The Blessings of Having Your Pastor/Ministry Husband Work Full Time

Blessings can be found in having your ministry husband work a full-time job! Two articles I wrote previously focused on problem-solving some of the dynamics that go along with a ministry husband who works full-time. Those were the “Help!” articles, in contrast, let’s look together at the beneficial side of being a bi-vocational pastor or part-time ministry staff.

You both can understand the average church member’s life experiences and time restraints.

For example, you can understand…

  • The mindset of church members when your work schedule fills a large portion of your daily timetable.
  • Why some people are hesitant to volunteer their time when their schedule is already full and they’re trying to maintain family life.
  • Why marriages and parenting can suffer.
  • The investment and sacrifices many families make when they volunteer in your ministries.
  • Why some families struggle with some aspects of their ministry responsibilities.
  • The reason people are late or show up to church in work clothes.
  • Taxation on the mind and body from being exposed to sin in the world.
  • The allure to skip church by resting or being spiritually lazy when off work.

“My husband is now full-time but has not always been. We were church planters for 5 years. For me what has been a blessing is my hubby has compassion on our people. He knows the struggle of working full-time and being faithful to all the services. With that being said, he knows it’s possible. I’m thankful for his compassion towards our people it’s not that he gives them a pass to miss church it’s that he can say ‘I’ve been where you are at.’ Some months {it is} tough to work full-time and be faithful but the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Family life was busy but we cherished the times we had together.” -Pastor’s Wife 

A bi-vocational ministry worker said this, “I have always been bi-vocational. It has helped me to better apply the word to my own life first, before getting before a congregation. Also, for the past 12 years my positions have been in management which has helped to develop me as a leader and an individual. It also been a source for illustrations and practical experience.”

You are conscious of the mission field when your husband works in it.

Your husband is a walking missionary who goes out into your community every day and has opportunities to interact with others for Christ.

A ministry friend said this, “Honestly one of the biggest things we have noticed is when a pastor works at the church, sometimes they get caught up with ‘church stuff’ and never get out and meet people. The great commission is to GO and yet so many times the pastor stays. When you are working an outside job you develop relationships with people who you might have never met, and you can witness to them and be a testimony to others. Also, it allows you to be a good example for the Christian name. Christians have a terrible reputation and by working in the secular work force you are able to change a few people’s minds on what/who Christians really are.”

We have personally seen this in our ministry experience also. If nothing else, a job can keep the spiritual need of souls real in the heart. Last year my husband led a co-worker to Christ through an in-home Bible Study we did with her. This was a particularly special blessing to us since we had not seen anyone besides our daughter saved since we moved to our current city. It was a confirmation to us that living a bi-vocational ministry life is purposeful if God has us doing it.

You can value your church and home more highly as a haven.

The value of an earthly “Haven of Rest” both at home and in church is priceless. When you are dealing with people in the workplace and community it can wear down on the soul and spirit. Coming home to a peaceful place where God’s love abides is a refreshing taste of heaven on Earth. When a saved person can also walk into the doors of their church and fellowship with other believers it is also a  comfort to a weary soul.

Remember though Ministry Mamas, you have to be the keeper of your home and make it a haven for this to be true for your life! If you’re not regularly maintaining a clean home and teaching your children to help with responsibilities. Clutter and messes can cause stress, for me personally a visually pleasing atmosphere is neat and tidy. You also need to be maintaining a respectful and servant spirit toward your husband and teaching your children to have peace with one another. Fighting and arguing are opposites of peace. Creating a haven takes an investment of time, teaching, and training to be able to create the atmosphere of rest.

You see God fulfill your needs in many ways when you have to trust Him.

“My husband has been a bi-vocational pastor for 4+ years. It’s not easy,he felt called to help small, rural churches who needed a good pastor, but couldn’t financially afford one. We started at the church with 25 solid members and after four years, we run around 90. Our church is in a small town of about 2,000 souls. Its been awesome to see God work. We went from a six figure income to less than half of that, but we’ve never missed a bill or been behind. God has richly blessed our sacrifice. What we miss out on buying, God has seen fit to provide in different ways. From people giving us food from their gardens and farms, to love offerings, to free labor (one of our members is an auto mechanic who fixes our vehicles for free, one is an air-conditioning mechanic who has fixed our air conditioner, one is a carpenter who has help in several projects around our home. God has used His people to bless us. We own our own business, so our hours are flexible. Through this business, we have been able to reach out to our community and have seen people come to the Lord that way as well. I won’t lie and say it’s easy. There are long hours and we have worried at times….but God is so good. His blessings overflow continually.” -Pastor’s Wife in Kansas

You can witness how ministry experience can affect people in your husband’s workplace and in the community as he ministers while at work.

