"Nothing in my life goes untouched by my husband’s calling."
Christine Hoover’s words in the first chapter describe so well the life of a church planter’s wife, which is enormously difficult yet extraordinarily rewarding. To be married to a church planter is a calling of its own with a richness of its own.
In The Church Planting Wife, Hoover explores and encourages the hearts of her readers while teaching what it means to have heart prepared for this unique ministry. She knows the challenges: A church planter's wife must develop a job description, be a wise helper to her husband, develop friendships within the church and community, deal with stress and discouragement, handle wounds, and more. Christine speaks candidly about these challenges while urging readers to grow a heart that wholly reflects Jesus.
Spread throughout these pages are stories and interviews from church planting wives. Christine Hoover empathetically and pointedly builds from these testimonies to uplift the reader and offer lessons of hope in the midst of a challenging ministry.
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About the Author
CHRISTINE HOOVER is a pastor's wife, mom, speaker, and the author of The Church Planting Wife (Moody, 2013) and From Good to Grace (Baker, 2015). She has written for The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, and Christianity Today. Blogging at www.GraceCoversMe.com she enjoys encouraging ministry wives and helping women apply the gift of God's grace to their daily lives. She lives in Virginia.
Read an Excerpt
THE CHURCH PLANTING WIFEHELP and HOPE for HER HEART
By Christine Hoover
Moody PublishersCopyright © 2013 Christine Hoover
All right reserved.
Chapter Onethe Heart of the Church Planting Wife
A fellow mom recently asked me, "What's it like being a church planter's wife?"
On my best days, when I am overwhelmed by God's grace and can imagine nothing better than the life I live, I marvel at the privilege I've been given.
The Long and the Short of It
In my darkest hours, however, when I am overcome with self-pity and a longing to be free of the calling God has placed on my life, I have formed a different answer to that question. Rather than an answer, it's more of a rehearsed soapbox speech in which I spew the self-centered grievances piled up in the corner of my heart.
She looked at me expectantly, obviously wanting the first response, the response that matched her ideal picture of ministry. Feeling guilty for my negative internal reaction, I reprimanded myself and asked, "Do you want the short answer or the long one?"
The short answer is that church planting is difficult and demanding, but tremendously rewarding.
The long answer entails much more because church planting is a lifestyle; nothing in my life goes untouched by my husband's calling. I find it challenging to describe in detail how this work affects the deep regions of my heart or even to understand it myself, both the joys of seeing God change lives through our work and the struggles of bitter disappointments and personal failures. Although our work often defies description, at times my greatest desire is for my friends, family members, our church members, and even my husband to understand the blessings, joys, frustrations, and struggles that come with being a church planting wife. I long for others to see and experience the joys in surrendering to Christ, in going on mission with Him. I want to eloquently express what it's like watching my children grow up among a body of believers who know and love them, seeing immature believers become strong and grounded in the faith, witnessing the gospel transform lives, seeing my husband flourish in his calling, and enjoying those simple moments at church when I look around in wonder at what God has allowed me to be a part of.
At the same time, I want to tell them about the intense spiritual warfare, the sense of spiritual isolation, and the self-death that is required in this work. If they could just understand, I think, they could relate to me, rejoice with me, know my needs, and somehow ease the most difficult aspects of church planting. If I'm not careful, the nature of this calling can create in me a sense of self-focus, self-pity, or isolation. Or I feel misunderstood and long for the rhythms of a "normal" life.
Sometimes I feel unsettled by my vacillation between struggle and joy. Am I making this harder than it should be? Am I truly called to this if I wrestle with it this much? Sometimes I grow discouraged that I am still in such a fierce battle between flesh and spirit.
Along this road, I've discovered (to my great relief) that I'm not alone in what I have experienced as a church planting wife.
As a planter's wife, I have the joy of seeing my husband filled with excitement of a calling realized and followed. I have the burden and concern of helping hold up his weary arms during a busy season of ministry infancy and bivocational physical fatigue. I'm also being refined as I have many opportunities to trust the Lord for provision financially. I am learning to keep fears and emotions in check so that in the midst of inevitable spiritual warfare, I don't become a stumbling block or discouragement to him.
