I’ve seen firsthand the number of people it takes to prepare a pastor for ministry. As the wife of a current seminarian, I’ve been on the receiving end of the many people who have supported me and my husband as he prepares to be a pastor. We are so thankful and humbled by the ways in which we’ve been supported while Joel attends seminary. I know that many in the church want to support those who choose to go into church work, and I want to encourage you to do so and to thank you in the ways you already do.
I will be what one Christian author and speaker would call a pioneer parent. Pioneer parents are mothers and fathers who did not have the examples of Christian parents to follow in their own childhood. I, simply put, without the help of the Holy Spirit, have no clue how to raise my future children in the faith. I didn’t grow up going to Sunday School, saying bedtime prayers, or attending church. How will I parent in a way that reflects and teaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ to my children?
Let’s get the basics out of the way. I am the wife of a man who is studying to become a pastor. My husband, Joel, is entering the final stretch of his second year in the master of divinity program at Concordia Seminary. We’re currently waiting for the next step in this seminary process, which is the placement service for vicar and deaconess internships. Anyone who has been through this knows the agony of the wait. It feels so different from any move I’ve made before. I’d like to invite you into an understanding of how we are feeling and ask you to pray for the students and their families during their formation for pastoral ministry.
Generosity comes up a lot this time of year. It’s part of the fabric of the traditions of this season. You give gifts as you learn about the baby in the manger who grew up to willingly give His life for our salvation. And from the love you’ve been shown, you think of others before yourself. We know that many churches struggle financially and that many pastors wish they had the funds to purchase helpful items. Congregation members are likely thinking about what they plan to give at the end of this year as well as in the upcoming year.
I wouldn’t be writing this were it not for people who told me about Jesus: My grandparents, who taught me to give thanks before meals and helped me recite the Lord’s Prayer. My friends who sent me Scripture and told me about their church life and faith walk. My co-workers who live out their faith. A church family that welcomed me and plugged me into their midst. I wouldn’t be where I am today in my walk with Christ without each of them. I thank God for using these imperfect people to speak His perfect Word to me. If you haven’t been asked this in a while, consider these questions: Who have you spoken God’s Word to recently? Where could you speak God’s Word to someone today?
It’s the National Day of Prayer. Today, people all over the country are going to be bowing their heads in prayer for the nation. We should always pray, but this year, our need for a Savior is highlighted, and the desire to pray for our world may be amplified. With everything going on, we see how broken our world is. We see that our answer for significance or safety is found in Christ. Today, on the National Day of Prayer, I invite you to participate—and invite others to participate as well—with these activities.
Right now, something I’ve been hearing for ages is turning out to be more shallow than I had previously believed. We’ve all probably heard at some point that we live in a time where we are more connected than ever. But now that it’s recommended that we socially distance ourselves from one another to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we can feel how devastating and lonely it is when we are not physically interacting with others in community.
Arch Books, The Story Bible, Follow and Do, Growing in Faith, and Portals of Prayer for Kids—all of these titles are children’s books and resources that are used to foster the knowledge of Christ in children twelve and under. Maybe you’ve bought some of these books for your own children. Maybe it was just last week. Or maybe it’s been a long time since you’ve had little ones in need of spiritual nourishment. So, what do you do with books you no longer need? Or with books you simply no longer need to hold onto? Below are a few ideas to consider.
About a month ago, my husband and I were talking after our post-dinner devotions. I was telling him how I felt like I was lacking in my faith walk—like I was going through the motions, saying that things between God and myself were good when in reality, I was treating Him more like a friend who I’d lost touch with (but still loved very much).
It’s during the spring when things seem to get really busy. With the end of school approaching, spring activities starting, and Easter right around the corner, it can be a fast-paced time. Time in a youth group or at church in general can be just the break youth need. Chances are, your youth will want to give you their ideas for what to do during your time together. Being able to give feedback allows youth to have agency and ownership of the time they spend together while still allowing you to have structure. But how do you get the most helpful feedback from youth?