February 9, 2011

Interview with Lauren Chandler: Part Two

Yesterday, Lauren Chandler offered advice for pastors' wives. Today, she answers my questions about how she responds to the demands of ministry life. I know you'll appreciate her candor as much as I did.

With being such an influential couple and in a demanding ministry role, how do you protect against isolation and loneliness? How do you maintain community, openness, and connection with others?
I am blessed to have a group of about 10 women at The Village with whom I've walked for almost 5 years. Some are on staff, some are staff wives and others are covenant members. We have walked through more than I could ever imagine in those 5 years. It has been a tremendous blessing and one of the most intense times of growth in my walk with the Lord. I do not lead the group. Our leader is in her forties with more ministry experience and I love and respect her. I know that this is rare to have especially as a lead pastor's wife. I am grateful for it.

Also, I was involved in our Recovery ministry for a couple of years. When I say "involved" I mean as a participant first and then a leader. There was definitely a lot of openness and connecting with others there. Honestly, it was what I needed. I needed to stop pretending I had it all together. That's a real danger in being a wife of a pastor. We easily buy into the lie that we have to look like we've got it all together while we're dying inside. If you don't start walking in openness about your sin, you eventually start believing you do have it all together and that's when you can end up ruining your marriage and your ministry and your own soul.

You can read the rest of Lauren's interview in my book, The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart. In the interview, she shares how she is a helpmate to her husband, how she protects against isolation and loneliness, and how she resists being pulled by the expectations of others.

You can read the third part of my interview with Lauren about her husband Matt's battle with cancer here.


15 comments:

Melanie said...

Hey - what's the wife card? Do I have one of those??

Christine said...

I guess I should have explained the wife card :)

Lauren's husband, Matt, mentioned Lauren playing the "wife card" when she felt like he needed to say no to ministry opportunities for the sake of his health and their family.

I think we all have a wife card, right? But learning how to use it wisely and unselfishly is the hard part.

Chris said...

Wow, thanks so much to Christine for posting this (found it through the Blackwell's). You have a great blog!
Thanks to you Lauren for being so open, real, and honest with your answer and being such a great person to model after. As a fellow pastor's wife with young children my heart resonates with with you. Being a support at home and loving my kids first in the midst of ministry is so amazing and great, but at times can be so taxing and trying. I have been praying for your family this past year and a half with all Matt has gone through, and I have prayed specifically for you Lauren.
Thanks to both of you sisters in Christ for shining His light and encouraging me in my walk.
Arica Thompson

Kristin said...

Great interview--thank you both! I just started going to The Village after moving to the area...I'm always leery of mega churches, but heard many positive things about the church and its leadership. I greatly respect how the Chandler family handles raising their family in not just the public eye, but the "Christian" public eye, which unfortunately can sometimes be harsher.
(I was the adopted daughter of a pastor's family...ministry is rewarding, but can have it's wear! I hope your church plant is blessed and fruitful!)

Michelle said...

My husband is in the second year of his Pastoral Internship and the youth leadership in our church. He's also a HUGE fan of Matt Chandler:) Considers him a mentor from afar! Lauren's words have helped me tremendously as we begin this journey into working for the Lord. There have been times when I have cried out to God that I'm not sure if I'm strong enough to be all that my husband needs me to be. Then God reminds me that He is. Thank you for doing these posts. They are amazing and very appreciated!
Michelle

Christine said...

Arica, it's great to hear from you! I hope you guys are doing well!

Christine said...

Kristin, Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the well wishes regarding our church plant!

Christine said...

Michelle, I'm so glad these have been helpful to you in the lifestage and ministry stage y'all are at. I remember those beginning days very well and I could have used all the help I could get. You are exactly why I wanted to interview Lauren and write these posts.

Amy Larson said...

Very encouraging!! Thank you!!

Christi said...

Though I am now single, I feel the Lord calling me to marry a minister, and I feel that I must tell you what a blessing this blog post was to me. I see now, before I have even met my husband, the blessings, demands, and standards that I will have to set in my life. And I feel I most post this simply to tell both of you "Thank you" because you guys are preparing my heart in ways I never thought about before.

Did you guys feel the Lord calling you to marry a minister? Did you know before you met your husbands?

Christine said...

Christi,
Thanks for your question. I did have some sense of calling to marry a minister, but it was not something I really ever said out loud or interrogated guys about when I dated them. I really did even think about it myself much, but it was something I could see myself doing. I felt a pulling toward ministry myself, was always serving in the church, and usually pictured myself always in some sort of ministry. So when I met my husband (who actually wasn't called into ministry until after we met and it had nothing to do with me...in fact, we were broken up at the time) it felt completely natural and right for me.

Jeremy Hellums said...

Great post; very insightful.

::LYNDSEY:: said...

man. i am so grateful to have read this post and the one prior to this. i'm a 27 year old woman in christian camping ministry and i find my heart resonating with some of these same things: finding a balance between connecting and setting good boundaries with those around you.

i loved, loved, loved this. thanks for the story :)

Christine said...

Arica, it's great to hear from you! I hope you guys are doing well!

Chris said...

Wow, thanks so much to Christine for posting this (found it through the Blackwell's). You have a great blog!
Thanks to you Lauren for being so open, real, and honest with your answer and being such a great person to model after. As a fellow pastor's wife with young children my heart resonates with with you. Being a support at home and loving my kids first in the midst of ministry is so amazing and great, but at times can be so taxing and trying. I have been praying for your family this past year and a half with all Matt has gone through, and I have prayed specifically for you Lauren.
Thanks to both of you sisters in Christ for shining His light and encouraging me in my walk.
Arica Thompson

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