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October 11, 2016

What To Do When Your Wife is More Competent Than You

By Annie Garman

The idea for this post came after talking with my friends Jamie and Jessica Limato. We sent them out from our church almost a decade ago to plant Aletheia Church in Norfolk, Virgina.  When God called them to plant this church, Jamie was working at a Starbucks and teaching PE at a private school and Jessica was the principal of a private school.  They have been faithful servants of God and the church has grown consistently under their care. 

I wanted to share some insights from Jamie today about what it was like to begin planting a church with a wife who had a Master’s degree in Leadership and School Administration.

Jamie says:  Guys, when it comes to administration, what do you do if your wife is more gifted in parts of administration than you? Don’t be threatened by her gifts!  Early on in the church plant, my wife encouraged me and was consistently asking to help, but rather than doing that I tried to do it all myself. Looking back, I wish I would have utilized her strengths and asked more of her. 

I think it’s important for the church planter to clearly communicate his vision and strategy to all members of the church, including his wife!  Your wife is a member just like everyone else. She has been given gifts just like everyone else and she should be encouraged to use those in a complementary way. Without a honest dialogue and a clarified conversation about how your wife fits into the vision, she may not know how to complement and therefore will complicate because she doesn’t know her role. 

Wives, don’t let your husband’s position hold you back from using your gifts and passions.  Don’t be afraid to share your ideas.  Sure, you may not be biblically qualified to lead through being a pastor or elder, but your abilities and past experiences are vital to the growth of the body and for your joy.  We tell ALL of our church members to find their place by using their gifts, and the gift of administration is no exception.  It’s just perhaps trickier to find out how to use this gift appropriately…but don’t stop trying!

Here are three simple steps to help you if you find yourself in this similar situation:

  1. Swallow your pride: As pastors, this is often the hardest thing for us to do. We always feel the need to appear as though we know what we are doing and have it all together. Don’t believe this lie. Often the best thing to do is admit you don’t know and ask for help. Help might even come from inside your own home.
  1. Seek God together: As a pastor, I encourage our members to seek God and ask him to show them how he has gifted them to serve. I then encourage them to do everything they can to obediently follow Jesus in using those gifts to serve and build up Jesus’ church. Don’t forget that your wife is a person in the church too. Seek the Lord with her and encourage her to be obedient to Jesus just like everyone else in the church.
  1. Serve with joy: When anyone in our church uses their gifts to the glory of God it brings joy into their lives and the lives around them. You’ve probably heard this statement… “Happy wife, Happy life.” Maybe those words should be… “A joyful wife, a joyful life.” Pastor, encourage your wife to use her gifts just like everyone else. Why? Because glory and joy are at stake.

To find out more about the Limato’s ministry in Norfolk, VA, go to aletheianorfolk.com.


Annie Garman

Annie B. Garman is a pastor’s wife and mother to four excitable girls, and author of Unexpected Grace: When Your Child is Born With Half a Heart. She and her family serve at Pillar Church in Northern Virginia where the traffic is thick, but the church planting opportunities abound. Their network of churches is attempting to plant a reproducible gospel-centered church at every Marine Corps base around the world (praetorianproject.org). Her biggest passion is to know Christ and make Him known in whatever situation she finds herself in. Annie shares her thoughts on motherhood, mayhem, and the meaning of life at anniebgarman.com.


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