On the whole, I'm thrilled to be a church planting wife. The countless joys are coupled with and balanced by refining moments and trials, and I'm grateful that this is what the Lord has for me in His plan.Lori McDonald, Corpus Christi, TX
He Knows the Roller Coaster
Perhaps you too have thrilled at the faith-filled adventure of following God. Maybe you have felt the joy of seeing a life transformed or a marriage healed by the gospel going forth in your community. Most likely you have enjoyed the fruit God has grown through your work. But perhaps you have also never felt so vulnerable and fragile. Maybe you have been wounded, discouraged, or fearful. You may be church planting alongside your husband in a place that is far from your friends and extended family. You may feel alone without other staff members or elders to share the load in your new church. Maybe you and your husband have encountered resistance from other pastors in your area, removing any sense of camaraderie and teamwork. Possibly you have young children or are working to support your family, both of which leave little time to connect with others. Perhaps you have dealt with criticism, hurts, failure, or exhaustion. Or maybe additional pressures have compounded the challenges of church planting, like they have for our co-laborers here in Charlottesville:
Being part of a church plant helped me understand what being dependent on God feels and looks like in my everyday life. I was often discouraged, anxious, and yet had peace. During the season of early church planting, I kept thinking: "Is God really enough? If you take everything else away, would I choose God over all the comforts the world has to offer?"
My husband was diagnosed with cancer the year before we moved across the country back to our hometown to plant a church. Within a few months of planting the church, his cancer came back. Not only were we struggling with the church plant, but we were also fighting cancer. Through the surgeries and radiation, it was hard to pray. But I could feel the power of prayer and had a peace that could only come from God. He used the people in our young church to support, care for, and feed us. God has made this part of our story, reminding us that He is always there. While we were out of commission dealing with cancer, God grew our church. He provided for our every need, and in each stage of this journey He continues to be faithful in providing for us.Jenn Atwell
Whatever you have faced, I imagine you have felt the same roller coaster of emotions that I have in this ministry, with both its exhilaration and heart-pounding fear.
Does your heartlike minecry out? Does it cry out for rest, love, encouragement, friendship, provision, security, balance, for someone to shoulder the weight with you?
We have needs of the heart, and we wonder what to do or how to handle our struggles. Does anyone notice? Does anyone care? Are all the sacrifices we're making in vain?
Most people assume that church planting pastors and their wives have tamed the temptations of the heart. Certainly, they think, those who take the gospel to an unreached neighborhood or city are spiritually stable and undaunted by fear, temptation, or discouragement. As church planting wives, however, we know the truth. We know that we are like everyone else, that our hearts are prone to wander, to sin, to doubt, and to grow discouraged. We know that we are desperate and needy for Christ, our heart's ally. We feel fragile. A lot.
And He knows.
He knows that it's difficult to communicate how church planting affects us. He knows our greatest concerns, joys, fears, and disappointments. In fact, He is the only One who fully understands our lives and hearts. And though few people can identify with us, we should not despair. Though we can and should share our struggles with others, their understanding can only go so tar. He alone knows so that we will turn to Him alone.
The Lord's knowledge of our lives isn't as an observer or spectator. Instead, it is as a participant, as One who is intimately involved and invested in us. Others may not understand our circumstances, our lifestyle, or the inner recesses of our hearts, but thankfully, we have a forever ally in Christ who concerns Himself with our spiritual and emotional needs. When we feel so lonely that our heart aches, He knows. When we are bursting with joy, He knows. When we are weighed down by discouragement, He knows. When our hearts are at rest because of Him, He knows. When we are paralyzed by fear, He knows.
And all the while He whispers to us: Trust Me with your heart. It's safe with Me.
This is very good news for us as church planting wives, for He stills the roller coaster of emotion. He steadies our hearts, and He enables us to fulfill this calling.
"Why Did You Bring Me Here?"
A different whisper, however, comes at the first hint of struggle in church planting: God doesn't care. He doesn't see. He doesn't want to meet the needs of your heart. He has left you alone. The enemy of God will challenge your heart's devotion and stir up fear in your soul.
My heart has been tested countless times throughout our church planting experience, starting from the moment I unpacked the last moving box. In the months leading up to our move, we had been asked countless times, "Just how do you start a church?" We had read every church planting book in existence, received counsel from seasoned church planters, and developed a clear vision of what we hoped our church would become. But when I hung the last frame on the wall, Kyle and I looked at each other and said, "Now what?" We didn't know a single person in our city besides our Realtor and a neighbor who had welcomed us with a plate of cookies. The challenge ahead of us seemed completely overwhelming, and I questioned our choices and our sanity. Could God really make something out of nothing?
Over the course of the first year, nothing came easy.
