your thinking about what it means to be a woman been influenced by feminist ideas?



>> November 11, 2008


I don't know how to express to you how excited I am about this blog and the possibilities of networking with other pastor's wives in my generation. I'm looking forward to being blessed by this experience.

A little bit about me:

I'm 31, was born in Costa Rica, lived in Mexico for a bit and then grew up mostly in Texas. In the last 10 years, I've lived in Texas, Washington DC, Texas again, Michigan and now California. I have a degree in journalism and I still love to write, edit and create, though I hardly ever do it for pay these days (more on that in a bit).

A lot of times I have an insatiable need to know. It's probably why I liked interviewing and reporting and why today I thrive off getting the inside stories on politics and newsmakers. I live for a good documentary. Besides prowling the internet for information, I love to entertain friends and soon-to-be friends, plan parties, read books and dabble in photography. There is really not enough time in the day to explore my interests and meet my goals. But that in itself keeps me going.

My husband, Ben, is an associate pastor. His passion is young adult ministry. We're constantly lamenting the fact that, as a whole, we're not investing time in helping young adults acquire a passion for the Word and for God. Clutch Talk is a result of that passion, because our generation of pastor's wives and our unique struggles are overlooked.

Together Ben and I share a one-year-old son, Maxton. He's the absolute love of our lives. We enjoy him so much. I dedicate my days to caring for him and raising him up to be a strong man of God. I believe with every cell in my body that God gave him life for a special and unique purpose. I can't wait to witness what God has in store for him. I totally don't deserve him. So, Maxton is the main reason I don't work for pay, but really, he saved me from having to look for work when we moved to L.A. I never really thrived as an employee. There seemed to be no time to live life!

This way of life suits me a whole lot better and I sincerely feel that it's just a bit more full because I get to embark on this PW conversation with you! I look forward to reading your insights and building this community.

Welcome to CLUTCH!



>> October 10, 2008

Hi girls!

I'm Sarah, married to Marius and living in the metro Atlanta area. We've been married almost 7 years.

Marius is the Senior Pastor of two churches in the Greater Atlanta Area. He's passionate about community projects, international mission trips and small groups, in addition to baptismal studies, counseling, and lately - lots of weddings! He's full of life and keeps my sometimes-workaholic self balanced with spontaneity and enthusiasm. (You can't tell, can you?)
I absolutely LOVE to travel, it's a bug I caught as a missionary kid living in Russia. Since then, visiting 30 countries, short-term mission trips to a dozen places, graduate study abroad and 4 summers in youth mission programs have given me lots of opportunities to learn about other cultures.

I have an undergraduate degree in English Writing, and a master's in International Development and Non-profit Administration. For the past four years, I've worked in full-time ministry as the associate director of an international research center. We developed resources and training materials for non-traditional evangelism and small group ministries in today's postmodern society. My work included marketing, writing, media production and lots of international travel. (Watch some of the video clips my team did here.)

When our first child made his debut, I decided to break from the travel and spend some time at home. I still work on odd projects, like engagements & baby photography, recording and transcribing my dad's memoirs, and doing PR consulting here and there. And I'm always open to jobs that pay, too!

As a minister's wife, I have a personal passion for mentoring and connecting with women of all ages. I think that Paul was really onto something when he told Timothy to have women mentor each other into the arts of homemaking, husband-loving, and godly identity.

I was blessed to have a wise and godly mother who served as a mentor for me - but not every young pastor's wife has the luxury of a great Christian mom with decades of ministry experience. And most of us don't know have know where to get some godly wisdom and a listening ear when we need it.

CLUTCH is one of the ways I stay connected with the outside world, and with serving other women. I think it's a great place to mentor each other in the journey toward fulfilling service as the wives of ministers around the world.

Y'all ready to start a conversation?



>> January 13, 2008

Church Planting Wives

Deborah Shank Ministries

Global Pastors' Wives Network

Just Between Us

Lois Evans Pastors' Wives Ministry

Shepherdess International

The Preacher's Wife



So why CLUTCH?

We prayed about a text that would encapsulate the mission of CLUTCH. And we discovered 1 Thessalonians 5:21.

"...holding on to that which is good."

As ministry wives, life can be very challenging. Struggling to make ends meet, trying to snatch bits of family time, keeping our sanity as we live a life focused on serving others and meeting their needs - it can all be very overwhelming.

But it is deeply rewarding too. And satisfying. And full of surprises.

Ministry life isn't the same as it used to be. And with a new generation come new needs and new horizons.

CLUTCH is about holding on to the good stuff. About clinging tightly to what we know God has called us to do: support our husbands, raise our children, follow after His own heart.

And besides that, the word has some very cool meanings. At CLUTCH we hope to inspire you to:

CLING tightly to God's plan, with
CLASS and style, and personality, all of us
CHICKS in the same generation.

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