Are You A Friendly Ministry Wife?

Are you a friendly ministry wife? A question was asked on Q&A Tuesday on the Ministry Mamas Facebook page about what to do when other ministryAre You a Friendly Ministry Wife wives were not friendly at a fellowship meeting she had attended. I wanted to share both the question and the answer with you. I hope it will encourage you to reach out and be friendly to other ministry wives. Whether you are at church welcoming a guest, a ladies retreat, or even a fellowship, make it a point to smile, shake their hand, and at the very least ask their name. You get bonus points if you ask about their family, ministry, and especially their children!

Q:”We are new to our area and in a new ministry. I really want some new ministry friends to be able to spend some time with. There are many women I have met at fellowship meetings but none of the ladies seemed genuinely the type of person who is friendly. It has all been surface-level kindness and I have not been able to engage anyone in any good conversation or anything close to friendship. I am discouraged and really do not want to go back to the fellowship meetings if it is going to continue to be this way. What do you suggest?”

        • I’ve kinda always had this experience at fellowship meetings. It can be very discouraging. But I went back, if for no other reason than the good preaching! Also I’ve noticed that not having a lot of friends in the ministry is something the Lord has used to strengthen my marriage. My hubby and I don’t have a lot of friends in the ministry, and the ones we do are not close by except one couple which we occasionally do things with but we have each other and we’re happy with that. It could be because we’re also both sort of introverted personalities. Sadly, many preachers wives come across to me also as not “genuinely the type of person who is friendly.” I try to reverse that trend with the Lord’s help as I am now a pastor’s wife. Having been on deputation with my parents and in and out of many churches, the pastor’s wives were not always the friendly type. I just tried to remember that friendship is a two-way street. As you’re there longer, use your experiences to seek other ladies you may begin to recognize as new and reach out to them.
        • I think sometimes I have found pastors’ wives, like everyone else, are busy. I wouldn’t say they are not friendly, in my experiences. Unless you are intentional about trying to make friendships, sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Put yourself out there and try to get a coffee night or in my case a tea night. I know I’m from New England and ministries are not very close together. Once a month start out small and see where it goes.
        • My husband and I use to feel this way. We had friends four hours away that were in the ministry. We grew closer to each other. If you have friends in the ministry that live far away, I would try to set up a certain time to talk on the phone. The Lord brought us someone who lives an hour away now and we talk more than we see each other, but when we do see each other it’s wonderful.
        • Hang in there! I am not a pastor’s wife, but definitely have felt lonely at times. Seriously, there was a time I begged God for someone I could spend time with! The great thing is God answered, it wasn’t who I expected but I am so thankful for that dear friend. Just like the other ladies said, you can be a friend! You can be the one God uses to encourage others. I was just talking to someone the other day and we came to the conclusion that Satan wants us to feel alone. We just desperately need to encourage each other and pray for one another! Hope it’s only a short season and things get better.
        • As a pastor’s wife of over 20 years who has made every effort to be as friendly as I can be, I’ve found that sometimes no matter how friendly you are, other pastor’s wives just aren’t interested or don’t have time to get together. I don’t fault them for that as I don’t know the struggles with their ministries. What I try to do instead is be a friend to the ladies in our church. Yes, I know it’s not easy or necessarily wise to be close with ladies in the church, but I can fellowship with them individually and this makes it easier for me to see what their needs are spiritually and otherwise. So I often invite a lady for coffee or tea just to chat. Often it leads to spiritual discussions or maybe a concern on her heart that we can pray about. It has worked to build a bridge of trust that has benefited our ministry. And as a bonus, I enjoy the fellowship too.
        • In my circle of fellowship, I have observed something–many of the preacher’s wives don’t know each other. It’s because we’re the ones who stay home if kids get sick; or the men will form a team and get a hotel room while the wives stay home. I have had to stay home many, many times (from morning sickness, sick kids, or homeschooling). That being said, when I would go I felt embarrassed at not knowing who I had met or knew. This is common; when a lot of women meet up, they don’t remember who is who. They’re embarrassed because they have been introduced to you but don’t remember. Let me just say, take the time to get to know the women even if they don’t seem over-friendly. Don’t be embarrassed to say, “I’m sorry. I can’t remember your name or if we have even met.” I have done this a lot and it almost always puts a smile on someone’s face. Don’t be fooled, other women in that group are just as lonely and looking for a friend too. They just might need a friendly smile to break the ice. I’ve been at my fellowship for 10 years and I feel like I just now know mostly everyone. Maybe another lady will go to your next meeting who hasn’t had a chance to make it in a while and you could be good friends. And no matter what, stay encouraged in the Lord; He’s truly the best Friend who will always be there for you. 
        • After having recently moved I found it very difficult to adjust. It took a while for me to conquer the depression from moving and being lonely. I began talking to other ladies in the church, even ladies outside the church and I can now say I have a few wonderful friends whom I love dearly. Remember though, relationships take time and effort. You would not expect a good relationship with someone you don’t talk to or make an effort to spend time with, so take the initiative and TRY to be friends outside of church. In the ministry we are often too busy (mentally and physically) to build a deeper relationship during church, so making time outside of church for others will make a huge difference in how they feel about you. Also, just because you are “in the ministry” does not mean you cannot be friends with people within your church. They need friendship as much as you do.
        • We recently moved to a new city and it was a time of many new things (new baby, city, church, schedule, etc.). It was very hard for me to adjust. I’m not naturally an outgoing person, but I do enjoy fellowship with others. The Lord kept reminding me of the verse in Proverbs, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly.” It has taken time and effort, putting myself out of my comfort zone, but I truly have several friendships that have been such a blessing! Other friendships are continuing to grow! It certainly takes time but continue to try to be the friend you would like someone to have been. In the midst of all this, “there is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
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Q&A: Personal Space for Kids, Father’s Day, & KJV Devotionals