We started a Sunday evening Bible study in our home a month after moving to Charlottesville. On the first night, ten people attended, four of whom were considered church leaders, and three of whom were our children. The kids sat still for worship but then roamed in and out of the living room during Bible study, causing such a distraction that I took them upstairs and missed half of our first church gathering.
Later, after cleaning the kitchen and putting away all of the leftover cookies I had made for our guests, I retreated to our bedroom and cried. In fact, for most of the fall, my Sunday evenings looked similar to that first one: I cleaned the house, made food, greeted people, wrangled children all throughout church, mingled and said goodbye, cleaned the house againthen cried. Even into the spring, when we moved our meeting time to Sunday mornings and started to outgrow our living room, I struggled to conjure up the faith and excitement I had come to Charlottesville with. I longed for families to join usmost of our growth was from young, single peopleand especially for God to make things easier and more comfortable for us.
I wondered why we weren't the church planters who experienced explosive growth in a short period of time. How I envied those people.
I began putting undue pressure on Kyle because I was emotionally fragile, uncertain of my role, and lonely. Church planting was proving harder than I had originally expected. "Why did you bring me here?" I'd say to Kyle, my words dripping with resentment. He'd gently remind me that God called me here too, that we were a team, and that I'd felt so certain when we were preparing to leave Texas.
I mourned the change and what it required of me: more sacrifice, less of my husband, more uncertainty, less of the familiar routines we had once enjoyed. In my emotional need, I wanted my husband's full attention, but, tasked with a great responsibility, he had so little to give me. I grew disillusionedwith ministry, with church planting, and with marriage. I dwelled there, feeding my sinful thoughts. What if we had never moved here? What if Kyle hadn't gone into ministry? What if we had ignored God's call to church plant? What if I hadn't married someone in the ministry? What would it hurt just to give up?
I also aimed my bitter arrows at God. Why can't You make this easier? I have been obedient and faithful in coming here, and this is what I get?
A Heart Monitored
I had entered church planting with a firm faith, but because I didn't closely guard my heart, because I listened to those little poisonous whispers, I forgot that God loved me and I doubted His provision. Resentful, my heart hardened toward Kyle and toward God. My unwillingness to submit to the Lord and accept His good purposes for me made it all the more difficult to hear His voice or receive His comfort.
We finished our first year of church planting under a tent in a muddy pit with thirty-one waterlogged people. When we got home that afternoon, Kyle said, "It feels like we're starting over." We had been asked to leave our meeting place the previous Friday, we didn't have a new one lined up (hence the tent), we barely had a core group, and we were physically exhausted and emotionally beaten down. Wethe fearless leaderswere full of fear and doubt. Privately, I questioned God and His ways. Lord, we put in the hard work during that difficult first year. Where is the dynamic growth? I wanted to coast into the second year after the sprint of the first. I was too tired and unprepared to run the distance marathon that church planting requires.
I found myself at a crossroads.
God allowed the difficulty of church planting to sift me, to bring the issues of my heart to the surface. I realized that if I didn't address these things, my marriage, my family, and my own heart were in danger. God was refining me, cleaning me out, and teaching me dependence rather than self-reliance. I could continue my attempts at controlling and relying on myself, or I could submit myself in dependence on Him.
I chose to submit. I found myself agreeing with Peter when he spoke to Jesus: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68). I chose to trust Him with my heart and let Him dothrough church plantingthe work He needed to do in me.
Perhaps you can relate to rny struggle.
As church planting wives, we love the Lord and long to be obedient to His calling on our lives, but feelings of loneliness, resentment, discouragement, or exhaustion tempt our hearts to wander from Him. The temptations are subtle, but real: to turn to others, to turn away from the calling because it's difficult and demanding, to distance ourselves from our husbands out of resentment, to feed our children a faint distaste for the church and for God, to believe that our successes in church planting belong to us, to live off of our previous sacrifices and refuse to sacrifice more of ourselves to God. The temptation is to selfseeking our own agenda, clamoring to have our needs met, self-promotion, and selfish ambition. As we seek these things, we become a statistic: burned out, isolated, depressed, andsometimesresigned.
It's no wonder that the Bible entreats us to guard our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." The literal interpretation reads, "Above all guarding, guard your heart." We are to guard our hearts more than our children, more than our marriage, more than our reputation, more than our home, more than our schedule, and more than our church. As Matthew Henry says,
We must keep a watchful eye and a strict hand upon all the motions of the inward man.... We must maintain a holy jealousy of ourselves, and set a strict guard ... upon all the avenues of the soul.
