giveaway {The Church Planter's Wife}

 

i'm so proud of my friend christine over at Grace Covers Me as she has recently released her book, The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart. she beautifully shares her church planting journey and encourages all of us in the role of church planting and ministry wives. i'm giving away her book today! are you a wife in church planting or ministry? simply leave a comment about where you are serving and to what capacity. are you thinking about someone you know in ministry to whom you could gift this book? then leave a comment of who you want to give this book to and why. out of the goodness of christine's heart, she shares some of my story in chapter 3 of her book. {thank you, christine!} you can find this book on amazon, too.

on my heart

 

but before you skip down to leave a comment, let me share a snippet of my church planting story...

A few years ago, I could sense that something was stirring in my husband’s heart. It was evident in his preaching. I could also hear it in his voice when he shared with me about this series of Esther taking risks. The pieces came together as he asked me to pray about church planting. With a deep breath and a wavering trust, I answered him, “I’ll do that. I’ll pray. Give me a few days.”

I began to think about how good we had it. We had a nice home in a safe neighborhood. Ben was in a good situation at the church where we served. The senior pastor was a mentor who poured daily into Ben. We loved our church. Our friends. We were at a great school and were within driving distance to family. We even had tickets to Silver Dollar City! Was God calling us to give all that up? I began to pray.

We’re not promised this good life here on earth. But we are promised that God will never leave us. That He goes before us. As a young girl, I had already told God that I’d go anywhere. But Africa was more on the radar than an urban setting in North America! Ben and I began to talk about the "non-negotiables"—what we could sacrifice and what we wouldn’t. We could give up being a two-car family, owning a home, living somewhat close to family. We wouldn’t sacrifice our marriage, our children’s best interests or their education. This was it. Our journey was starting. As best as I can describe it, we held hands, looked at each other, and stepped off the cliff into the great unknown of this faith journey into church planting.

It became clear that God was calling us to plant a church in San Francisco. We knew we'd been called by God to the task and a peace began to fill our hearts. But when we made our initial trip to San Francisco, questions raced through my mind. Where will we live? Where are the playgrounds for our kids? Where will they go to school? What will our church look like? Am I prepared for this?

For the next year, I began to journal the process. We had made moves to other churches and other ministries, but this was different. This had far more unknowns. I recall telling Ben how overwhelmed I was with the research, information, and the process. My eyes would hurt from looking at all the school data online for the boys. I also recorded my prayers, “God, in Your presence this morning, I have overwhelmingly been reminded that You are holy, in control, and desire to receive glory through this process.”

We wrote a weekly prayer guide and continued to do so up until the move. In addition, I knew I needed a personal prayer base so I asked ten women to commit to pray for our family, for me. [I had no idea that three years later, I’d be emailing them still with requests and they’d still be committed to praying for us.]

I journaled about the petty and the monumental. Not knowing our housing situation, I began to sort through clothes and books. I posted furniture on craigslist. I donated, consigned, and gave stuff away. I knew our church plant would need nursery toys, so I boxed up personal baby toys our children had outgrown and marked the box, “Epic Church nursery.”

I made contact with a public school teacher in San Francisco. Our differences were quickly discussed. Me - a pastor’s wife. She - a Jewish lesbian. We set our differences aside and talked about that which we had in common. Her insight into the schools was so helpful. She was happy to know we wanted to move our family to the city and make a difference in a public school.

We wouldn’t start weekly services for at least ten months after we move. If we were giving up church programming, who would teach our boys? I hand wrote a week of curriculum for them and coined it ‘Hero Boot Camp.’ We’d make it fun.

Ben and I spent a few days learning from church planters in New York City.  We attended a church planting conference with our staff. While soaking in so much information, I came across this quote:

“There comes a time in every person’s life when they are given a unique opportunity to discover the purpose for which they are born. It is their moment of destiny and if they seize it, it is their finest hour.” [Sir Winston Churchill]

Well, our hour was drawing near. We made the move with the help of friends who drove out with Ben and the moving truck and flew out with me and the boys. With our feet on the ground in our new city, San Francisco, we had one mission: meet people. We invited people into our apartment. We began to share our story of why we were here in San Francisco. While Ben immersed himself in strategy for church planting in our target area, me and the boys immersed ourselves in the city. Within one month of moving, we held our first launch team meeting in our apartment. Gratitude came over me when the last person left our home that night; so grateful we were doing this as a family. God was gracious to remind me that we aren’t out here alone. He had already gone before us.

Just recently, I looked back in my journal. Just a few years ago I wrote, “As best as I can describe it, we held hands, looked at each other, and stepped figuratively off the cliff into the great unknown of faith.” And it’s been one of the best decisions ever made.

okay, now leave a comment! i can't wait to hear from you and give this book away!

revised moody cover

congrats to susannah and michelle who will receive a copy of this book!