October 6, 2015

From Generalist to Specialist: What to Do When You're Doing it All

Prior to planting, my husband served on a large church staff where his roles and responsibilities were clearly defined. To support him and to serve in our church, I simply helped in those areas as my time and gifts allowed, and I enjoyed the benefit of being able to drop my kids in the church nursery while I did so.

Then we moved several states away to plant a church in our living room. The nursery was nonexistent, unless I took my children--the only children in our church for the first year--into a separate room to play. This was inevitably necessary in order to keep them from strumming the guitar along with our worship leader or drooling on my husband while he was teaching.
I’d gone into our church plant with excitement, my head and heart full of plans of how I envisioned myself serving in our church and community. The reality, I realized almost immediately, was that church planting would require me to be a generalist—to do whatever was needed—for the foreseeable future. My grand plans had to be set aside until we added more hands and skills, allowing me to evolve from a generalist into a specialist.

All church planting wives start as generalists. We are children’s ministry coordinators, counselors, graphic designers, web managers, worship leaders, hostesses, and the primary sounding board for the church planter—sometimes all on the same Sunday, with kids in tow. Multiply this work times years of church planting, and it can make for one exhausted woman. I know, because I was one.

In those years, I learned a few things about how to navigate the demands of church planting, specifically how to move from generalist to specialist, or rather how I released ministry areas that enabled me to serve according to my passions and spiritual gifts.

Read the rest of this post, including all my practical tips on moving from a generalist to a specialist, at the NEW church planting website, Newchurches.com. I'll be writing monthly on the site, giving voice to the church planting wife's perspective. You'll want to get your church planter hubby in on it too, because they have a ton of resources available, including podcasts, freebies, and office hours with Ed Stetzer and others. Super helpful!