(I wish Margaret were here to help with this one. As my wife of over 52 years and through our six pastorates covering 42 years, I suppose she heard it all. As of January, 2015, she’s now resting in the arms of her Savior. In her memory and in her honor, I send this forth to encourage church members to bless this dear lady married to the shepherd whom God sent to your church. Please see the disclaimer at the end.–Joe)
“Encourage one another and lift up one another….” (I Thessalonians 5:11, somewhat, and a favorite line in an old chorus)
“You cannot use my name.”
That’s how the typical private note from a preacher’s wife begins.
Marlene introduced herself as the wife of a pastor. She had come across our article from a year or more ago on “59 things not to say to a preacher.” Back then, I had solicited input from Facebook friends and ended up with that number of comments which preachers do not need to hear and which affect them negatively. The article got a good bit of play and drew more than a fair share of controversial reactions.
Preachers loved the list. And so did their wives, incidentally.
There’s a lot of hurt out there.
Marlene appreciated the list, she said. But she added that I had quit early. We need a list of what not to say to the wife of a preacher.
So, I asked her to get me started. Here is her reply:
I was sent the following email from someone trying to sell me a service….
I was sent you an mail regarding Web Listing hope you are found it.
This is an follow-up email for you, Interested in our proposal or not?
Let us know if you are interested, I am waiting here your valuable
I went back and read their original proposal to see if the same poor English was to be found there. It wasn’t. Clearly, someone was hired to pretty up the original mailing, but the followup was done by the salesperson, if you will.
Not a good way to impress a prospective client.
Now. I’m not interested in having my website be first to pop up on Google, as they were proposing. Nothing about that interests me.
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord….” (Isaiah 6:1)
Have the Lord show up, and your worship will come alive like never before.
Ask Isaiah. Ask the two Emaus-road disciples (Luke 24). Ask the disciples who had retreated into the safety of the Upper Room when suddenly the risen Christ appeared (John 20:19ff).
Isaiah left the temple that day with a new calling upon his life. The two disciples reversed their paths and rushed back to the city to tell everyone that Jesus was alive and had appeared to them. As for the disciples, soon they removed the locks from the door of the Upper Room and lived in the streets and countryside–not to say the jails–as they told the world of Jesus.
A few moments in HIs presence will do that to a fellow.
No one is ever bored in the Lord’s presence. No one has ever fallen asleep under His voice. No one emerges unchanged.
If Jesus is present, something is going to happen.
“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations…” (Mark 11:17)
If the church asked me to suggest one thing that would make the greatest improvement in all they do, I would not hesitate.
I would make their worship center a house of prayer.
While that could involve a number of things, the most obvious change would take place in the worship service.