chime in: questions from you (4)

>> March 31, 2009

In a January post we asked for your feedback on what you wanted to chat about. One Anonymous poster asked:

What to do with all the negative comments that your pastor hubby gets, knowing how hard he works and how faithful he is...really gets me sometimes!

What do you say, ladies? Chime in!

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guest blog: the friendship application

>> March 30, 2009


We’re pastor’s wives. We're nice people. We need friends like anyone else. We know these things are true, so then why is it so hard for us to have strong, healthy friendships inside the church? I am thinking about offering a Friendship Application to every new friend I get, that way were clear from the get-go. These are things I would put on a friendship application if it wasn't totally weird to hand someone such a thing.

1. Will you trust me?
2. There are things you will tell me about ministry that I will have to tell my husband. Don't look at it like I am betraying you when I talk about issues in your area of ministry with my husband, who is your pastor.
3. My time with you will be very limited. I don't have free child care. My husband works totally random hours. When he's home, I'm home. He is more important to me than you are. Are you ok with that?
4. Will you trust me?
5. You have the power to make my life seem completely normal.
6. You have the power to destroy my ability to trust again.
7. Will you push me to greater levels of excellence in my own life? I seriously don't have it all together. I need someone to challenge me like everyone else.
8. Will you trust me?
9. Asking me to help get something done in your area of ministry is like me calling the Wal-Mart managers wife at home to clean up a spill on aisle 8. My life is at home. My job is not at the church.
10. We don’t answer the phone on my husband’s day off. Do you understand that doesn’t mean I don’t like you?

If you understand and agree with me on all these points, then, and only then, can we be close friends.

You know I am being slightly sarcastic with this. I am really just trying to figure out ways to convey these things to my friends without being overly rude. I love them, and don’t want to lose them. Not many will stick with you when they start learning that a friendship with a pastor’s wife is slightly conditional. Those that do will be the best friends you could ever ask for.




Michelle Wegner lives in Indiana where her PH, Rob, is a pastor at Granger Community Church. She has 3 girls, 2 dogs and a great blog.

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on ministry as a family...

>> March 27, 2009

Gotta say I love all the comments these last posts are getting!

Since discovering that we are going to bring a life into the world, my PH and I have been doing a lot of talking...

How does this affect who we are?
What does being "a family" mean for our ministry?
How can we grow through this amazing journey of becoming parents?

For us, it's sparked a whole new evaluation of how we minister, what we value, and where we focus. We've spent hours talking about our own characters - what we want to apply and discard from our childhood experiences, and forming concepts of the kind of family we want to be. We've been married and ministering together for 6 years, and this all flows over into our concepts of reaching other people and meeting their needs, too.

So I'm curious - were you in ministry when you became parents for the first time? How did entering the adventure of parenthood challenge your approaches to ministry, if at all? Did you feel any different ministering as a family rather than as a couple?

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do you friend your members on facebook?

>> March 26, 2009

I'm sort of a Facebook snob. I'm constantly deleting people (who aren't interacting) and I've been known to "ignore" people's friend requests. In one instance, I have a friend request from a church member just sitting in there waiting for me to take action. This person never speaks to me (more than "hello") in the real world. I'm a little apprehensive about letting people into my Facebook life who don't already know me in some tangible way. I don't want Facebook to be a place where I have to censor myself because "so-and-so may read this."

But what kind of a snotty PW am I if I deny members the opportunity to connect with me...even if it's through Facebook (which may be more comfortable for them)?

What are your thoughts on this ladies? I'm open to being corrected. How do you mesh social networking, your private life and ministry?

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tax time PW-style

>> March 25, 2009

It's gotta be the worst, most frustrating time of the year for me--tax season. There's nothing worse than coming to grips with the fact that the folders you put together to keep track of taxes are empty and the receipts are in various drawers and piles.

Additionally, there's no joy in knowing that once I do get that pile of info organized, we'll still end up owing that hefty self-employment tax (um... didn't get around to filing quarterly last year either). I know there are various tax perks associated with our husband's job, but I'm still bitter.

How are you handling this tax season? Any tips? Lessons learned? Is this a headache for y'all too, or am I the only one?

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not to copycat Delina, but...

>> March 24, 2009

Hi girls, Sarah here...

So you may know from Delina's posts about the Beth Moore event in Nashville that I wasn't able to make it there. My PH and I had fell in bed about 4 AM on that Friday morning after flying in from Bucharest, Romania - after visiting his family for a week.

On the way back, he got the worst flu/ear infection/bronchitis combination, and I wasn't feeling so great either.