“My husband has been bi-vocational most of his ministry. It provides a lot of opportunities for him to get to know people in the community in a different context. He is currently working as a chaplain for a faith-based hospital system, and gets to make in-home visits to patients. He has won many of them to the Lord, and has been able to encourage and witness to their families as well. That job has been a huge answer to prayer for him, because it has helped supplement our income, but still allows him to do spiritual work at the same time. He has also had a lot of opportunities to witness and encourage people in the Lord on his other jobs as well, just not nearly as many open doors as this current job has provided.” – Pastor’s Wife in Pennsylvania

We know many men whose involvement in their workplace, not just with co-workers, but with seeing the needs of the local people gave them a greater burden for their community. As a result, a more focused concentration was made in reaching those people during their time after work.

Conclusion

If you are a bi-vocational family it’s easy to the see the negatives of a full-schedule, balancing family time, and regular church work but I encourage you to see the blessings in your life because of what God is allowing. Everything may not be what you wish that it was but there are still plans, purposes, nuggets of rich blessings straight from to be able to glean from this experience. My hope is that you have been encouraged by the viewpoints of many other families who are in similar life situations.

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Mother’s Day Music Ministry Ideas

This is a collection of Mother’s Day Music Ministry Ideas. Seasonally I see questions throughout the year about songs to sing in church that show the holiday or special day their church is focusing on, this article will focus on music especially for Mother’s Day. These can be used for Mother’s Day events like Mother-Daughter banquets as well as be sung on Mother’s Day itself.

Music ministry ideas can vary, just switch up your song groups to focus on the song’s purpose.

Song Group Ideas

  • Choir special
  • A group of young girls or boys, or combined
  • Your children’s choir
  • A teen group or choir
  • A group of women singing to their children
  • A combined group of young girls, teen girls, and mothers singing
  • A men’s group singing to their mothers
  • Older women singing a message to younger mothers

Mother’s Day Song Ideas

I have included links to sheet music and videos if I have access to them, to help you find them easily.

My Mother’s Prayers written by pastor’s wife Julia Montoro – video here. Good for a mixed group of young girls, older girls, and mothers, or for a mother-daughter group.

I Love You This Much – written by Sandy Blythe – video here

A Song for Mothers written by Abigail Miller – hymn style or extended version – video here. This would be a song to be sung by a mother of children still living at home.

The Vision of a Mother’s Heart by Abigail Miller – Video here.

I Know written by Heidi Fuller – Video here. This is a song about the godly lesson a mother learned about losing a child (through birth and adoption through a personal story), as God says that He also knows the pain of loss. Best sung by a mother.

More Than Enough by Shawna Edwards – Video here – Great for a children’s choir, or a smaller children’s group with some older teens.

Hello Mama by Squire Parsons – Video – Found in the Living Legacy Songbook. Sung by a male solo, as it speaks about the changes in a man’s life since he has met Christ.

Always There written by Nikki Lott at Christian Compositions. This song compares a mother’s love with God’s love which is “Always There.”

Hymns

Mother’s Bible – This video is a bluegrass rendition of the song, sung by Paul Williams & The Victory Trio. I am unsure where you could find a copy of the music.

Tell Mother I’ll Be There Hymn – Sheet music and video.

If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again hymn – Lyrics with .pdf sheet music (lower left corner) and video. This song can also be found in some hymnals.

Choir Music

Bible Truth Music 

A Home That is God Made – Choral Octavo.

Choose Life – This can be bought for a large choir or small choir or a solo. Video here.

Majesty Music

Molding a Masterpiece This song can be found in The Best of Ron Hamilton Vol. 2 music book – Video

Cherish the Moment – This song can be found in the Patch the Pirate Kids Choir songbookVideo

My Mother’s Gentle Love – This song can also be found in the Patch the Pirate Kids Choir songbookVideo

 

 

 

All Crafting Aside…

One thing I’ve known about myself but maybe never told everyone else because I never thought about it… I’m a recovering craft-a-holic. I’ve been known to dominate half a master bedroom closet in an apartment full of craft supplies in my early marriage years. I’ve been known to be into beading, crafts with scrapbook paper, sewing, bow-making, and wreath-making. I have a love-hate relationship with the hot glue gun and have learned to decoupage, basic painting skills, floral work, and a variety of other hodge-podge crafty nuttiness.

