Moving for the sake of the ministry is a likely reality for most young pastors and their wives. When a married couple commits their life and ministry to Christ, they are committing to follow him wherever he leads. For some, this may mean that we accept a position at a church just down the road and we are able to remain close. But for others, it may require us to leave the area and people we know and move across the country in order to follow God’s will. How do we as young pastor’s wives deal with the idea of moving? We can remember the calling and abide in God’s faithfulness.
Remember the Calling
If you would have asked me 3 years ago if I would ever move away from Kansas City, I would have said “No way, I have my friends, family, and my adorable nephews here! Why would I ever leave?” But since committing my life to a man who is entering the ministry, (in just a few short weeks from now, yikes) he and I have thought long and hard about the possibility of moving for the sake of the Gospel.
The bible makes it clear that Jesus required much of his disciples,
“ While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.” Matthew 4:18-22
What would make a group of men immediately leave their towns, careers, and family to follow a man they just met without a question? What was so compelling about Jesus and his promise to make them fishers of men? The only explanation is that because these men encountered the living Savior, they wanted to learn the powerful message that he carried and be used by him for his glory. Should that not be then, how we as Christians respond to the gospel?
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Jesus commanded us as Christians to go and make disciples of all nations. There is a need for the whole world to hear the gospel! A local pastor and professor of my husband frequently says to his students,”Do you know the hymn “I surrender all?” It wasn’t meant to be sung, ‘I surrender all (as long as it’s within 30 miles of mommy and daddy), I surrender all (as long as they offer me 40k), I surrender all (as long as there are 200 members or more).'” You can’t put conditions on following Christ. You have to choose to follow him freely without prerequisites! And for those who do, there is a sweet promise that Christ will be with us through it all.
“Sure, the calling of a pastor’s wife is a calling of sacrifice, but it’s also a calling of blessing. We get a front-row seat to God’s work in the lives of others. Don’t forget how God has answered prayer after prayer before your eyes. He won’t forget your labors and the sacrifices you’ve made.” Erin Wheeler, Transition and the Pastor’s Wife
For those of us who are called to move and serve, we must remind ourselves that we have a unique view of God working. We are able to be used by him to further his kingdom! And what a blessing and a challenge it is.
Abide in God’s faithfulness
When a young pastor and his wife consider moving for the sake of the gospel, there are unavoidable questions and concerns that must be examined. Concerns such as finding housing, learning a new city, settling in to a new routine, and dealing with home sickness and loneliness, to name a few. Questions such as,”Will my husband and I be able to stand on our own two feet?” and “Will my children have a relationship with their grandparents?” personally go through my mind. These are heavy matters and without reminding ourselves of God’s faithfulness, the task can seem hopeless.
“Transition is a time of loneliness and longing. It’s a time when our souls ache for someone to understand who we are and how we think. Harness the gift this season holds, the gift to be alone with your first love—Christ. Jesus often sought periods of solitude with his Father. When your heart longs for conversation with someone who “knows” you, turn to the One who made you, knows you intimately, and has called you into this season by his good hand.” Erin Wheeler, Transition and the Pastor’s Wife
Finding encouragement and solace in the word is priceless for the pastor’s wife. There are scriptures upon scriptures that proclaim God’s faithfulness.
“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:9
“The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3
“For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.” Psalm 33:4
God is faithful to help us through the complexities of moving. He will be there to give us reassurance that we are in his will. He will calm our uneasiness as we get used to a new town. He will encourage us as we serve our new church. He will hold us when we are lonely.
All we must do is remember his promise.