The first secret weapon that I want to introduce to you is your spouse. I chose the word “spouse” because I realize some of you reading this may be women in ministry. For the purposes of my thoughts, I’m going  to talk about my wife and what a huge asset she is to me and my ministry.

I’ve been in  ministry now for over 18 years and I’m a little slow, but after neglecting to realize it for far too long, I now realize that my wife is of huge value to me, my ministry/calling in life and my vocation as a pastor.

I consider myself to be a networker and pretty good with people in general, but I have to admit I “click” better with guys. I always have. I love women in general and try my best to be friendly, supportive and encouraging to the women of my church, but I hang out with, befriend and seem to have a better relationship with the men in my church. I like to do Guys Night Outs, ballgames, movies, golf, fishing, etc. with the guys I come across in my community and specifically at my church. I do lots of lunches and coffees with guys and also do one-on-one discipleship with some men in my church.

What I’ve had to sit back and watch, appreciate and learn to value is the role my wife plays as a pastor’s wife. I’ve seen her “click” with women, do lunches or coffees with women new to our church. Just today (I’m writing this on a Sunday), I saw my wife showing around a new single mom at church, helping her get checked in with her kids and showing her where to go. She brought her up to me and said, “This is Becky!” I introduced myself, and was internally grateful and proud of my secret weapon (my wife, Chrissy).

Currently, my wife and I lead a small group at our home on Monday nights for women struggling with addiction. This is something that we co-lead and tag team together. My wife has a background in psychology and counseling and has been a great partner in my trying to help these women with their addictions and struggles. Sometimes she can say something in just the right way that it sinks in to these women better than my attempt at trying to relate or instruct.

Several times, I’ve seen my wife greet a first time guest to our church (female) and have a lunch meeting set up with them. My wife has met with them and now fast forward several months, they are assimilated into our church and plugged in. My wife was the agent that God used to help them feel welcomed and accepted at our church.

There are some women at church that for whatever reason, I don’t click well with or have a strong relationship or friendship with. I’m friendly to them and I speak to them regularly, but the best way to describe it is we just don’t “click.” My wife, however, gets along great with these women and through her relationships with them, it strengthens my relationship with them on certain levels.

As I’ve shared before, my wife is also my confidant and the one to whom I vent and share struggles and prayer requests with. When I’m upset with a situation, volunteer, leader or staff member – I share it with her and she gives me her perspective. Often, she calms me down and helps me to see the whole picture. This is a huge asset to me and something I’m extremely grateful for.

If you’re single, find a close friend that can be a help and confidant to you. If you’re married, don’t shut your spouse out of your ministry and relationships with people at church. See her or him as an asset and a God-send to you and your ministry.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:

How has your spouse been a help to you and your ministry? Who can your spouse relate to that you can’t? Who do you have trouble clicking with and could your spouse possibly bridge the gap? Has your spouse ever saved you from yourself?

Greg Atkinson

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