January 21, 2014

Influence: You've Got It

I've met a ton of ministry wives, and they've all been different. Different personalities, different husbands, different churches, different gifts, and different roles in ministry. Some love to be front-and-center, leading and teaching and hosting, while others prefer serving quietly behind the scenes. But with all these differences, there is one thing we all have in common: we've all got influence.

It's easy to see that our husbands have influence, because they are typically the ones out in front, preaching and leading. But us? What influence do we really have?
We have influence over ourselves.
We are the only ones who can choose how we'll view ministry. The thoughts and insecurities can plague: I'm not enough. I can't do this. We can either influence ourselves to paralyzation, or we can believe that God has appointed our times and places and given us the spiritual gifts He intends for us to use in our specific churches. We don't have to believe our fears. We can believe that ministry is a joy, and we can boldly walk in it by faith.

We have influence on our husbands.
We are often tempted to expect our husbands to meet our every need and to help make ministry palatable for us. We're tempted to participate in ministry solely for the sake of our husbands. I can tell you from experience that this creates clinginess, hinders any positive influence we have on them, and just drives us to compete with the church. But when we look to God to meet our needs and to be our motivation for ministry? We are freed to help and encourage a man who receives little help or encouragement. We are the pastor to the pastor, the influencer to the influencer.

We have influence on our children.
More than anyone else, we influence how our children view God, the church, God's people, ministry, and the lost. Our husbands aren't with us as we prepare our children for church or as we prepare to serve, they only see our faces, read our body language, and hear our words. How they view God and His church reflects how we view God and His church. This is a tremendous influence and a tremendous opportunity.

We have influence on our churches.
The church often reflects the personalities and the passions of the lead pastor and his wife. I've found this to be especially true in church planting, because we've implanted the DNA from day one, and what we care about is what the church cares about. If we love people well, our church will love people well. If we are vulnerable, our church will be vulnerable. This is humbling, but again, it's an opportunity to embrace our influence and boldly lead the charge by example, whether out in front or behind the scenes.

Influence. You have it, whether you wanted it or not, whether you took it willingly or out of obligation.

You have it, but its what you do with it that matters. It can be either negative or positive. It can be embraced or rejected.

What will you do with your influence today?