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.


WagenerSmiths April 28, 2012 at 4:00 PM  

I had the privilege of hearing Lori and Jud speak this past week at Exponential Conference in Orlando. I was inspired to hear how real they are with each other and their congregation. Also, how they plan their calendar with kids prioritized was inspiring. Thanks for this interview. It's always helpful to hear how other pastoral families juggle the 100 things going on.

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