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.