3. Send People
There are two ways to send people: by commissioning people to go with the plant and to send short term teams to help the church planter and his wife. Encourage good people to consider being a part of the plant and send them out with joy, especially if the church plant is within the same city or close enough for many to consider joining in.
All sending churches, however, can provide backup and assistance through short term teams. Our sending church sent teams twice a year for the first four years and enabled us to blanket the city through service and outreach, something we could not do on our own and something that stirred a sense of mission in our own church plant. Short term teams should also consider how they can personally encourage the planter and his wife during these trips, such as restaurant gift cards with free babysitting for a date night or words of encouragement from home.
4. Create a Team Dynamic
Sending churches are not the only churches that can encourage church planting wives. Existing churches in the same city as the plant have countless opportunities to encourage church planters and their wives. My husband and I have been tremendously blessed by other church plants and existing churches in our area.
We’ve been given chairs, the use of buildings for baptisms, Bible studies, short term team housing, the use of church vans, friendship, and the wisdom and experience of those who’ve gone before us. The most helpful thing an existing church did for me as the church planting wife was provide childcare workers for the first few months of our plant, which enabled me to be a part of our service and to build relationships.
5. Value the Wife’s Role
The wife is equally as important to the health of a church plant as her husband. Her role is different, but much is required of her. A good sending church is one that understands this and that specifically seeks to encourage the church planting wife in her role.
Church planters cannot establish churches without the assistance of existing churches. And without a doubt, church planting wives cannot thrive without their support and encouragement. Be a good sending church — send and remember.