Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The hard parts of ministry...

If you know me well, you know that I L.O.V.E being a Pastor's wife.  You know that I "get" what my husband does therefore it makes it easy to support him.  You might also know that love my role.  (Well, except on Sunday morning because let's be honest, getting two kids dressed and out the door ON TIME without Dan at home is next to exhausting!)  But, in the overall grand scheme of life, I truly love ours.

I follow several PW (pastor's wives) on Twitter and blogs.  Some love their life.  Some hate it.  I've worked with PW who fall along those same lines.  There are some who relish their role and some who despise it.  I've been to conferences and webinars about life in ministry.  I've listened to podcasts on the the topic.  I read blogs about it and I am members of Facebook groups for Pastor's Wives.  The feelings are always varying.  But, I truly do love doing ministry right beside Dan.

But, the past few weeks have brought up several issues that remind me of the things I don't love about ministry.  These things don't make me dislike my role as a PW but just solidifies the difficulty.  All jobs have their hard times and hard days, I know that.  But, this is my life and my blog so I'm the only one who gets to complain.  Ha!

  • Moving away from people you love- We have had friends in from our last church this week and it has made us ache for the relationships we left behind.  No matter how much you love where you are, you always carry a piece of your former church with you.  Those relationships can never be replaced.  
  • Pleasing different generations- I had a conversation with someone earlier this week who expressed a frustration that our church doesn't do enough to reach young families.  She feels that our church is focused only on pleasing our senior adults.  Then, today, a senior adult told us that our church does nothing for their age group all the while catering to the younger generation.
  • Preferences- It is impossible to please everyone.  There have been weeks where Dan was told his preaching lacked depth and passion.  That same week, he received 10-15 emails saying that particular sermon was the most passionate, spiritual and deep message they have ever heard.  We see it with music also.  Facebook will be on fire after a service with people saying it was the most powerful worship service they have ever been part of and then Dan gets emails or bulletin tear-offs saying the music that day was awful.
  • Meetings- This is probably different for Dan than it is me because he actually gets to say what he thinks and feels but I feel terribly hemmed in at meetings when I'm there as the PW.  I feel like my opinion reflects on Dan and that I offend someone there because I think differently than them, then it is harmful to the unity of our church.  So, at many meetings, I feel my frustrations rise when all I want to do is just speak up!
  • Caring being confused with condemnation- I've been in church my whole life.  I was taught at an early age to be friendly and welcoming.  I had a female youth minister when I was in High School.  She taught me the value of loving people, welcoming them and missing them when they weren't there.  So, I'm very aware when people are missing from their regular spot.  I notice when people aren't in Sunday School.  But, I feel like my concern for the absence seems more like condemnation for them missing when I contact them.  I don't think they consider me to be very sincere but more judgmental about them missing church.  When, actually, it is a true concern I have about them and not their missing a service or event.   

.... To Be Continued


Penny said...

I don't envy a pastor's family. It has to be one of the hardest jobs out there. But then I have people say the same thing about teaching. However, knowing you've made eternal differences in lives has to be a high like no other. Even more than mine when that struggling child starts reading on his/her own. Rewarding! :) PWs are not the only ones that worry about being seen as condemning. I think all Christians are feeling it in this anti-Christian culture. :( I still let people know I miss them when they're not at church, Sunday school, or bible study. I like knowing I'm missed when I have to be out. Just keep being you~ there will always be those looking for something to criticize. Human nature. God knows your heart and He's really the only one that counts. :)

Emily said...

Oh, Nicki, this blog post totally spoke to my heart. I LOVE my role as John's wife but there are some tough spots. It's refreshing to know I'm not the only one who sees the challenging places in ministry but can still praise God for choosing me to be J's wife and serve in ministry. Thanks for sharing your heart!


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