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Last fall, a group of ministry women gathered for a glorious weekend in the rolling hills of southeastern PA, to “kindle afresh the gift of God” in their lives (2 Timothy 1:6). Twenty-four pastors’ wives, missionaries, ministry leaders, musicians, and Christian educators went deep! They were vulnerable and transparent, sharing their stories, confessing sin, envisioning their vision, establishing healthy boundaries, and committing themselves to abide in Jesus.  

Using the analogy of a “healthy fire,” this space created an opportunity for the healthy, sustainable fire of God to ignited in the soul of each woman. The carefully planned space provided favorable conditions to do life-changing business with God! Every detail, carefully and prayerfully designed, served as kindling for the Holy Spirit to do His work leading to renewed passion and clarity for God’s call. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). 

The challenge to see beyond the weekend meant implementing actionable take-aways for each participant to remain grounded in her relationship with Jesus and faithful to God’s calling on her life. In this context, she would be living her best life – full of joy, answered prayer, settled in God’s love, bearing much fruit (John 15:7-8,11)! 

As a husband, father, pastor, or church leader, you have the unique privilege to influence the women in your life and in your church to live their best life in these five ways. 

#1 – Encourage Her!

Listen to her story, value her, and affirm her unique gifts and talents. She matters to God, and she needs to know she matters to you. Take time to listen, and you will learn of her disappointments, challenges, and dreams. Take time to affirm God’s purpose and calling on her life. Value her contributions to the Kingdom. 

#2 – Elevate Her!

God has given each person a unique vision and a pathway to fulfill His mission. Sometimes a woman’s vision may become obscure in her everyday realities. She supports the needs of her husband and children, attends to the unending, often unrealistic, demands of ministry, shares the load of family finances, and may be responsible for caring for aging parents, shut-ins, or a disabled child. She may feel unappreciated, unnoticed, misunderstood, or just exhausted.  

She may think it is too late to be used by God. These responsibilities may cloud her calling at times. Remind her that she is “highly favored” by God, like Mary, the “handmaid of the Lord” (Luke 1:28 & 36). In lifting her up, she may be able to “smile at her future” (Proverbs 31:25), and confidently say, “The Lord is my helper. I will not fear” (Hebrews 13:6). She will be secure in the knowledge that “He who has begun a good work in (her) will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). 

#3 – Embolden Her!

One of the most difficult things in ministry is to set healthy boundaries. Sometimes, the hardest thing for a pastor’s wife, or anyone in ministry, is to say “No!”  One way to embolden her is to support her decision to set healthy boundaries, to say yes to God, and affirm her decision to say no to other things. You may remind her that her only responsibility is to “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him” (Colossians 1:10). 

#4 – Equip Her!

For a woman in ministry to live her best life, she needs to be sufficiently equipped for service! God gave the church pastors, teachers, and leaders “for the equipping of the saints,” (Ephesians 4:12). This equipping should include the women who serve and lead faithfully in our homes and ministries. 

Equipping requires intentionality. Pastors are equipped for the work of the ministry through seminary training, conferences, retreats, cohorts, coaching groups, and accountability within a denomination or community. The truth is that women benefit from these same kinds of opportunities. Make it physically and financially possible for her to participate in events such as the WIMN Lead Weekend, where she can care for her soul, in a safe place among women who share her calling, and where she will have the opportunity to sharpen her leadership skills. “As iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17). 

#5 – Empower Her!

I was talking with my oldest son a few months back about a personal, painful struggle I was having. He said, “Mom, I feel weird saying this to you. I know you already know this, but, when I am struggling, sometimes, I just need to find space to sit with Jesus.”   

As a husband, make it possible for your wife to find space to sit with Jesus and receive power in His presence. As she abides in Him, her soul will be restored, and she will be “endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Prioritize her in your schedule to give her the space and privacy necessary to spend time with Jesus. It may mean setting aside an hour each day to take care of children, especially when you have littles!  

Pastors may empower godly women leaders through intentional discipleship, leadership development, and training, not just in the sense of a traditional “Bible study.” Empowering women leaders involves intentional strategies to promote accountability and application, with opportunities to serve in meaningful ways, according to her unique spiritual gifts and God-given strengths.  

When God’s people learn to abide in Jesus, they will live their best lives, and God will accomplish wonderful things through His church! Jesus promises His people, “He (or she) who abides in Me…bears much fruit…so that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:5,11). 

More than thirty years ago, God ignited a passion in the heart of Kim Olachea to launch a ministry designed uniquely for pastors’ wives, ultimately resulting in the birth of the Women in Ministry Network. Kim has served with her husband, Dr. Joe Olachea, for forty-five years, as a pastor’s wife, educator, camp director, and currently as administrator for Joe, US Director for DisciplePath. Kim is an entrepreneur, business owner, writer, and women’s speaker. She holds a BS in Business Management and MA in Education.

Some unique aspects of the Olachea’s ministry include serving as associate missionaries for EveryEthne, leading international teaching tours to Bible lands, having the privilege to speak for the Families for Christ weekend each summer, and hosting My Grandma Camp annually for their grands. Joe and Kim live in New Bern, NC, with two ridiculous pugs named Gibson and Fender, and are the parents of five delightful children, their equally delightful spouses, and (almost) eleven grandchildren.

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