Upon moving to our new church a few months ago, I requested to not hold any church positions for a year in order to become more familiar with the church needs and
have a settling time for our children. I love to serve and have been blessed with great gifts from the Lord. I just wanted a little breathing time.
Thankfully, everyone seemed OK with my request. However, my husband recently overheard a few women discussing my lack of involvement” in the church.
I was encouraged with the initial support from the members to honor my request, but now I’m uncomfortable. The desire to please others is fighting its way to the front,
and feelings of guilt are flooding my thoughts. Please help me determine what is the right thing to do.
Dear Feeling Pressured,
The temptation to jump right in at every invitation to serve can be overwhelming. Your request is not uncommon, and your concerns are valid. Thankfully, a few solutions can make the awkwardness a bit easier. Keep in mind that your new church family is undoubtedly happy to have you and eager to assimilate you into various church activities. However, this can be achieved without you becoming a ministry leader for the specific time you requested.
One option is to visit church members with your husband and say something like, “Gifts and passions among pastors’ wives differ greatly, but one that is shared is ministry to our husbands. Please forgive my previous oversight in not sharing how important that is to me. Before you know it, our connection together as a church family will grow and
strengthen, which will prepare me to know the perfect ministry fit for me.”
As you share your enthusiasm for assisting and supporting your husband, you are sure to gain respect and admiration for your commitment—ultimately providing a win-win situation for the entire church body. One of the most important and valued ministry roles you can fill is that of ministry to your spouse and family. This is no small task
and should be carefully guarded and nurtured.
In addition, engaging in women’s Bible study groups or helping out in ministry opportunities of interest will foster beneficial interactions. Inevitably, this will provide much-needed time to process where you want to serve.
Another option during the transitioning phase is inviting others over for fellowship and potluck snacks. This will create a fun environment in which to get acquainted with your new church family and let them see your interest in them.
As you pray and seek God’s wisdom, claim Bible promises and trust that He is working in and through you to be a blessing to your spouse, children, and church family. “Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established” (Proverbs 16:3).