“There’s no one here.” I said, surprised. My husband and I looked around. We were the only car in the parking lot.
To be honest, I was a little relieved.
“Do you think we have the wrong place?” I asked, eyeing the run-down office building before me.
“No, this is the address for the church,” he replied. “Let’s wait. If no one shows up in five minutes, we’ll go get breakfast.”
Exactly one minute later, a parade of cars entered the parking lot, and a small crowd of people welcomed us to Living Faith Community Church.
I’m glad God has a precise timetable for unfolding his plans in our lives, because I know without a doubt we wouldn’t have lasted the full five minutes. And I’m grateful I didn’t have to, because the people of this new church plant in the heart of Pittsburgh would become our family’s closest friends, supporters, and partners in life and ministry.
If you would have asked me two years ago if I would ever be involved in church planting, I would have laughed. My husband and I aren’t ministers. In fact, when God transplanted us from Texas to the Northeast, our goal was to find the biggest church in our city so we could hide on the back pew.
“Whatever church we join,” I told my husband emphatically, “I am NOT working in the nursery.”
Now it is God’s turn to laugh, because one of my favorite areas of service at Living Faith is teaching the preschoolers!
Nope, my husband and I are definitely not ministers, but we are ministry-minded individuals who continue to be amazed by the transforming power the gospel. And seeing God renew lives through church planting has been one of the biggest grace gifts – and adventures – of our lives.
As we got settled in our new church plant, I began following the blog of church planting wife Christine Hoover. Christine and her husband, Kyle, planted Charlottesville Community Church in Virginia in 2008 and her blog, Grace Covers Me, encourages ministry-minded women to “live and lead” from God’s grace. My favorite aspect of her blog is her emphasis on ‘authentic’ hospitality – opening not just your home, but your heart to others.
So, it is my joy to introduce you to her book, The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart, published by Moody. The book shares the story of the Hoover’s church, how God moved in their lives and community, and ultimately how God shaped Christine’s heart through the unique struggles common to church planting.
Here’s what I love about it and what I think you will too:
Although written to and about wives of church planters, the book resonates with any ministry-minded woman.
The book centers on the importance of a woman guarding her heart – and the role a correctly-oriented heart plays in life and ministry. The book is organized as follows: a dependent heart, a helping heart, a connected heart, a sacrificial heart, a faithful heart, a peaceful heart, an undivided heart, and a healed heart.
The book is peppered with hilarious and convicting personal experiences with which most women can identify. Along those lines, Christine offers helpful insight on how to make friends, how to correctly view the role of a church planting wife, how best to help your husband, how to set boundaries around the home and family, how to balance ministry stress, and how to deal with those pesky sin problems of pride, fear, and resentment.
Who should buy this book?
Any missions-minded woman, particularly those involved in any sort of church planting ministry. This book challenges all women to live and lead out of their relationship with God.
All church planting wives. Regardless of where you are in the church planting process, this book will encourage you, incite your faith at God’s provision, and give you tangible tools for facing the church planting challenge.
All church planters! Please buy this book for your wife. She has unique obstacles she will face alongside you in church planting (think discouragement, exhaustion, depression, loneliness, etc.) and this book will help her benefit your marriage, your home, and your ministry.
For information about the affiliate links in this post, click here. In exchange for an honest review, I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book.
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