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7 Areas in Ministry Life That Require Flexibility

7 Areas In Ministry Life That Require Flexibility

Recently, a church planter’s wife asked me for advice on her situation. I didn’t really premeditate my answer; it just came barreling out.

“Be flexible or die…those are your options.”

Her eyes got big, and so did mine. The advice was a strong blow to me, too.

But, if anyone is looking for a more thought-out word from a pastor’s wife today, this might be it.

If we are going to survive the tumultuous waters of ministry, we will have to be flexible.

According to Google, the definition of flexibility is “the quality of bending easily without breaking.” To be honest, this word hurts my stomach right now. Growing up, I took pride in the range of motion in my joints. I stretched constantly and could bend in any direction. But recently, I tore the cartilage in my hip joint which has robbed me of all flexibility. I’m in pain just watching my daughters during their gymnastics classes.

Each group of joints in our body have different levels of extensibility. We may be flexible in our hamstrings allowing us to touch our toes but not in our quadriceps which affects our posture. See, you might think of yourself as flexible, but this isn’t really an all-or-nothing issue.

Let’s think about the different areas where we, as ministry wives, need to stretch in order to develop flexibility:

1. We must be flexible about scheduling. When something comes up that is unplanned (and it will), are we willing to let our preferences go? Or will we hold on with white knuckles or learn to trust God with every moment?

2. We must be flexible about family time. Yes, we schedule Thursday night as “family night.” But if “X-Y-Z” comes up, couldn’t we as easily protect a Sunday night?

3. We must be flexible in our expectations of others. We have both legitimate and illegitimate expectations of the people around us. While we may argue about which category it falls into, we can all agree that people will sometimes fail us. So, how will we respond? We’ve got to stretch far enough to reach grace.

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AnnieBGarman@churchleaders.com'
Annie and her husband Colby live in Northern Virginia where Colby serves as the teaching pastor of Pillar Church. Before their church ministry days, they served for two years as IMB missionaries in Iceland. Annie spends her days taking care of her four daughters, writing and ministering at her local church. She shares about motherhood, mayhem, and the meaning of life from a place of transparency at anniebgarman.com.