What to do when your wife is burned out: Understanding the situation

Today’s guest post comes to us from Laura Christopherson for the North American Mission Board.

As a church-planting family, you’re on the adventure of a lifetime. You’re running full steam ahead and there she is right beside you, your sweetheart, running her heart out. She understands that God has called both of you. And she’s all in!

But one day, on your way to a meeting together, right there in the car, she may come apart at the seams. “I’m so tired! I’m spent!” What? Where did this come from? She’s been a champ, a warrior woman. How can this be?

If you’re smart, you’ll turn the car around and start speaking her love language ASAP. Don’t worry, she’s not becoming Wife-zilla. She’s married to a church planter and has hit the wall.

She also knows you’re doing your dead-level best, that you’re carrying a heavy load. She doesn’t want to add to that burden. And she definitely doesn’t want to sound like she’s whining, especially during those gut-wrenching seasons that do occur in church planting. She hurts alongside you, trying to encourage and love you well.

But here’s the deal, in this church planting partnership, she pours into everyone around her and steps up as needed, with very few who pour back into her. Few understand her role. And those who do (other church planting spouses) are running as hard as she is.

So, yes, you need to turn that car around, take her home and start pouring into her. Listen. Don’t try to fix or explain your “side of the story.” There is no “side.” She’s not attacking you; just let her share honestly and vulnerably. And once she finishes, ask what she needs from you. It may be as simple as a date, regular coffee time, family game night, or your presence physically and emotionally. Truly listen and invest in your most loyal volunteer (speaking beyond hours she puts into Sunday School) as she stands beside you in this church planting adventure.

Click here to read the full article.

Your partner in ministry,

Nelson

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 80 church growth resources and 15+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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