In other words, we are to diligently maintain a tender soil for God's love and purposes to grow, to continually pull out weeds of self-focus, and to allow God to produce fruit in and through us.
This is, in essence, the charge of a church planting wife.
State of the Heart
At Christmas, I make caramelized popcorn as a gift for friends and neighbors. In order to perfect the caramel coating, the mixture must boil for a very specified amount of time at extreme heat. While it's boiling, I have to stir constantly, watching for the liquid to turn the caramel color that will let me know it's ready. Then I must immediately remove it from heat and coat the popcorn before the mixture hardens. I have learned from experience that without my constant diligence and hovering presence, the popcorn will be ruined because it hardens too quickly.
The same hardening process occurs in our hearts when we aren't diligent in watching over them. The pressures, the burdens, and the work of church planting press in on us daily. We need the Holy Spirit's constant help to remain available and moldable before God. Without our submission to the Spirit on a daily basis, it is impossible to have a soft heart and to serve Him as He has called us to. Without that submission, we invite temptation and distraction to draw us away to emotional places and wrong thoughts that harden our hearts. Proverbs 28:14 (NIV) says, "Blessed is the man who always fears the Lord, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble."
Unfortunately, brittle hearts don't just shatterthey also scatter. If we aren't diligent with our hearts, we will have a negative effect on those close to us.
Excerpted from THE CHURCH PLANTING WIFE by Christine Hoover Copyright © 2013 by Christine Hoover. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Promise
Chapter One: The Heart of the Church Planting Wife
Chapter Two: The Dependent Heart
The Church Planting Wife’s Job Description
Interview with a Re-Planter’s Wife: Lauren Chandler, wife of Matt Chandler, The Village Church, Flower Mound, TX
Chapter Three: The Sacrificial Heart
Interview with a Planter’s Wife: Ginger Vassar, wife of JR Vassar, Apostles Church, New York City, NY
Chapter Four: The Faithful Heart
Interview with a Planter’s Wife: Lora Batterson, wife of Mark Batterson, National Community Church, Washington D.C.
Chapter Five: The Peaceful Heart
Interview with a Planter's Wife: Amanda Jones, wife of Curtis Jones, Bayou City Fellowship, Houston, TX
Chapter Six: The Helping Heart
Being a Wise Helpmate to the Church Planter
Interview with a Planter’s Wife: Shauna Pilgreen, wife of Ben Pilgreen, Epic Church, San Francisco, CA
Chapter Seven: The Connected Heart
Developing Life-giving Friendships
Interview with a Planter’s Wife: Brandi Wilson, wife of Pete Wilson, Cross Point Church, Nashville, TN
Chapter Eight: The Undivided Heart
Choosing to Please God Alone
Interview with a Planter’s Wife: Jenn Carter, wife of Matt Carter, The Austin Stone Community Church, Austin, TX
Chapter Nine: The Healed Heart
When Church Planting Brings Wounds
Interview with a Planter’s Wife: Yvette Mason, wife of Eric Mason, Epiphany Fellowship, Philadelphia, PA
Chapter Ten: The Encouraged Heart
Dealing with Discouragement
What People are Saying About This
With all the church planting we see today, we often overlook the calling and the burden that is placed on the woman behind the man. Christine Hoover's vivid story-telling of the struggles and joys of being a church planter's wife is beautifully weaved into God's truth for women who find themselves under the difficult task of ministering to the man who ministers to everyone else.
-Matt Carter, church planter and Pastor of Preaching and Vision at The Austin Stone Community Church, co-author with Darrin Patrick of For the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel
Few things are as challenging and exciting as planting a church. This book will help you get through the tough times and help you appreciate the blessings in church planting.
-Lora Batterson, wife of Mark Batterson, who planted and pastors National Community Church in Washington D.C.
Church planting wives, you will feel that Christine Hoover has read your journals. She is on your journey and is able to verbalize church planting skillfully and with penetrating honesty. This is a must read book. You have found the mentor you have longed for.
-Kathy Ferguson Litton, National Consultant for Ministry Wives, North American Mission Board
Across the globe the priorities of a church planting wife are the same: love the Lord, love your husband and family, love the church. Christine invites you into her life and the lives of other women as they have Christ-centered conversations about seeking to live out their privileged calling wherever God has planted them.
-Gloria Furman, church planting wife in the Middle East, author of Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home.
Too often we, as church planters’ wives, have suffered in silence as we’ve battled criticism, isolation, or discouragement in ministry. Christine not only shares the raw emotions that come with the difficulties of church planting, she gives much needed insight for flourishing in ministry for a lifetime. The Church Planting Wife will not disappoint!
