"Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His Name together." Psalm 34:3, NKJV
I love the idea of breaking the mold! One mold my husband, Jeff, and I decided to break early on was the stereotypical church model mold. It hasn’t always been easy, but I am glad we broke the mold of being a husband and wife pastoral team. From the time we started dating, we were convinced the Lord had called us to “magnify the Lord together” and we knew two things: we were to pioneer a work that would be “not church as usual,” and we were to operate like Priscilla and Aquila of Acts 18. We’ve spent the past 25+ years – by God's grace – endeavoring to do just that.
When we started Valley Family Church in 1991, we didn’t know any other husband/wife pastor teams where both partners had a high profile in leadership, teaching and pastoring. We knew many husbands and wives in the pastorate, but most of the women we knew had a low or non-existent profile in the church.
So, let's talk about the importance of husbands and wives being free to work together to fulfill their callings and utilize their God-given gifts to the max. We’ve known many gifted husbands and gifted wives in ministry, but unfortunately because of a lack of understanding on a few Bible verses, the wife’s role was relegated to playing the piano, cooking in the kitchen or working in kid’s church. Those are great and important roles, but what about the women who are gifted by God with creative minds, teaching gifts, the ability to lead worship, strategic thinking skills, organizational prowess or leadership gifts?
Many women who have felt called to make a difference in this world have had to look outside the church where they could pursue being a corporate CEO, brain surgeon, state governor, senator, superintendent, news anchor or district judge. I have always felt bad for women who were extremely gifted and yet extremely boxed out of any opportunities in the Church. How sad for them and what a loss for their husbands and the Body of Christ.
I am blessed to have a husband who is secure in his calling and free to have a godly, pragmatic approach to doing church. Our gifts are different, but complementary; Jeff recognizes that, and has opened the door for me to serve side-by-side with him. It's been a fulfilling journey to work together to clarify God’s vision for our lives and church, and then together we get to strategize, build, execute, create, teach and lead our church. In some ways, it’s as if our church family is being raised in a “two-parent” House, and it’s been very healthy for everyone.
These days, we know a few more husband/wife teams who operate the way we do in ministry, and we are more convinced than ever that God-ordained couples – where both partners’ gifts are being used to their maximum – is Biblical, and healthy.
How about you? Are you and your partner operating in life and ministry together? How much better would you both be if you broke the mold and maximized each other’s gifts? Have you ever taken an honest look at the strengths and weakness of each other’s God-given gifts and allowed each other to flourish? In what areas do you need to break the mold? Are you tired of living for the approval of imaginary people? Would you like to break free and be the person, the couple, and the family God has called you to be – with no apologies? Do it! I encourage you to get out there and break the mold!
Say It: "Father, I thank You for helping me (us) break the non-God-ordained molds in my life (our lives). In Jesus' Name. Amen."