Ministry Wives Ministry

A New Ministry -- Finding Community

I sat in a spacious living room munching on chips and salsa surrounded by twelve other lovely ladies doing the same. It was the sixth week of our women’s Bible study, and the conversation had turned authentic and refreshing. It was deep and soul-quenching too. It was so quenching, in fact, I thought maybe I could let my guard down a bit. Be one of the girls. Be myself. You know what I mean, that vulnerable inner self that doesn’t have to perform or have it all together, the part longing to be fully understood and fully known. 

But we began to read a passage from Leviticus. No one in the group understood it very well, least of all me. Yet every eye looked to me. “Can you explain it to us, Ginger?” They earnestly asked. “Since you’re the pastor’s wife?”

In my experience, being a ministry wife comes with joy and purpose. But it’s also challenging, isolating and lonely too. So, let’s connect! Let’s build each other up. Let’s offer encouragement and extend that much-needed grace like we’re dishing out ice cream, two heaping scoopfuls at a time.

- Ginger McPherson // Director of Ministry Wives Ministry

Keep in mind, I have no formal theological training. I don’t know Hebrew or Greek or the cultural configuration of Levitical Law all that much, which I quickly reminded everyone there. Yet, by association only, I still became the de-facto expert in the group. I was the “ministry wife,” after all. So, with self-effacing words, I mumbled something scarcely resembling wisdom, and the discussion moved on. The other ladies continued to connect. They continued to be deeply refreshed. But I was left behind. I was reminded once again that to be myself, to feel close and emotionally connected with other women from my own church was a nearly impossible feat. I would always be the “pastor’s wife,” and that title came with a wide and varied set of conscious and subconscious expectations.

Maybe as a ministry wife you’ve experienced a moment like this too. Maybe you’ve had other moments that made you feel like you had to perform, to wear a mask, to be picture-perfect, to be the “model” wife, to have the “model” family for your church congregation, to have it all together, especially on Sunday mornings when you roll out of bed feeling more like a hot mess. If you have, I want you to know we’re launching a new ministry at TMBN for you! We’re starting something from the ground up in hopes of learning and providing ways to meet your needs for support, understanding, belonging, and connection.

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My name is Ginger McPherson, and I’ve been a ministry wife for over fifteen years. Before that, I was a PK too, so my entire life has been lived in the “fish bowl” of ministry, it seems. I love to write. I write regularly for Lifeway for their devotional magazines, Journey and Open Windows, and for The Joyful Life Magazine too. I have a BA in English from College of the Ozarks and a PhD in English from Baylor University. Mostly, though, I’m just mom to three wild and wonderful elementary-age kiddos (Addie, Christopher, and Jayme), and I’m wife to my husband Dave who serves as Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church of Tulsa.

In my experience, being a ministry wife comes with joy and purpose. But it’s also challenging, isolating and lonely too. So, let’s connect! Let’s build each other up. Let’s offer encouragement and extend that much-needed grace like we’re dishing out ice cream, two heaping scoopfuls at a time. More is to come! I can’t wait to see what God will do!

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