The Friday morning that I should have been driving to Nashville for a fabulous girl's weekend where I would have met many of you in person - we found out that we are expecting our first child! After our six years of marriage spent traveling/working/ministering, our families have breathed a collective sigh of relief that the next generation is no longer an endangered species.

Since then, it's been one long round of 24-hour nausea - which I hear from my many mother-friends does eventually subside. :) Needless to say, I'm very sorry to have missed the incredibly spiritual blessing and fellowship that Nashville would have brought, and I'm looking forward to another time.

I hope you all are surviving whatever this week is bringing you. For us, the last few weeks have brought a renewal of appreciation for our families and each other, and an incredible amount of prayer and heart-searching as we imagine ourselves becoming parents in only 6 1/2 months or so. It's a humbling and awe-inspiring thing to be growing a life!

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chime in: questions from you (3)

>> March 19, 2009

Earlier this week heartreflections asked:

How do you worship as a pastor's wife? Can we always be vulnerable?

So chime in, have you felt limitations on the way you worship because of your role as a pastor's wife?

In what situations have you felt free to be vulnerable? Can we ever be truly vulnerable?

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LPL slideshow

>> March 18, 2009


LPL Ministers' Wives Nashville TN from Rich Kalonick on Vimeo.


Go check out the video vignette's that Beth showed us at the conference. They illustrate the struggles that real pastor's wives struggle with. I'm sure we can all relate to a lot of it.

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guest blog: LPL event recap

>> March 17, 2009

A community of believers with a similar calling, sincere worship, a fresh word from the Word, and purposeful prayer and response… what an amazing weekend we had at Living Proof Live for Ministers' Wives!

We were reminded to be vulnerable in our time together. No one was going to complain if we raised our hands in worship. We were safe to confide in each other.

Beth Moore shared from Galatians and gave a six-word aggravations related to ministry life followed by a six-word alternative. At different points throughout the weekend, we wrote our own six words and shared with those around us. The setting of this conference was intimate enough that several ladies shared their words with the entire group.

The first aggravation was: ministry by default, lifelong misfit. We sometimes think that God didn’t know what He was doing by giving us this calling. That thinking makes us miserable, and we should not be that way all time. Ministry is supposed to be hard. Instead, we are chosen by God. Have a holy fit. (Galatians 1:1)

Another aggravation: Seek their approval, become their slave. Instead, seek God’s approval, find your peace. We need approval from no one else (another staff wife, member of your congregation). Romans 14:4, “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”

Oh… this aggravation is good: Work with people. Expect titanic problems! Beth shared a story and ended it with, “Are we getting cranky?” Ouch! She covered issues dealing with competition, conflict and criticism. Our alternative is to: choose to trust, not thrust. It’s important to learn to work through conflict.

Trade your bondage, keep your chains was the next aggravation. Galatians 5:1, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free, therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery.” The only offensive we have is Scripture. We need to have Scripture memorized and ready for these situations. She challenged us to commit 20 verses to memory. The alterative: Don’t ignore. Get restored and restore. (Galatians 6:1)

We have been called to Holy living. The aggravation: Sow the flesh. Reap the dregs. It’s important to fight for true godliness. We see the flesh in people and we might think its okay. It’s not. Our alternative: Sow the spirit. Reap the life. (Galatians 2:20)













The last aggravation Beth shared: Lose what counts. Watch misery mount. The only thing that counts is sharing faith through love. (Galatians 5:6 and 6:15) The alternative: Keep the King the thing: Jesus. “Let everything else fall away,“ Beth concluded.

I am so grateful for my sweet husband that allowed me to be away. He always steps up when asked and cares for our home and two daughters, including getting them to church on Sunday, amidst all of his other responsibilities. In addition to these wonderful truths and worship time, I connected with old friends and made new ones.




Erin Lynn is a PW who lives in Mississippi with her husband, the Preschool Pastor at Temple Baptist Church, and their two girls. She attended the first LPL event for minister's wives 3 years ago and wants to meet you at the next one (whenever, wherever that may be).

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you shoulda been there!

>> March 15, 2009

The Living Proof Live event for Minister’s Wives (with Beth Moore) was incredible. I’ll let Erin tell you all about it, but until then...let me just tell you that for me personally, I saw God’s fingerprints all over this trip. From getting on the plane just barely before the plane took off, to meeting the women that I got to hang out with, to feeling downright good and not drained or weak despite the world-wind cross-country trip alone (I’m pregnant with twins), to even the women I got to chat with on the airplane on the way home… I know that God planned for me to be at this event. He invited me there to minister to me and to give me courage and bolster my faith. It was a God thing all-around, every minute.



