Equipping Church Planters as Couples
Post two in a Saturate blog series: "regional residency stories"
One of the most surprising realities in much church planter/pastor training in North America is the lack of focus on the planter/pastor’s wife. While this is likely unintentional, it seems that the vital role wives play in church planting or pastoring can be forgotten—as if the very unique calling that is ministry doesn’t actually impact the minister’s spouse!
Occasionally church planters’ wives are encouraged on heart-level realities, like identity and preparing for loneliness as their husband plants. These are helpful topics, but not sufficient. Spouses of church planters and pastors are in the thick of ministry and mission alongside their spouse; they’re gifted for ministry and mission in unique and specific ways. God has formed them to be a team, for the sake of each other and for the sake of His Kingdom!
For years, our residencies have sought to remedy this oversight. We meaningfully include residents’ wives in many elements of our discernment and church planting residencies. Wives attend a few of the in-person Lab Weeks, learning and engaging alongside their husband. They are formed into a cohort of other resident wives for specific coaching from a seasoned ministry wife throughout the residency season. They have access to specific content just for them on head-level awareness of ministry realities, heart-level ways to thrive in their calling, and hands-on exercises in ministry and mission.
There is no one stereotype of a “pastor’s wife.” Resident wives are first and foremost daughters of God, with unique gifts for His Church and His Kingdom. Over our residency process, Saturate comes alongside sending churches and resident couples to help both spouses meaningfully discover their unique gifts as they pursue church planting or pastoring, together.
We spoke with Kendrick and Amelia Banks about their experience with our residency, and specifically the ways that Amelia was involved and equipped for the calling God placed on their family: