‘If I was a young woman, and was thinking of being married, I would not marry a minister, because the position of minister’s wife is a very difficult one for anyone to fill. Churches do not give a married minister two salaries, one for the husband and the other for the wife; but, in many cases, they look for the services of the wife, whether they pay for them or not.
The minister’s wife is expected also to know everything about the church, and in another sense she is to know nothing of it; and she is equally blamed by some people whether she knows everything or nothing. Her duties consist in being always at home to attend to her husband and her family, and being always out, visiting other people, and doing all sorts of things for the whole church! Well, of course, that is impossible; she cannot be at everybody’s beck and call, and she cannot expect to please everybody. Her husband cannot do that, and I think he is a great fool if he tries to do it; and I am certain that, as the husband cannot please everybody, neither can the wife. There will be sure to be somebody or other who will be displeased, especially if that somebody had herself half hoped to be the minister’s wife. Difficulties arise continually in the best regulated churches; and, as I said before, the position of the minister’s wife is always a very trying one.
Still, I think that if I was a Christian young woman, I would marry a Christian minister if I could, because there is an opportunity of doing so much good in helping him in his service for Christ. It is a great help to the cause of God to keep the minister himself in good order for his work. It is his wife’s duty to see that he is not uncomfortable at home; for, if everything there is happy, and free from care, he can give all his thoughts to his preparation for the pulpit; and the godly woman who thus helps her husband to preach better, is herself a preacher though she never speaks in public, and she becomes to the highest degree useful to the church of Christ committed to her husband’s charge.’
So said C.H. Spurgeon at a wedding recorded in Sermons Preached on Unusual Occasions
Many of us have never been personally affected by war and we barely stop to think about the sacrifice of our servicemen around the world. This short video, put together by St.Helen’s Church, gives a powerful insight not only into the realities of war but also what Christians should be remembering this Remembrance Day.
So Richard Dawkins decided to stay away rather than defend his arguments set out in The God Delusion. Here’s your opportunity to assess whether that was a wise move. William Lane Craig sets out his critique of Dawkins’ book before a panel of Oxford University Atheists who in turn respond. All part of A Reasonable Faith Tour.
‘Why are there so many unmarried, college graduated, serious-about-Christ, committed-to-the-church, put-together young women who haven’t found a groom, and don’t see any possibilities on the horizon?’
asks Kevin deYoung. Well worth a read.
For an interesting follow-up piece read this.
Thanks Lizzie for drawing my attention to these.
On thursday’s Question Time the programme closed with this question;
What is the essential ingredient to GWB ‘General Well-being’?
The answers the panelist gave to what makes us happy were a little depressing with one notable exception.
Rick Warren on why Ministers can be biggest obstacle to change in a church:’You’ve decided we’re going to grow and you’ve set goals for growth but now;
The role of the pastor must change.
The role must change from minister to leader. Mentally you must (if the church is going to grow) be willing to pay the price for growth. You must be willing to have people that you are not the pastor of,that you don’t personally minister to. That’s a big decision. If you have to personally minister to everyperson in your church then the church cannot grow beyond your own energy level. That is a barrier. You become a bottle neck. The church must outgrow your personal ministry.This is called the ‘Shepherd Rancher Conflict’. As the pastor of a little church you know everybody, doall the praying, all the baptizing, all the teaching, know every family, every kid, every dog and cat and you shepherd everybody personally. But there’s a limit to how many people you can personally shepherd.As the church grows you must change roles from Shepherd to Rancher. The Rancher helps oversee under Shepherds. Everybody on my staff practically, does more weddings than I do and counseling andthings like this. You must be willing to let other people share the ministry. You don’t give it all up ifyou’ve got a pastor’s heart; you’ve got a pastor’s heart! But you’ve got to give up most of it becauseotherwise the church cannot outgrow you. You’re the bottle neck. The Shepherd must become theRancher. Ask yourself, Would I be happy being a Rancher? If you wouldn’t be I suggest you take on a goal that your church will sponsor new churches. Most of us God made with a Shepherd’s heart. God loves people with a Shepherd’s heart because most of the pastors in America have a Shepherd’s heart.
Can a Shepherd become a Rancher?
Yes, he can. If you’re willing to do three things:
1. Stay put and outlast the critics. You will have criticism in growth.
2. Give up part of the ministry and let other people minister and not have to be able to do it all yourself.
3. Learn additional skills.
The conflict that’s going to occur is the fact that if you go into an existing church realize this up front: They’re not hiring you to be the leader; they’re hiring you to be the minister. Actually they don’t want a leader, they want a chaplain. They want a chaplain who will marry and bury and preach and serve the Lord’s supper and do all of the holy things and let the people just handle the church. They’ll make the decisions and administrate. You just be the chaplain. When all of a sudden you start saying, “I don’t want to just be the chaplain, I want to lead this church to growth,” they say, “Wait!” They’re not saying itconsciously but inside they’re saying, “Wait a minute!” Most churches think that the congregation is the leader and the pastor is the hired chaplain. He does all the holy things and yet for the church to grow itneeds to be the exact opposite. The ministry needs to be in the hands of lay people. The pastor must be willing to let the people be the ministers and the people must be willing to let the pastor be the leader for there to be growth to take place.’
The latest IX marks e-jounal focuses on the why and how of church revitalization. At a time when church-planting is all the rage here is a reason to stop and think about the place and opportunity of renewing a church.
Including an interesting article by Mike McKinley on the relative merits of church-planting vs. church-revitalization. The article could have been even more interesting if he had discussed the third option of church-replant. What is replanting and how is it different from church-revitalization?
Carolyn McCulley has written a super post for church leaders on how to pastor single people well in church life.
Carolyn is also author of Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? a book that as a married man I’ve found to be full of insight that has helped sharpen my applications in preaching in all sorts of ways.
Tim and Kathy Keller have written a book on marriage The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God published in the US today and in the UK on the 21st November. Having heard some of their marriage enrichment material from Redeemer in New York it promises to be a very helpful resource for all.
Here’s one of a few trailers to whet your appetite.
- Church Planting
- Global Church
- Jesus Christ
- Medical ethics
- Social media
- Suffering Church
- The Christian Life
- Transforming Society
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