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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Q&A: Hospitality at Home

Hospitality at Home

Home hospitality is always interesting when you are in the ministry because while our home is our safety zone, it is also a place in which we can minister to others outside the church in a special way. The following questions are not particularly spiritual in nature but the answers are interesting and many have some wisdom contained in them and even some humor too.

Q: Is it proper to ask people what they like or don’t like to eat before having them over to your home for a meal? I find myself asking this because I’d rather them enjoy the food.

  1. “We typically check for dislikes and allergies. My husband, for instance, does not like most cheeses, so we appreciate when others ask and we can avoid awkwardness at mealtime.” ~C.D. #1
  2. “My wife does so religiously. I think it shows a true spirit of hospitality.” ~J.O.
  3. “I usually ask if there’s something they’re allergic to or don’t like. Most people will eat whatever not to be rude (which is right to do unless there is an allergy), but it’s nice to ask so they enjoy the meal and are not running away to McDonald’s as fast as they get away from your house.” ~C.D. #2

Q: We are so busy on Sundays that I really dislike having company over after church for lunch or dinner… should I try to have people over anyway? or try another day of the week?

  1. “It would depend on the reason. Is it because she has small children who need her and it’s a hardship on her family, or because she’s selfish and wants a nap just because it’s Sunday? I think too often younger preacher’s wives with small kids are trying to keep up with the older pastors’ wives who are at a different season in life and can do more in the ministry. We tend to forget that our family is our first priority. And, I would also tell her to ask her husband what he wants her to do.” ~C.D. #2
  2. “I know how you feel. I feel that way too very often. Sundays are hard. We are tired, but when we begin to make excuses like this are we really “ministering” to people or just showing up to do our job? Ministry at its very basic definition calls for serving through sacrifice. Sometimes that means missing my Sunday afternoon nap. Now, I’m not saying that every week you must have someone over for Sunday lunch. But what about once a month? And if Sunday lunch is too hard, what about snacks after the evening service? Through the week is great too, but I do feel that hospitality on occasional Sundays naturally lends itself to much more in-depth spiritual conversation. And, our children learn from us. Do we want them seeing our dislike for Sunday company? It just takes prayer and planning, but it truly is worth it.” ~K.M.
  3. “Don’t be afraid to say no. We have a life just like others. If it does not conflict with your schedule – say okay, but if you are worn out, kids are worn, and your husband needs rest, say no. Choose another day during the week.” ~R.F.

Q: Do you like people to pop by your house unannounced? or do you like to have a little notice?

  1. “Notice for sure, at least half an hour.” ~G.G.
  2. “A little notice is always nice, but sometimes a surprise friend showing up is the best!” ~R.A.B.
  3. “It depends on who it is for me. I like a little notice, so I can make sure my house is presentable to company. They are always welcome regardless of what the house looks like.” ~A.M.
  4. “I love it when people drop in.” ~C.W.
  5. “Especially since we have had a break-in, I am very wary of people at the door when I am not expecting someone. I may even have the house alarm set, so a ten minute heads up is good with me.” ~A.F.
  6. ” I think, and this is just how I think, that when a friend drops by unexpectedly, that friend trusts that they will be welcomed, since the ‘polite’ thing to do is give notice. They know that no matter the state of your house or what you’re doing, you’ll welcome them in gladly. I’d be thrilled if a friend just popped by because in my mind, it demonstrates trust.” ~J.H.
  7. “Notice is awesome, but I try my best to be ready…. I would never want to miss an opportunity to help someone in the moment.” ~A.N.
  8. “We moved to a small town last year and I am getting used to people popping in all the time. In the city, people would usually call before coming by, but here, my neighbors, church folks, and multiple kids stop by throughout the week. At first, it was awkward, but now I love having company! I have learned not to worry so much about my house and just focus on the person visiting. Love small-town life!” ~T.O.P.
  9. “No! If someone shows up at my house unnoticed they may not like what they see! LOL!” ~L.G.

If you are interested in contributing a question for our ministry Q&A blog posts, please contact me through e-mail!

Once upon a time I wrote an article about how I react when I find out guests are coming. The Lord has taught me that while I get ready for guests, I still need to value and be respectful to my family. Read The House Guest Shuffle here.

Heavenly Hospitality Part 1

I am excited to share with you my first contribution to The Young Wife’s Guide. This is a website that encourages young wives in spiritual and practical ways on how to be a better wife, mother, and woman. Lord willing, I will be contributing once a month on their blog on different topics.

So go take a look at how you can learn about Heavenly Hospitality from God and His hospitality to His home, heaven.

Heavenly Hospitality Pt 1

If you would like to learn more about Gospel Centered Homemaking then please visit The Young Wife’s Guide. I love her section about 5 Days of Glorifying God in Your Homemaking, it has many articles and links where you can learn more about setting the atmosphere of your home, taking charge of your family’s health, managing your home, and managing your family’s stress.

This is an exciting day for me to get some new exposure and to share not only more about The Ministry Mama and minister hopefully to more ministry women, but to share more about God’s Word and His teaching from the Bible. Thank you for joining me today for my new adventure!