Today we have a great variety of questions for you to read, perhaps some of these questions will help you come up with some solutions to questions that you might have but have never asked. The first question and answer tackles what you can do when someone violates your child’s personal space. We have personally had this happen to us in our ministry as well and I love the answer the ministry wife provided. Father’s Day is around the corner and these ladies have some great ideas for what type of gifts they are going to give out this year. Do you ever wonder if there is King James devotionals for you and your family to read together? Several women gave some great answers of resources I had never heard of before. And what do you give to a shut-in that is not food related? Read all the answers below!

Q & A 1

Q: “We consistently have a church member who violates my children’s personal space. They do not seem to be a threat in any way but they just do not seem to know they don’t want them in their face, etc. I know it makes our children uncomfortable and I see them avoiding this person when they speak to them and now in general. Is there something I should/could say to the person? or should I just leave it up to the kids to allow them to have as much or as little to do with them as possible?”

A: We have a man in our church that likes to hug. That normally wouldn’t be an issue but he hugs and holds on, keeping you hostage to his grip. He makes me and my kids very uncomfortable. Others in the church don’t have an issue with it. We just had a talk with our children and instructed them to keep an eye for him so that when he starts to approach they can position themselves in such a way as to not allow him the opportunity to grab them. If that’s not possible, they’re to leave and avoid the situation altogether. If he manages to get to them without them noticing they are to pull away and put their hand out to shake his hand. Surprisingly, it’s worked really well. I think he got the picture pretty quickly and now refrains from even trying. My opinion is, when it comes to my children I’ll do/say whatever is necessary to make them feel safe and protected. If they’re uncomfortable it’s my responsibility as a parent to deal with it, not them. I will say too, our congregation likes to hug…a lot! I don’t like it at all. I don’t mind hugging, I just don’t think it needs to take place in the church. Especially when you have people of the opposite sex doing it, no matter the age. I know there have been times that visitors have come and have felt very uncomfortable by it. I wish we had a no-hug policy and stuck to strictly hand shaking.

Q: “Can you give me some of your creative Father’s Day ideas for gifts as well as special things you do in the church service for the men on Father’s Day?”

    • “Coffee cups always went over well for us or gift certificates for coffee.”
    • “We have done ties, tools, pocket knives, and flashlights.”
    • “We’re giving a hammer with the phrase “Love building memories with you” on it in vinyl.”
    • “A nice collection of steaks to be grilled. A win for everyone!”
    • “I’m thinking about making them a large snickers cupcakes and putting it in a box. This is our first Father’s Day for our church.”
    • “We’ve done several good ones: a bottle of Dad’s root beer, a Payday candy bar (everyone deserves an extra payday), cheap but nice socks rolled up into balls that we threw out from the pulpit to the men standing, like baseballs, they loved it!”

Q: “I want to give a gift to some elderly women in our church, some are shut-in’s and others have had their children precede them in death. Is there a practical and heartfelt gift that I could give them that is not food related?”

  • A small flower arrangement, something to brighten their day.
  • “I guess it’s technically food, but I’ve given flavored tea bags as gifts with a nice card and they seem to go over really well. Classy, no fuss.”

Q: “I’m looking for a good King James Version (KJV) family devotional or children’s devotional, do you have any suggestions of good material that you have personally used?”

  • “Arch Books has good Bible stories, Leading Little Ones to God, 95 Animals of the Bible, Noel (story about a lion from Bill Rice), Super (story about a dog from Bill Rice), Cowboy Boots in Darkest Africa, Thrilling Western Stories vol. 1 and 2 from Bill Rice. We also have a The Picture Bible and that has Bible stories in illustrated/ cartoon form and has follow-up Bible questions. We also have done devotions that don’t have KJV verses and just read them in KJV.” (Find the Bill Rice books for kids here.)
  • Call to Glory or Mercy and Truth are great!”
  • “If your child is old enough to read, the Glow in the Dark Jr. Devotional is excellent. My son uses it & LOVES it!”
  • “We use Call to Glory, Call to Glory Kids, & Glow in the Dark Jr. Devotionals.”
  • “Not a devotional, but we have a Child Training Bible that has specific topics you can go over, I ordered a kit bought a Bible and set it up. It took some time to put together but I enjoyed it and now it is very useful to show the kids out of the Bible why something is not okay.”