-Tricia Lovejoy, wife of Shawn Lovejoy, who is the founder and pastor of Mountain Lake Church in Atlanta, GA and the founder of Churchplanters.com
Ministry is both a challenge and a blessing. The demands of responsibility can eat away the joy of changed lives. This is especially true in the heart of a church planting wife, but it doesn’t have to be. We have known Christine long before she had the job description of Church Planting Wife. In the past and present, we have seen her faith shine! In these pages she will help your faith shine as well. You are on an exciting journey; let Christine walk with you as you embrace your role as a church planting wife.
-Gregg and Kelly Matte, Pastor and wife of Houston’s First Baptist Church, Founder of Breakaway Ministries at Texas A&M, Author of I AM changes who I am.
Church planting is not an endeavor pursued in isolation. Husbands cannot succeed in ministry without their wives and vice versa. I am delighted Christine has put together this helpful resource to encourage church planting wives.
-Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research and author of Planting Missional Churches
The church planting wifewhat goes on in her heart? It’s an all-encompassing spiritual and emotional pendulum swinging from fear to trust and every emotion in between. Christine’s vulnerable insights will encourage you amidst the heart-swings, offering a steady hold on peace in the God who called you. I’ve been deeply blessed by these truth-filled words after my 8 years on the planting journey.
-Ginger Vassar, wife of JR Vassar, who is founder and pastor of Apostles Church in New York City
This honest, powerful, wonderfully written book is a must read for every church planting wife. Christine gives all planting wives the gift of knowing they are not alone in the struggles and challenges they face. She also offers them the hope they need to continue on in serving God in their churches.
-Lori Wilhite, founder of Leading and Loving It and wife of Jud Wilhite, who is Senior Pastor at Central Christian Church in Las Vegas
Christine's real life approach to ministry makes her contagious. She honestly shares the ups and downs of church planting while offering encouragement that provides hope. The Church Planting Wife is a handbook for ladies who are beginning this journey as well as seasoned church planting wives.
-Brandi Wilson, wife of Pete, who is pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN. Brandi is the co-author of Leading and Loving It.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The BEST book I've read to encourage me as a ministry wife. Biblically solid. Riveting. Poignant. Honest. Convicting. Warm. Insightful. Incredibly encouraging... Christine selflessly and effectively exposes her own heart for the sake of the hearts of her readers. What a gift! She doesn't just theorize about how to best live a called-out life, she has learned it first hand and breaks it down very practically. As a church planting wife of almost 5 years I found myself on almost every page, as if I were reading my own journals. So refreshing! Yet, the wisdom in it's pages speaks to any woman seeking to live a godly life. If you are not a church planting wife, please do not dismiss this book. A couple of noteworthy aspects: 1. Interviews with various other church planting wives give even more perspective to certain topics. 2. The "Cultivating Your Heart" section at the end of each chapter encourages reflection and further Bible reading around the particular chapter's theme. Are you excited about your call to ministry? Read this book. Are you weary or discouraged in ministry? Read this book. Have you felt lonely, fearful, stressed? Have you been wounded by people in the church? Are you uncertain about your roles or struggle with priorities? Do you wonder how to better encourage your spouse? Do you long to live a more free and authentic life in the Lord? Do you want to better understand a friend who is in the ministry? Read. This. Book.
This book is a must read for every Pastor's wife. It puts words to the pressures and struggles that sometimes we feel and just can't describe. Christine offers encouragement in the fact that you are not alone while giving you Biblical advise that helped see her through. I loved the interviews at the beginning of each chapter where Christine spoke with other Pastor's wives who offered insight to the way they deal with certain issues. Christine offers the reader a transparent look into the struggles she faced as a church planting wife while offering practical and Biblical advice in seeking God for your Hope and Approval. She can speak (write) with integrity because she has been there. She is honest and down to earth making the reader feel like she's one of your best friends. I highly recommend this book whether you are planting a church, thinking about planting a church, or several years in!
I am not a church planting wife, but am associated with a mission agency that sends couples to plant churches. When I saw this title and began reading, I immediately realized this was a resource that was truly was "help and hope for her heart". I, too, was encouraged as I read it to keep on for Christ. I purchased 10 additional copies to give away. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
Great book. I am already planning on reading it again as I feel like I will have to continually address these areas in my life as we enter different stages of church planting. Very encouraging.