We just moved (yes, again!) and I let go of some of those hoarded crafty “just in case” gems.It was harder than I imagined and a bit of myself escaped when I let go of them because I love crafting! Creativity flows freely from my fingers and brain when I’m doing my crafty thing. Nonetheless, much of it was donated. Large plastic tubs full of stuff dedicated to crafts with no craft time to do them equals a full garage filled with stuff instead of  a vehicle. And when you live in the desert like we do, you want your car in the garage in the hot summer months.

All kidding aside, my heart just had to realize in this season of my life crafting can’t be my obsession or hobby like it has been in the past. So, really, all crafting aside substitutes have taken its place. My husband’s care as he is still working full-time and I am homeschooling and training our children.  We’re still helping in a church, we don’t have huge activities or a full-schedule to keep up with like we have in the past. Don’t feel sorry for me though, it’s been GOOD for us to take a break from the highways of ministry activity.

The crafty girl is still inside me… crying a bit.

She needs to wait on the shelf for really cool projects or fun crafts with the kids… or an opportunity to bless someone or the church with that creative part of me.

Better things have replaced my crafts:

  • Consistency in building the character of our children. Regularly taking time to talk to the kids about heart problems and counselling in those areas.
  • Faithfulness as a Christian example to our children, as it requires my dedication to God.
  • Doing daily tasks and caring for my husband fulfilling my roles as his spouse. Helping the kids learn chores and skills also takes time. I’m prepping them for life y’all!
  • Last year God allowed me to study and create new lessons for our children’s Sunday School class for the summer.

Crafting distraction has never built those things in our life when my attention has been diverted. Oh, believe me, I’ve tried. Many years ago I spent two months creating items to sell at a craft table at a ladies retreat. I found I only broke even money-wise after neglecting my family. They ate at crazy hours around my crafting and the kids were entertained by the television for long hours of the day instead of being watched by their mother. We lost a lot of ground in that time in our children’s behavior and it took much more work to bring our home back into order since crafts had dominated every work space in the house.

The Ministry Mamas Facebook posts have decreased because spending regular time focused on trying to help others was robbing our family too. Helping others blesses me only when it does not negatively affect my family’s well-being. Writing articles here has not happened as much either because a chubby fingered toddler is requiring training and regular supervision (imagine that!). She is a wild mess.

For me, it would be better to put all crafts aside (and any other distraction) and gain the hearts and influence God wants me to have in our home than to indulge in my heart’s fondness to create. It has required shifting creativity elsewhere.

Maybe you share that same feeling of putting a piece of yourself on the shelf for a while to focus on the most important things of family or ministry life.  You’re not less of a person for needing to focus on a different aspect of your family life. You’re not failing because you can’t do it all.

Food for thought: There are times that it would be better not to have the church activity than to kill yourself (and the family) trying to fit in another thing on the schedule. Then, there are other times we need to seek help. There are also times when the people in your home need your focus and attention more than anyone and anything else, not because you don’t want to minister but your ministry is only as effective as the health (physically and spiritually) of your family.

If you have already are the type of person who can easily set things aside or you’re learning those things yourself, you are better because you’ve minimized your distractions.

The lesson is: Don’t indulge in ___(name your thing here)____ to neglect those who God has called you to minister.

Putting things aside, just means you’re hitting the “pause” button in one area of your life so you can push “play” in another. It is in its own way the fulfillment of John 3:30, “He must increase but I must decrease.” When we divert our attention to making God’s priorities our priorities, we are investing in a worthwhile (eternal!) investment that will yield some type of profit as a direct result. It is honing in on the season of life you’re in with no regrets and embracing today as the gift and the purpose for which you are made and able to make a difference.

Do not misunderstand, it is good to have a few personal pleasures and allow yourself brain breaks to escape the trials and mind-work that these other focuses drain out of you. You may be able to get your craft-a-holic self out every once in a while but it may be that it cannot be that one thing you run to regularly to fill your time. The common used phrase says, “You can’t feed others if you don’t feed yourself first.” The same idea is here, if you aren’t feeding the needs of your own personal family then they will starve while you’re handing out the food to others.

Self-Inspection Questions

Does God want me using my time and talents elsewhere?

What does God want me to set aside?

Who or what has He been inviting and calling me to invest my time in instead?

How will I deal with those things that are tempting me to be distracted from God’s plans and purposes for me in this season of my life?

It’s not always easy to give up those things you love or your talented in but there may be a profit to be gained in a spiritual investment if you will be willing to set it aside and focus on God’s invitation to do something different. We never know what God will do with us until we follow Him completely. Run to His will and put all other things aside and give Him the chance to show you some special blessings ahead. Plan ahead to stand before God with no regrets in the investment of your time and your family!