June 17, 2011

Ginger Vassar on Church Planting

Yesterday, Ginger Vassar shared about her greatest struggles as a church planting wife. Today she offers advice for those wives new to the church planting adventure.
What advice would you give a church planting wife just starting out about their relationship with God, marriage, priorities, and the first year of planting?
You and your husband have to be on the same team.  I know that sounds simplistic but it is right on.  Be in tune to each others' personal needs.  You two are the only two people who will recognize your own personal needs. So lean on each other, have healthy communication, be extra intuitive at building each other up.  Protect time together and family time as much as possible.  Keep your marriage free from being the thing that weighs you down.  You are laying your life down for the church but you are rooting that example in your home.  Your home is the starting block for a healthy outlook on ministry.  It’s easy to pour your efforts into the church because it really becomes a “member of the family” or another “kid” in your home. But make sure you aren’t neglecting the family God gave you and the marriage He blessed you with. Let your husband lead and praise his leadership. Involve children where appropriate, but don’t load them down with the same calling that you and your husband carry.  They are still learning by your lead and you are to gently lead and teach them. Model in your home what you are trying to do in your city. Keep the central message of your home the gospel--pray for your children to see and love Jesus and that your children would learn to show the love of Jesus.  Isn’t that what we are doing in our city as planters?  

A recent prayer of mine for my family comes from Isaiah 32:17-18.  Life is not a cake-walk.  We all know that.  It doesn’t take planting a church to learn that lesson, right?  But I do cry out to God to experience more of Him and his peace in the midst of life. Part of the “fruit of righteousness” is God’s peace; it’s one of the evidences of the Spirit at work in your life (Galatians 5:22-23).  We may not have freedom from trials but we can have the gift of peace in the midst of trials. Deeper understanding of God’s peace comes more from experiencing peace in hardships than from the removal of them.  Without challenges, I doubt my human heart would long for God as much.  My hope is to experience in part what we will one day experience in full!  “The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.  My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” (Isaiah 32:17-18)
Thank you, Ginger! Please read more from her on her blog, where she has written more about peace in hardships and about serving her family first.