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Panel discussion: A word from the wives
Andrea Lennon, (left), Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) women’s ministry specialist, moderates a the panel discussion among ministers' wives, featuring, from left: Jennifer Barnard, Crossgate Baptist Church, Hot Springs; Ginger Johnson, Village Baptist Church, Bella Vista; Lisa George, First Baptist Church, Rogers, and Beverly Newborn, Fellowship Community Church, Forrest City. Photo by Caleb Yarbrough

Panel discussion: A word from the wives

Oct 23, 2018

Margaret Colson
Arkansas Baptist News

JONESBORO – With a video introduction of numerous Arkansas Baptist ministers thanking and expressing love for their wives, a panel discussion during the Arkansas Baptist Pastors’ Conference on Monday evening, Oct. 22, gave four ministers’ wives opportunity to share their unique perspectives.

Moderated by Andrea Lennon, Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) women’s ministry specialist, the panel discussion, the first of its kind in Arkansas, featured Jennifer Barnard, Crossgate Baptist Church, Hot Springs; Lisa George, First Baptist Church, Rogers; Ginger Johnson, Village Baptist Church, Bella Vista, and Beverly Newborn, Fellowship Community Church, Forrest City.

Lennon began the panel discussion by asking the women what they loved about being a minister’s wife. “We can share life with our husbands in a way that those in secular professions aren’t able to,” said Barnard, who added she loves being in “ministry together” with her husband.

Sharing life with a minister, though, can have both blessings and challenges.

“Every narrow road he walks … every stressful moment in ministry, I share the pain and brokenness that we have to deal with on a different level. Because we love you and share life with you, we also share the difficulty,” George said.

Another challenge of being a minister’s wife is “living in a fishbowl. Everything about our lives is public,” Barnard said.

Also, sometimes difficult people can present challenges for the minister’s wife, Johnson explained. “When someone tries to undermine God’s messenger or the work of the Lord in the church, it’s easy to become bitter. I have to look through the lens of Christ because Christ loves these people … and I have to do the same.”

All of the women on the panel agreed that helping their minister husbands keep a balance in their lives is vital.

“There’s so much need out there. I have to keep the balance between church and family,” Newborn said, who added that “protecting your marriage while you’re in ministry” is a priority.

Sometimes, “There’s an element of loneliness,” because a pastor’s wife is seen in that role only, rather than as an individual, George explained.

“You are so busy; you are being pulled in so many different directions. Don’t forget your wife, children and grandchildren,” Johnson reminded the pastors in attendance.

“We are here for you. Share your joys and struggles with us. We want to fight for you in prayer,” she added.

As these ministers’ wives speak with other ministers’ wives, they are open to sharing their experiences and wisdom.

“Embrace your calling. Allow God to use your spiritual gifts,” George advises other ministers’ wives.

“It’s a calling. What we do is a calling,” agreed Barnard.

As she walks the calling of being a pastor’s wife, Johnson encourages others in her role, “You are an amazing woman, and I admire you for walking the journey of obedience in faith to God.”

Newborn closed the panel discussion with three simple words for every minister’s wife amid the joys and challenges they face, “God is faithful.”

Contact Margaret Colson at margaret@arkansasbaptist.org.

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