My Wife is in Ministry
My wife, Melinda, and I co-pastor Church of the Risen Saviour, Trafford, PA, where we have served together for 21 years. We often joke about being the
Senor and Senora pastors but it has truly been the case. We rely on each other for wisdom and direction. While we both serve our local church in pastoral roles, Melinda’s books and teaching have given her a wider forum, which has come to include England, Canada and Spain as well as much of the USA.
One of the biggest problems when a wife is in ministry can come from a misunderstanding of what ministry is. The Lord doesn’t give gifts because of a persons gender or merit, but because He wills, and for His purposes. Ministry is, therefore, not a form of competition in which men and women must outdo each other with ministerial gymnastics. It is a release of spiritual giftings to benefit the body of Christ.
We have to come to the place where we can as husbands and wives release and encourage each others giftings without feeling threatened. Marriage is not supposed to confine a man or woman but to release both partners to their full potential in the Lord.
Our kids are older now but even when they were young I felt that I needed to make a way for Melinda’s gifts to increase and for her to blossom into all the Lord wanted for her. When the desire of the husband or wife is to release their partner, there are very few conflicts, but isn’t that the way the Body of Christ is supposed to function?
In many circles women are not considered co-equal in the Lord either in the church or in the home. As the husband of a woman in ministry, I have become the punch line of some people’s attempts at a joke. I have been told, “I see Melinda brought you along too this time,” and variations on that theme with the attendant raising of the eyebrow. It is a wonderful opportunity to forgive and also to be secure in your own calling.
These times of being laughed at, or talked about, are not as frequent anymore as the power of revival brings an emphasis on gifting rather than gender, but they still happen and can cause great turmoil if you are not prepared. I feel like the husband in Proverbs 31 who rose up and blessed his wife and sat among the elders at the gate. I feel privileged to be able to release my wife into ministry to serve the body of Christ.