Guest blogger Cindy Dykes is the senior pastor’s wife at my former church Green Acres Baptist in Tyler, Texas. I love her honest and transparent way she lives her “life in a fishbowl”. I am sure this will help you if you are the wife of a minister.
In every war, each side has its top scientists working on secret weapons. During World War II, Germany, Japan, the United States and other countries were continually producing secret arms to use against each other. It was a race to see who could come up with something to confuse and defeat their foe. If you could surprise the enemy you had a chance to get the upper hand in the war.
As ministers’ wives we often feel we are in a state of war, but it is within our own church. I have come to realize that, even though the battlefront is worldwide, I can only handle what is happening around me. Over the past 32 years as a staff wife, I have learned to use 3 secret weapons to get the upper hand in my small part of the ministry.
1. Use your words to voice only positive things about your church.
It has always amazed me how many pastors, church staff, and wives use negative language when speaking about their church. As a young minister’s wife, it did not take very many Southern Baptist Conventions for me to recognize the damaging words that were coming from those God had called to serve. My husband and I quickly decided that no matter where we were or with whom we were talking, we would only say good things about our church home. Being positive not only helped us, but it helped others to have a high opinion of our family. Sometimes the only picture others get of our church is from us, and I want others to love my church as much as I do.
2. Use your home to entertain your church family.
I realized very quickly that everyone in my church wanted to see the preacher’s house. It does not matter whether or not your home is full of fine furniture or decorated with the latest colors and objects. What matters is the warmth you show when you open your front door to your church. When we were in smaller churches, we always had an open house each year for the entire church to come and visit us. When we moved to larger churches, we invited different groups to our home such as the deacons or singles for open house or dinner. It was exhausting but worth every minute we spent cleaning and cooking. People love to be in their pastor’s home. It makes them feel closer to the minister and the ministry.
3. Use your writing skills to send handwritten thank you notes.
If you don’t learn anything else from this article, take this one to heart. This is the most valuable advice I give to young staff wives. If you want to endear yourself to your church members, you will send thank you notes constantly. Gifts, a kindness to your children, dinner at someone’s home, being taken to lunch are just a few of the things that deserve a thank you note. To sit down and send a personal thank you shows you care enough to go the extra mile. Emails, phone calls and words don’t have the same effect. Take the time, make the effort, and you will be rewarded.
Think how different our world would be today if history were changed. The use of a single secret weapon gave great power and direction to the Allies. I don’t know any minister’s wife who would not like to have an advantage and more tools that would benefit her ministry. Perhaps using these 3 simple but powerful secret weapons can help you be more effective.
Do you have any "secret weapons" that you use? Share them with us below!
In Our Shoes– Rachel Lovingood and Jennifer Landrith
Handbook for Minister’s Wives-Dorothy Kelley Patterson