July 19, 2012

A Book for Church Planting Wives

Starting something is easy. It's what comes after the start that's hard: the work that appears fruitless, the sacrifices, the looming uncertainties. And when what you're starting is a church, your entire life hangs in the balance. Too often, what began as a faith-filled adventure becomes a reality of fear, discouragement, and struggle. For the church planting wife in particular, the first year or two leaves her with just one question: "What have I gotten myself into?"

Four years ago, I enthusiastically signed on to plant a church alongside my husband. My heart was steady, immovable, and full of faith, so certain at the call of God on our lives. And then we actually moved and started the church and, despite our best efforts, hardly anyone came. I cried, I doubted, I worried out loud to my husband, I questioned how God would make something out of nothing, and wondered what I had gotten myself into. Finally, knowing nothing else to do, I simply threw myself at Jesus in utter dependence.

As I rose from the ashes, as I learned to depend on Him, my old ways of controlling and performing and self-dependence began to fall away. And I saw that this, in fact, was what I had gotten myself into, this deepened trust, this new perspective on God and on myself. As I learned to depend on Him, I began enjoying the exhilarating adventure of church planting.
This is why I have written a book for church planting wives. Like a sojourner a few steps ahead, I wanted to retrace my steps and come alongside women who are just now starting the journey, women who are experiencing those first few years of brokenness and frustration, and women who are striving to consistently maintain the joy of faithfulness to God's call on their lives.

Perhaps that's you, my co-laborer in the gospel. I have written a book that speaks to the issues of your heart: uncertainty, fear, discouragement, stress, resentment, loneliness, and self-reliance. Using biblical wisdom, my own experience, and interviews with seasoned church planting wives, such as Lauren Chandler, Ginger Vassar, Lora Batterson, Brandi Wilson, and Jennifer Carter, I want to offer you hope, encouragement, and help to fulfill this unique calling. It is my prayer that this resource will help you "lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares you, and let us [together] run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus" (Hebrews 12:1-2).

I'm happy to finally be able to talk about the book, reveal the book cover (I love it, don't you?), and invite you to pre-order or share about the book with a friend who needs it. I hope it is a blessing to many women, many marriages, and many churches! Most of all, I hope it encourages you to continue on in this crazy, wonderful adventure called church planting.