*Note this article does not contain affiliate links. The links have been provided to help you find these resources quickly and easily.

Q&A: Greeting Cards, Care Packages, Staff Hospitality

Greeting Cards, Care Packages, Staff Hospitality

Questions on this list are an interesting variety of ministry or Christian living questions and all the answers come from ministry wives from questions that we put up on the Ministry Mamas Facebook page. We used to have an “Ask ? Friday” time to ask questions but have now moved it to Q&A Tuesday for ministry women to ask questions and have other women chime in on being an encouragement or practical helps and advice. If you want to have a part in that please join us there!

Q: “Where do you buy good quality KJV (King James Version) greeting cards?”

  • Christianbook.com
  • DaySpring
  • We sell them as a fundraiser.
  • Sword of the Lord publishers.

Q: “I am organizing some things to do for our Bible College students every month to keep them encouraged as they are away from home. I need some creative and unique ideas to make the encouragement vary from month to month. What are your ideas? All suggestions welcome!”

  • Include postcards that are stamped and already addressed home to Mama. Quarters for laundry are always welcomed. Gas cards if they have a vehicle. Snacks packed in Pringles cans travel best. Microwave pop corn. Christmas music in October. 
  • Care packages,whether it be a simple pack of cookies with a note of encouragement with a verse,or something along that line. Just letting them know you are thinking of them.
  • I send the girls pretty things they may not have money for. Nail polish and accessories, pretty notepaper and pens, even goofy stuff like stickers and Legos and candy were loved!
    One year, a church lady made goofy packages for everyone…and she sewed the boys pillowcases out of funky pink fabric! Everyone laughed and teased the boys. BUT both boys used that pillowcase all four years of college and loved it!!!
  • I would echo quarters, also school supplies (pens, highlighters, notebooks, etc), even some toiletries and goodies. Whatever you send them will be appreciated, I’m sure! What a blessing!
  • As the mother of a college student, the most practical thing to give is Walmart gift cards. That way they can get exactly what they need. Just make sure there is a Walmart near the campus! 
  • You can also get ideas from our Ministry Mamas Gift Ideas for Bible College Students Pinterest Board.

Q: “Do you have any suggestions on materials to provide parents of a wayward child? Books, websites, other resources? We would like to help a family in our church but we’re not sure where to start.”

  • Stormie Omartian‘s book Praying for your Adult children is a great book.
  • Debi Pryde has a book called Parenting with Wisdom (formerly called Precept upon Precept). I have not read this book but Debi Pryde is fantastic! She is a biblical counselor whose biblical counseling course I have taken and I also have read about 6 of her other books. Her books are available on amazon and also her website www.debipryde.com. Also Kevin Lehman has a book called Adolescence Isn’t Terminal. I don’t agree with Dr. Lehman on several issues, but this book I believe is spot-on. He really addresses many topics you won’t find addressed. in many other books. What I also personally recommend to parents dealing with this is fasting and praying. I know that sounds obvious, but I have seen the effectiveness in fasting come through with helping kids or asking the Lord for wisdom and grace.
  • DVDs by Pastor S.M. Davis are great. His resources can be found at solvingfamilyproblems.org.

Note: I personally have not checked out all the suggested books or resources on this question, so please evaluate them according to your own personal convictions and preferences.

Q: “We regularly try to love on our church staff and have them over for dinner and make it a point to show love to their children on their birthdays and during the holidays. We’re finding that they do not choose to reciprocate the love in ever inviting us over to their home. They are grateful for what we do for them, it isn’t that. I am just wondering if there is anything I can do to encourage them not to worry about our expectations of their home or if I should change what we are doing since they are not giving much back. Give me your thoughts…”

Are you doing this to please people or to please God? I say to continue doing what you are doing even if they are not reciprocating, you are pleasing God and that’s what matters most. 

Hmmm…I think what struck me in this question is “they choose not to reciprocate their love in ever inviting us over.” Not everyone is a gifted hostess or feels comfortable having people in their home. Maybe they are reciprocating their love for you in a different way? It may be that they don’t have any church members over to their house for fear of appearing like they are playing favorites. Or maybe they are just very protective of the little family time they have. I know it’s hard not to take it personally…

Keep doing what God has laid on your heart and great will be your reward in Heaven, they may feel a little intimated by you I know I was when I had my pastor’s wife as my secret sister, I didn’t need to be, she is such a sweetheart and it was a wonderful year surprising her and being a blessing but most of all joining her in prayer!

Check out many of our other Q&A articles: