You are now settled into your ministry/church. But your expectations for life in full-time Christian Ministry have brought some surprises! These expectations may have included:
- The Bible Study is supposed to be at MY house?
- My home must be sparkling clean – at all times! (Kinda hard when the house is so tiny and full of my small children!)
- I’m the only piano player/musician? Really?
- I’m the Women’s Ministry teacher?
- I’m in charge of nursery?
- I’m really supposed to dress in that matronly style?
These and other unspoken expectations may have been made know to you in some fashion. Who knew?
Now its your turn: Pick one or all of these expectations (or come up with your own) and tell us about it! In your story you may want to talk about:
- Your biggest surprises
- Were there completely positive surprises?
- Were you transformed by the surprises?
- The good that came from learning to adapt to them
- Your advice for lovingly and courageously setting the limits on expectations
Here are the responses received when the blog was first posted. You can scroll down to the bottom of the page and add your story in the Comments.
In my situation, the various church activities I had in my home were usually of my own invitation. Hospitality happens to be one area I guess I’m gifted in. I know that this is not so for many other ministry wives. Their home is where they need to have complete privacy. It is where they need to feel they can retreat and really relax and be themselves.
I do remember a number of unwanted “family night” interruptions in our home. We had never made it clear to our church that a particular night was “off limits” to them. Maybe we should have. I don’t think that would have been selfish on our part.
It is a touchy balance. We genuinely wanted to be available for the needs of our parishioners, and yet sometimes this seemed to open wide the door for being taken advantage of.
Thank you for posting your concerns about your family’s privacy and the use of your home. It is harder to set up boundaries after a “certain time” but it can be done. Try letting people in your church know the days that are AVAILABLE instead of the days that aren’t, this approach may be a little kinder and more positive. Presentation is everything when the subject becomes sensitive. Your home life must be protected in order for you to give your best in ministry. Many blessing to you! Glenda
Boy oh boy interesting topics. I’m sure most if not all of us have lived, or are living thru any number of those situations.
My ministry experience is rather “two-pronged”. For the first 15 years of ministry, we lived in a community of loving life-giving believers. Our mission was to go “out” to hospitals, prisons, mental lockups, juvenile hall, rescue mission…..you name it, we went and shared the life of Jesus……the other side of the coin was that many of the people from those “facilities” and others ended up in our homes in our guest rooms or on the sofa for days – sometimes months – at a time. This was a hard, beautiful stretching time…….and I think most of what God is doing in our lives doesn’t seem precious and priceless until we can breathe and look back on it.
One thing that did help me was the time frames (limits of their stay with us) that my husband did put in place. I’m a very practical person and I want my ducks in a row. I remember thinking I can live thru anything for 3 more weeks ………. But this was an awesome foundational time in our lives that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Years later our family moved into a more traditional ministry role as Senior Pastors.
Each of our stories is unique and God is just wonderful enough to meet us right where we are at and give us the guidelines that He knows we need….just like we would with our own individual children…….Love Him, trust Him He’s got it covered!!
Isn’t it great to tell a piece of your story? A story of the opportunity of maturing in your relationship with Christ and how this blesses our lives!
Thank you, for your encouraging response.