It was such a blast to be in a room filled with minister’s wives. On Friday, when Travis Cottrell was leading worship, he encouraged us to be vulnerable and it’s where it struck me that this was such a sacred weekend---a sacred space where PWs could just be themselves and worship God in our own way without the baggage that comes with the role. That opportunity alone was a great blessing.

How often do you get to worship and just be…not be seen, not be the PW, but just be?


I encourage you. Don’t let circumstances (money, childcare, time off work, etc.) keep you from an appointment with God. Don’t talk yourself out of it before you even get to see God move mountains on your behalf. Pray and ask him to light your path and make a way.

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idea share: leading a women's group

>> March 11, 2009

Some of you lead a women's or girl's group at your church or in your community. There are probably a million ways to do this, but we want to know how you do it. Hopefully this thread will generate ideas for all of us to learn from.

Please answer these questions:

Is your group and ongoing group or does it have a start and end date?
What curriculum or plan are you using for study?
How often do you meet?
Where do you meet?
How many women attend regularly?
What is the age group or range of the women in your group?
Are the women "assigned" things to study between meetings (if so, please describe)?
What do you like most about leading this group?

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TICKET AVAILABLE FOR BETH MOORE EVENT THIS WEEKEND

>> March 10, 2009

If any of you are driving distance from the Beth Moore event for ministers' wives this weekend in Nashville, we have a ticket available. Sarah (my co-blogger) had to go to the UK for a business trip and a visit with her husband's family in Romania. While there, her husband got sick and she's coming down with it as well. They're supposed to be back in the States Thursday evening and will be going straight to the doctor Friday morning. Needless to say, she won't be able to drive to Nashville to meet me for the conference.... so if anyone wants her ticket (she'd love to get at least a partial amount of the ticket price for it...if possible) please let me know, ASAP.

Email me at clutchtalk@gmail.com.

Pray for Sarah and her PH... it's gonna be a long trip home.

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making people feel at home...

  1. Be yourself... they want to know YOU, not your other personalities!
  2. Don't sweat the menu - keep it simple and you'll stress less. Make it about the relationship, not impressing them with your gourmet skills.
  3. Don't sweat the minute housekeeping (okay, you might want to make sure your bra isn't hanging to dry in the bathroom, but don't get all panicky if there's a few dustmites). They're coming to see you, not inspect your window sills.
  4. Be yourself.
  5. Don't serve spaghetti or grape juice if you have white carpet. ESPECIALLY if your guests have kids. It'll just make you jumpy, and a jumpy hostess makes nervous guests. And nervous guests are so much more likely to spill things... :)
  6. Be attentive, not fussy. The more you fuss over them, the more unwelcome they'll feel.
  7. Be prepared to listen. Ask them about themselves and let them share freely.
  8. Do check to make sure nobody has food allergies or limitations (it's always awkward to plan a hamburger menu if someone is vegetarian...)
  9. Just relax - remember it's about the relationship!
  10. Be yourself!!!

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praying for a fellow PW

>> March 9, 2009



I don't know her and chances are you don't either, but sometime today, would you lift Cindy Winter up in prayer? She's the wife of the pastor who was shot and killed during services yesterday.

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when you feel left out...

In our first church district, we were invited to visit the whopping sum of two homes in the first entire year.

I'd spent countless hours making food, planning small group activities, and otherwise striving to be a gracious (if neither spendthrift nor lavish) hostess. It was important to me to get to know people, and to make them feel welcome and comfortable - even if the housekeeping wasn't always up to snuff.

So here's an opportunity for a bit of rant... Have you ever felt left out? Like everybody at church has a social life but you? Like no matter how gracious you try to be, or how many times you are the hostess, nobody reciprocates?

It used to make me really mad. Angry. Rejected.

Then I realized: they probably have no idea how I feel. And maybe nobody ever taught them the Christian value of hospitality.

So I had to let it go...

How about you?

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hospitality poll

>> March 6, 2009

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lisa chan on hospitality

>> March 5, 2009

More than weekend dinners and hosting social events, the epitome of hospitality would probably be inviting someone (or several someones) to stay in your home for months. Is your open house wide open?

We recently interviewed Lisa Chan whose husband, Francis, is the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California. Friends, Lisa is the real deal, as you'll hear in our interview. I learned a lot from her, about hospitality and giving. I hope you will too. Listen in.


video

Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with Lisa on her role as a pastor's wife.

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your open home...

>> March 4, 2009

Everybody's hospitality personality is different. We get that.

But everybody has a unique way of sharing God's blessings through their home/food/warmth/other talents.

For us, it's pretty purposeful. When we move to a new church district, we always dedicate our new home for God's service to the people in this place. We see our home as a place for anyone who needs rest, counseling, food, or whatever else to bring them closer to God.