This book was actually okay. I didn't know what to expect from this book or even if I would be able to relate. The book is literally about it's title, the wife of a church planter. Christine Hoover kind of takes you into the heart and mind of this wife, giving you a glimpse of how stressful it can be and then just how rewarding it can be as well. I rank it in the middle because its more of a memoir than it is an actual story.
If you are married to a pastor, The Church Planting Wife is for YOU. I highly recommend this book, even if you and your husband are not in the midst of church-planting. It is applicable to pastors' wives on so many levels. My husband is currently serving an established church, but I still found this resource to be extremely helpful. In her new book, Christine explores friendships, pride, fear, stress, hurts, and discouragement, including a wonderful chapter on how to be the best helpmate to your husband. She also explores another important topic: how to please God alone. The book is full of heartfelt advice from someone who has been there. Christine's open and honest dialogue makes you feel right at home. Complete with scripture passages and challenges for cultivating your heart, I am certain I will be turning to this book time and time again to be uplifted, encouraged, and strengthened in my daily journey as a pastor's wife.
This gospel centered read encouraged me to rely on God's promises and Word to guide me through the difficult decisions we are face about our future. This book really simplified my prayers and thinking towards our future. I am so thankful. I would recommend this read to anybody that feels that they are being lead in a direction that seems really difficult or out of their comfort zone. I am really thankful for this read and will look back at it, especially to the "Cultivating You Heart" section.
My husband and I are in the very beginning stages of church planting. Having just moved half way across the country to do so, Christine's story is familiar to me! I have appreciated so much her candid vulnerability, honesty and wisdom. I believe there is great family/marriage advice, Godly counsel and spiritual truths woven into every chapter for every person (not just a pastor's wife!). This book is very accessible to read and I'm sure I will read it more than once. I am thankful for this great resource!
This book is one of my personal favorites. Christine is an excellent author and I love her style of writing. Right off the bat you connect with her and can relate to the stories even if you aren't a church planting wife. I am a minister's wife so I have encountered every challenge she has but I have a small business and felt that it connected to that. I really believe that any woman at any stage of life and in any situation of life will find this book encouraging, challenging and convicting. I loved the questions at the end of each chapter and the scripture to look at. The interviews with church planting wives throughout the book were honest and encouraging. I love that Christine gets to heart and it isn't a list of things to do in ministry. It gets at our hearts and really meets any woman where she is at.
Christine Hoover has written a book that is an absolute necessity for every woman who is a church planter's wife or a pastor's wife, but it is also an incredible handbook for any woman seeking to live her life according to God's will. Christine has written with an honesty, openness, and vulnerability so that others may benefit from her journey in learning to live in faith and complete dependence on God. The areas she discusses in the book are ones all women struggle with: fear, stress, pride, discouragement, hurts, obedience to God's will, support to our husbands, and friendships. Christine shares personal stories supported with biblical insights and scriptures that truly encourage the reader and provide "help and hope for her heart." What a shame I didn't have this book years ago!
Even though I am not a church-planting wife (or a wife at all, for that matter...yet!), I have gained encouragement and truth from the things that Christine shares in this book. She is very open and honest about life, and it has encouraged me in my own journey. Christine's book also gives me insight into what my pastor's and other ministry wives go through. It gives me new compassion for them, as well as makes me aware of ways to specifically minister to them. And I also think this book is a good resource for many women in ministry, even for those who are not pastors' wives. Whether you are a church-planting pastor's wife or not, Christine pinpoints the need for complete dependence on God within this journey we call life. And this is something I think we can all learn from. No matter what, people will fail us. Friends. Family. Even husbands sometimes. And we as women must go to God for our value and worth. Yes, God places people in our lives to encourage us and speak life to our hearts. These are gifts, wonderful gifts. But the ultimate source of our strength will always have to be God. Christine's honesty in the struggles and lessons learned from being a wife in ministry is both refreshing and challenging. It lets those in ministry know that they are not alone, and it offers HOPE. As someone who has a heart to bless the lives of those in ministry, let me say this: Your support of your pastor's wife is so needed! Read this book, and give a copy to your pastor's wife, too! It will encourage her heart.
This book is such a great help for the heart of a church planting wife.My husband and I are 4 years in to planting our first church. This book would have been amazing had I read it in the pre-planting stages and it is still amazing for my heart as I read it 4 years in. Christine 'get's it'. She 'gets it' from the perspective that only a church planting / ministry wife can 'get it'. Her stories, the realness of her own heart and the authenticity in which she writes draws you in and makes you realize you are NOT alone in the process! It's a must read!