a word from the wise::JILL BRISCOE

>> August 28, 2009

Here's the first post in our new thread "A Word from the Wise", where we interview older PWs for their advice and mentorship to us young'uns. We'll scatter these posts throughout the rest, as we get the interviews back.

I (Sarah) had the pleasure of starting this thread by interviewing Jill Briscoe. Here's a little about her:
Hi there. I’m Jill Briscoe. Seeing that I'm ancient (in my 70s), I have been around the church/mission block a few times! My husband and I experienced the business world, were youth ministry missionaries, and I have also been a PW for 38 years. For the last 9 years we have served as ministers-at-large for global church and mission. We've been married 51 years. Just Between Us is our magazine to encourage ministry wives and women who serve Jesus. Check us out also at: http://www.tellingthetruth.org.

1) What do you see as the single greatest characteristic or personality aspect that every young PW should purposefully cultivate in order to fill her role according to biblical instruction?

We are disciples of Jesus disguised as Pastors' Wives - so strive to do everything a biblical disciple does. The most important thing is to grow your own soul. Be responsible for your own interior spiritual life.

2) Can you share your opinion of current Bible Study trends for women? Lots of women want to study but have difficulty committing to a long series. How would you advise young PWs to structure the bible studies they offer to women in their congregations?
The most important thing is to have a vibrant PERSONAL bible study plan, and to encourage women in your husband's church to put this first. Teach them how to study for themselves... I’m a little out of the loop for current bible study trends, but if we love our own devotional times, we will each be hungry to make time somehow to be attending or leading a small group study.

3) What is a primary pitfall that you would warn young PWs against?
Never use your position as an excuse NOT to do what you would do if you were weren’t a PW and were just a church member instead. Always see your position as a platform for influence. Being a PW is a privilege, not a punishment.

4) What issues do you see the younger generation of PWs facing that maybe the older generation didn't encounter? What advice would you give related to those issues?
So many young pastors today are finding spouses in Seminary or Bible College. Often both spouses are trained and young couples want to minister as a team. But when they get into a church the congregation isn’t always ready for this dual ministry. The PW feels under-utilized and frustrated that their expectations for her are so limited. Or, the church may love to have her involved, but expects her to be an unpaid co-pastor.

Obviously the opposite is also still true. Many PWs didn't have the chance to study and train alongside their spouse and as a result they feel inadequate. Sometimes this makes them want to push back against expectations.

5) How would you advise young PWs who are leading women's ministries in their church? What should they focus on? How can they better connect with the women around them?
Go for it! Good for you! As Paul said to young Timothy, “let no man (or woman) despise your youth.” Focus on the women in your church: love them, pray for them and invest in their lives. Don't be afraid to learn as you go. Find a few women who have a heart for other women and do it together. Heart comes first, then gift.

Make sure you are doing some kind of evangelism yourself: not just teaching others to do it.



6) What's a book you'd recommend for young PWs to read?
Renewal on the Run: Embracing the Privileges and Expectations of a Ministry Wife

3 comments:

Melody August 29, 2009 at 4:24 PM  

Sarah,
Thank you for following through with this. I loved hearing from Jill on these topics and look forward to the upcoming interviews as well. What a great idea this was!

Carrie August 30, 2009 at 4:17 AM  

Thank you for this timely post. I'm a missionary wife in a tiny village in the middle of Nowhere, Eastern Europe, where my life is not at all what I envisioned when I surrendered to the mission field as a teen. I find that I waver between surrendering to what God wants me to do and my own ambitions (which usually cause me to fall flat on my face. Why I continue, I'll never know). At this time I am struggling to find sufficiency in Christ alone, as being a missionary's wife can be a very lonely calling.

I am looking forward to getting this book. I would also like to pick up another book or two along these lines---if anyone has any suggestions for me, I'd appreciate it.

Again, thank you for this timely post.

stefanie September 7, 2009 at 8:13 AM  

I receive Just Between Us as a gift from our church association, Converge (formerly the Baptist General Conference). It's proven to be a useful resource to me as a pastor's wife. Every time it comes, there is some timely encouragement - just for me!

Thanks, Sarah and Jill!

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