28 August 2013

Dear _____________,

Dear _____________,

Ten years ago, our church hired a new pastor.  He was vibrant & excited to take on the job.  We were all excited, after looking almost two years for the perfect pastor for us, we finally found him!

But you... I remember what you said to his wife.  Don't let us suck you dry.  Don't let him die 20 years too early of a heart attack.  Okay, so I'm paraphrasing, but that was the general gist of it.

It had never occurred to me the toll that a church takes on its pastor.  One man, trying to do it all.  Our church had about 300 people, which was large for our area.  If someone was sick, he made the calls.  I remember once he did something like 10 funerals in 2 weeks.  Others helped, of course, but a lot fell on the pastor.

I want to thank you.  Thank you for sharing this insight with me, even though it didn't apply to me at the time.  First of all, I learned to appreciate our pastor in a whole new way.  What a huge job!  Secondly, I was soon to meet Mr. Fowler, my future husband.  And within two years, he would be playing a pretty major role in a church, thrusting me into the world of being a ministry wife.

The other day I read this article.  Seven Lies that Ministry Wives Believe.  Although I've struggled with some of them a little bit, none have ever been a huge struggle for me, and I firmly believe it's because of the foundation that you set all those years ago.  The kind warning you gave to a ministry wife, emphasizing the importance of protecting your husband so that he can continue on his mission from God.  The importance of protecting your family.

I wish I could remember exactly who you are.  There are about 5 ladies that I have it narrowed down to.  Please know, I'm thankful.  Being a ministry family is tough & often requires a lot of extra time, but you remind us that we need to put it all in perspective.  To have a servants heart, but also to keep ourselves strong to keep on going.

I'm also very thankful that God has called us to a church with many pastors, all taking a piece of the role.  With 3500 people, one, two, or five pastors just can't do it all.  We have pastors in place to take care of needs, but we also encourage our members to serve each other like a pastor would.  I love that!  When we were in the hospital when our daughter was born, the Chaplain came by to ask if we wanted her to notify our church.  It was almost comical because we'd already had so many visitors from our church.  The church as a whole cares for each others needs, not just the pastor.  It's wonderful.

So thank you.  Thank you for instilling these things in me at a young age, not knowing how important it would be for my future.  Thank you.


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