I've had several people, over the last three years of Steve and I being the lead pastors, express how "real" we both are. Someone recently expressed this same statement again. She had to admit that I didn't fall into the same mold as what she was accustomed to as a "pastor's wife". It wasn't a put down or even a put up, just something different. So I've thought....what would my confessions be to explain who I am...
First, I think this journey we call "life" prepares us for each tomorrow. Your experiences help develop and even define who you are. For me, growing up unchurched and lost, I have a sensitive spirit to the world and it's ways. This has played a pivotal part in my spiritual philosophy: BUILD a relationship, SHOW them Christ in your life, THEN find the opportunity to SHARE what Christ has done for you.
Next, is our approach on ministry. The name of this blog says it all, "The Mrs. Pastor". We view ministry as a team. I'm not just his wife, or his sidekick, or the mother of his kids. I'm his partner, with the same vision, leadership and calling. We are called to shepherd the people. We don't view ourselves at any level above anyone. The foot of the cross is level for all. We count it a huge responsibility to teach, train, equip, encourage, and even correct when needed, God's people.
Finally, we have the same daily routines and challenges as everyone else. We walk the same streets and have to make choices daily. We have challenges at our jobs (yes, steve too) and we still have to walk in wisdom or choose the flesh. We have kids that we have to train, discipline, love and encourage. Our kids know, that we have raised them in who we are in Christ and not because their dad is the "pastor". When people call our girls "preacher kids", they quickly correct them. "We are pastor's kids". What's the difference? A huge difference. We don't just get up once or twice a week and preach. We build a staff of people underneath us that have our vision and are willing to see that come forth. We are responsible for teaching ministries, community ministries, and outreaches. We are supporters and active in missions work, both local and around the world. We pray with people, we counsel people, we deal with offenses and making things right. We have to watch people leave and we get to watch people come. We marry people, we bury people, we baptize people, we dedicate their babies. We cry with people when they are hurting and we celebrate with people when they are rejoicing. We see the most hopeless situation turn around and we see our Lord receive all the glory.
Why am I so "real"? We see the good and bad in ministry and we continue to walk in God's love. We have to. We were called to this. We hear from God and operate our ministry by his leading....not the people. Sometimes this goes over well and sometimes not, but Steve and I that have to be accountable to God. Just as everyone else. This is a continual work in progress. We want all to be happy but we have to hope that our people trust and respect us enough to support our leadership. We live in a rural community of hard working citizens. God knew what two people He needed for this time and at this place. He knew what Steve and I would bring to the table and where we would take this church.
So, here's to all the "real" christians out their in the world...just making it a better place. Showing people Jesus. Telling your story. Being outward focused rather than self-focused!
-the mrs. pastor