Of course, we keep family boundaries too - but that particular brand of hospitality is just who we are. We have people for dinner almost every weekend after church, bible study for young professionals on Friday nights, pizza nights, socials - you name it... And we find that it's a huge blessing. The most amazing conversations happen around cups of tea on Friday nights. People feel warm and welcomed and safe.

For us, hospitality is probably the foundation of our pastoral ministry. But that's just us.

What about you? How do you interpret the biblical calling to share our hearts and homes through hospitality? What's your specialty?

Have you had an extra special blessing that came from being hospitable when you didn't expect it?

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"the hospitality commands"

>> March 3, 2009


Although I grew up in a home that placed high emphasis on welcoming people and making them feel comfortable, I hadn't stopped to think much about the scriptural basis for my hospitality as a Christian.

Until I read "The Hospitality Commands" by Alexander Strauch, that is.

This little 64-page book got me thinking. About how hospitality helps to promote biblical brotherly love - especially in places where people rarely gather outside the weekly morning church service.

It also stimulated my thoughts on how we can disciple others through having open homes. There's something beautifully bonding about creating friendships inside the home - it makes us more transparent and authentic. It's actually how my own parents became Christians - through the hospitality of believing families who weren't afraid to open their homes for ministry.

Ideal for church leaders, The Hospitality Commands will also make a difference among the members of your congregation. It expounds every Scripture on the subject, explores all the biblical examples, and lists the biblical fruits of Christian hospitality. Also included are study questions and assignments for group discussion, making it an excellent resource for small groups and adult Sunday school classes.

So if you want a great little read on ways to be more effective in your hospitality, or maybe on why you should even consider hospitality as part of your Christian life - check The Hospitality Commands out. We'd love to hear what you think of it.

Of course, there are probably many other hospitality books that are just as fascinating. If you've got a favorite, leave us a comment below!

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roll call: beth moore event for ministers' wives

>> March 2, 2009

We interrupt the PMS hospitality posts to ask who is definitely going to the Beth Moore event for minister's wives.

Sarah and I are both going. Staying at the Radisson, not far from the Two Rivers Baptist Church. Let us know if you'll be there! We'd love to hook up with you and have lunch after the event (it concludes at noon on Saturday).

So are you going? Leave a comment with your email address or email us at clutchtalk@gmail.com so we can exchange contact info.

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reality check::the current state of hospitality

Western culture has become incredibly individualistic. Once upon a time, people's lives focused around each other. They gathered in each other's homes and took great joy in fellowship. Nowadays, not so much. We like our space. We like our privacy. We want all the strangers to please go to their own homes after church, thank you very much.

But although we've become heavily obsessed with keeping to ourselves, there's a generational boomerang that's starting to crave genuine community again. Where people put actual time and energy into their relationships on a broader level. Where homes are open spaces for friendships to flourish.

And (generational boomerang or not) as Christians, we have a biblical mandate to share of ourselves in hospitality. It's right there in Hebrews 13:2, Titus 1:8 (and quite a few other places). Plain as day. Not "if it's my personality", or "as long as my house is spiffy this time". It's not about impressing people or making ourselves look good, it's about the inescapable bonding that takes place better in a home than anywhere else. It's about table fellowship - even if the meal is only tea and crackers.

As PWs, we have a biblical calling to model to others what that kind of selfless hospitality looks like. Hospitality is a biblical requirement for eligibility of elders/overseers/deacons and by implication all church leaders - beyond the scriptures' calling to every God-follower in general. It isn't always comfortable, but it's part of the package. Yup, even if it means answering the door when there's a mound of dirty dishes in the sink. Or adding water to the soup when someone unexpected gets added to the guest list.

Now this doesn't mean you have no boundaries. It doesn't mean you're necessarily called to feed a long list of hungry people every single weekend. It doesn't mean you should kill yourself to make fancy meals so everyone thinks you're the best cook at church. And certainly every PW has her own personality and style and gifts.

But, as I read the Bible, I think it does mean that we should each be willing to ask God how we can use the homes and talents that he has given to us as a resource to consistently bless the people we serve. Maybe He's going to call us to do a bit of growing? Maybe He's going to tell us to pull back a bit and make it more heartfelt and less of a show? Maybe He's going to gently remind us that it's more about putting ourselves out there than about whether the house is in perfect shape when they visit?

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PMS::the demise of hospitality

>> March 1, 2009

It's that time of the month again, girls... March's PMS week is all about the problem of disappearing hospitality.

So let's talk about it? How can we grow as women of God who happen to be married to ministers, in our ability to serve those around us through hospitality?

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