Is it possible?
What is the most intensely difficult request God asks of you as a pastor’s wife?
Your church is undoubtedly making a significant difference both in your local and global community. You are developing, training and releasing people into their gifting. You are growing next generation pillars upon who your church will stand to take it into the future.
Church is all about God and people. God – you praise, worship, honour, stand in awe of and soak in His presence. People – you develop a depth of relationship with them progressing from acquaintance through to friend.
Church is family. You are a daughter of God and I am a daughter of God, so that makes us family. Eph 1:5 tells us God predestined us to adoption as daughters by Jesus Christ to Himself. You have been adopted by God into His family.
If you think about your own biological family for a moment you will be markedly aware of the working dynamics of relationships. At times they travel a smooth road and at other times they travel a rough road. These relational dynamics in your church family also travel similar roads.
To successfully have outstanding church relationships, it is essential to learn how to do relationships well.
In 1 Peter 3:8,9 Peter explains for us exactly how to achieve this.
NIV Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
Basically, Peter is saying, ‘Be like minded’, ‘Here are 5 keys on how to accomplish this’ and ‘As a result you will inherit a blessing’.
Peter assumes possibility. Be like-minded. Be in harmony. Be agreeable. God loves variety and God loves diversity. If He didn’t all flowers would be the same colour and emit the same fragrance.
God made you and I, and everyone in your church different. Not one is identical. You gave your life to Christ, and were born again into the family of God. God then planted you into His church to pastor and lead a people who are different to you.
People who call your church home and those who attend shop at competing supermarkets, order differing types of pizza, like their coffee anywhere between warm to extra hot. They have differing personality types, gifting and family of origin dynamics. Along with these are health issues, relational problems, generational partialities. Students of the word through to Biblically illiterate. Life-long followers of Jesus and new seekers. Accepters of change through to resisters of change. And more.
Then God gives us this directive – Take all these differences and personal preferences and be a church family who is like-minded, who is agreeable with one another. I think, ‘God, this is a near on impossible request’.