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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How God Has Provided: Finances for Our Family

Almost eight weeks ago we stepped out in faith to follow my husband’s calling to preach and it has amazed us to watch how God has provided finances for our family now we are completely dependent upon Him.

Our situation reminds me of the Biblical account of Elijah, when there was a famine in the land God directed Elijah to a specific place where God Himself would be his sole provider.

And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying,  Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.  And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.  So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.  And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook. I Kings 17:2-6

The Lord has decided not to provide for us using ravens to bring us bread and meat but He is providing faithfully each day in other ways.

Love Offerings

  • When we left our church we received a check from our church as well as a love offering from both the members and the choir that served beside my husband for the past five years.
  • My husband has preached so far in 5 different churches and all of them has provided him with a love offering to cover our expenses for our travels there. One church even generously gave us $1,000 to be a blessing to a young preacher and his family, we were humbled by their generosity and kindness.

From Individuals

  • Before our last service at our church a couple approached my husband about helping us take care of some repairs that our van needed since they knew we would be on the road. They gave us $1,200 toward our repairs and the rest of the money that we needed was the exact amount that our church members gave us in their love offering. We spent 6 weeks on the road in a van that was fixed and back to its best self, until we backed into a dumpster and broke a tail light! Whoops!
  • Another very humbling gift was from a couple that gave my husband a handful of cash who we had never met before. Later we were able to pull all the connections together and find out that this couple had buried their 2-year-old son who had died from cancer only one week before. Their gift was precious to us.
  • Friends of our on a fixed income gave us a check from their family business, not once but twice. We know they probably could have used it for themselves, but they gave.
  • Three different family members provided us with checks that covered our expenses for one month.
  • We made a stop to see family friends and they also gave us a check to be a blessing.
  • We not only received monetary gifts, God provided us with many paid meals as well as accommodations in each place we visited to take care of us as we stayed overnight. Although they are not cash in hand, they are financial needs met.

Through eBay, Amazon, and Curriculum Sales

Early in the spring we made a choice to begin experimenting with buying items in lots and reselling them. We bought a 16-tub lot of vintage toys from the ’90’s and early ’00’s, books from library book sales, and a very large homeschool curriculum bundle. Although we have been selling throughout the year, our sales have been thorough and steady enough to provide what we need to be able to save for any upcoming needs, like our baby due in September!

This has also kept us busy in what might normally be considered a downtime between ministries. We have needed to be busy since we do not know the will of the Lord for our lives yet, it gives us purpose to be able to provide for our family with the work of our own hands. When we have not been on the road we have been busy taking pictures, listing and shipping items and then waiting for the Lord to sell them for us. And really with some of the random items that we have, it has had to be the Lord selling them for us!

Finances for our FamilyTo sum it all up –

God was showing us some things in our previous ministry that were telling us it was time for us to truly take a step of faith and leave what we were doing and we did it. When we made the choice we knew that it would end my husband’s income, our housing allowance, and other expenses like car insurance that his job provided. God is showing Himself faithful. We have heard many stories in our travels of God taking care of families for up to 7 months or more when they took their own step of faith to wait on knowing where the Lord would direct them next and trust He will do the same for us if that is what He desires.

Not only did he provide for us monetarily, as we traveled in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas and spent time with our family and ministry friends which has been as much of a blessing as any monetary gift we have received. We needed time to get away and fill our cups with the ones we love. We’ve needed to sit under preaching without ministering and let our kids build relationships with their cousins and other ministry kids.

Not all of our needs have been financial but I can testify that if the Lord calls you to follow Him, then He will give to you along the way. It may not be everything you want, but it will be everything you need! And for us, when the brook dries up and these things no longer provide for us, then we know the Lord will lead us on to the next place of His provision.

How God Provided: Meat for Our Freezer

Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

As a ministry mama, I don’t work, I stay home with our four kiddos and my schedule stays full as it is. Sometimes I really want to do more to make money for our family so we can update a few things here and there but every avenue that I have attempted at home has left me with expending too much time, neglecting the kids, and getting little in return. So, I have come to grips with the fact that God does not want me to work even in doing something from home so I have also accepted that at this time I cannot be the one to add to our bank account. So, God does it for me!

A friend of mine works at Trader Joe’s and received some meat, and she was so kind to share some of it with our family. It was a simple gift from heaven, a few texts, and a knock on the door. Simple delivery. I love when God’s gifts are so quick and obvious!

God provided:

  • 2 packages of chicken thighs

  • 2 packages of ground turkey

  • 12 packages of chicken legs

  • 17 pounds of beef

So, as God filled our freezer He also provides for our finances. The meat added up to around $96.00. We will be able to save money in our groceries now and maybe we won’t get to replace some of the things I would like to, it may just buy some new shoes for the kids or something like that.

We never seem to run out of needs and God never stops running out of solutions to provide for them. He’s a good God that loves us so tenderly. I am so thankful that I am His child!