What is so difficult about “why / how is a church planter’s wife essential to his success?” is like asking: why is oxygen important for life? Or why do women like to shop? Or why do men never ask for directions? Or why are Twinkies so delicious? 2 It’s hard to explain why or how, but we all know it’s true.
Anyway, early on in the assessment phase, it was hammered home over and over the necessity of the wife being on board with the church plant calling. I got it, but I guess I didn’t know the extent of the concern and why it ended up being so true. After 2 ½ years, many more gray hairs, even more joys, some pains, I can say without a doubt that a wife of a church planter is a make or break issue for a planter. If his wife is not on board…the game is over. Time may still be on the clock and he may still be trying like crazy. But it is over. He might as well just shut it down and minimize the collateral damage. Did I mention that it is over?
There are a plethora3 of reasons why and how a church planter’s wife is essential to his success, but here are just a few:
Sanity and Serenity
If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. A wife is critical to the success of a church planter because she will either create a home of peace, or will create a home of tension, discord, and division. The demands on a church planter are unique, and if his wife is not fully on board, the home will not be a sanctuary—but a soap opera. In the midst of the chaos and insanity of church planting, the home must be a safe place for the planter, and if the wife is not on board and fully engaged in the calling, she will come to resent the demands and effort needed in the early years.
The first few years of a church plant, everyone is a generalist. All of the competent people you have are doing all kinds of different things. The wife is no different. She will likely serve in an innumerable ways, and she will be a tremendous blessing to his wife as a greeter, hospitality director, women’s minister, counselor, assimilation director, and on and on. All hands are on deck in the early years, and a great helpmate can often mean the difference between success and struggle. A wife is a husband's greatest resource.
Every Guy Needs a Cheerleader
A wife of a church planter needs to be his greatest champion and encourager. Sometimes I come home after church feeling like a total failure, but one well-spoken word of encouragement fills my sails up again. A church planter does not get much encouragement or sometimes struggles to see progress, so a wife being a husband’s greatest cheerleader can make all the difference in the world.
So there you go. That is just for starters. I could go on and on about how and why a church planter’s wife is so incredibly important, but I think it is time to go eat a Twinkie.
1 Just a joke in case you thought I was serious.
2 Part joke / part true.
3 Like a plethora of piñatas—for all you Three Amigo fans.