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My Year As A Church Planter “Wife”

Confusing title? Well, here’s what happened. Last year my wife started a homeschool cooperative from scratch. This meant she had to continually cast vision, recruit leaders, find a place to meet, deal with people’s commitments and work through their lack thereof. In starting from ground zero she found herself throughout the year challenged, exhilarated, frustrated, depressed, and moved to tears from both joy and exasperation. She put in more hours than there were in a day, a week, a month to see this co-op survive. In the process of it all, she reminded me of what a church planter goes through in trying to see his fledgling church get off the ground. And, since I am married to her, there were times I wondered if this is what it feels like being married to a church planter. I don’t know. Ladies, you tell me. Over the year, here’s what I found myself saying to my wife (just substitute “church plant” for “co-op”):

You give everything to your co-op. When you come home, you still have co-op on the brain. IF there’s anything left, it goes to the kids. I get nothing. Zip. Ziltch. Nada.
When you constantly bring your co-op work home with you (which is most of the time) I feel like your roommate at best, a single parent at worst.
You act as if you want to hear what’s going on with me but I can tell you can’t wait for me to finish so you can move on and get back to work on co-op stuff.
I don’t mind hearing about your problems at co-op but it seems that’s all I hear about. Surely there are good things going on as well?
Is life going to be this crazy next year? If so, maybe you ought to think about either changing the way we live or changing your job.
I’m so alone. No one understands what it’s like to be me.

I believe I’ve either said or thought these ideas over the past year. Frankly, reflecting on it all has brought more repentance from me than rebuke to my wife. Her life as “co-op planter” has lasted fifteen months. I’ve been helping plant my church for fifteen years. It makes me shudder to think these struggles have been more on her plate than mine. To her credit, she has been quick to repent and work through any conflicts. I, on the other hand, probably still have more work to do. Hopefully, my year as a “church planter wife” will help me better repent as a church planter husband.

Picture of Yancey Arrington
Dr. Yancey C. Arrington is an eighth generation Texan, Acts 29 Network and Houston Church Planting Network fan, and Teaching Pastor at Clear Creek Community Church in the Bay Area of Houston. He is also author of Preaching That Moves People and TAP: Defeating the Sins That Defeat You, and periodically writes for Acts 29 and The Gospel Coalition.

3 thoughts on “My Year As A Church Planter “Wife””

  1. Good words, Yancey. Thx for the reminder to be a repentant husband and give more than leftovers to my wife…”professional church planter” or not.

  2. Gene Arrington

    Yancey, thanks for your comments on church planting and relating it to Jennefer’s work planting a home school co-op. Your dad sometimes doesn’t realize how hard you two work in your respective areas of endeavors. Your mom and I are so amazed at what you guys do in your work serving God…we are so proud of you both.

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