I Lost My Mentor

Dear DW,

 I am heartbroken.  I have moved to a new church and I have lost my mentor.  When we entered ministry seven years ago, the pastor’s wife at our church took me under her wing and helped me assimilate into the ministry lifestyle.  All of the pastor’s wives at our church were really close.  In our new church, the pastor’s wife has barely spoken to me.  I don’t understand why she is not reaching out to me as the new person.  I am really lonely and I desperately miss my mentor.  I guess I’m just looking for some encouragement.

Friend-less in Friendswood

 

Dear Friend-less in Friendswood,

It sounds like you had the joy of being in a very unique situation in your last church.  I wish that all spouses had a warm and welcoming ministry spouse to assimilate them into ministry.  The reality is that most churches are more like the one you are in now.  (Sorry to break the bad news!)

 My greatest encouragement to you is that you don’t let the legacy that your mentor gave you go to waste by waiting for someone to reach out to you.  Even though you are the new person on the block, be the one to make the first move.  You obviously know more about being inclusive and hospitable than the other spouses at your church.  Set the example.  Be the change you want to see in others.

I have this vision of Pedro talking to Napoleon Dynamite about how he is going to ask the most popular girl at school to a dance.  “I’ll build her a cake or something…”  Of course, you think that there is no way that this tactic is going to work and… it doesn’t.  But, it’s obvious that somewhere in Summer’s heart, she has found a soft place for Pedro.  Reaching out to other ministry spouses may be something like that scene from Napoleon Dynamite.  It will be awkward and uncomfortable.  You might feel like a dork.  You may not get the response you want.   But if you keep baking enough cakes, eventually, someone is going to respond.  (Deb went to the dance with Pedro!) 

 A lot of spouses are lonely in ministry.  We need more Pedro’s who have the courage to reach out to others even though they are the new kid.  Pedro affected a lot of change at his school in his own gawky way.  You can too.

 Love,
DW~

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Posted on October 4, 2012, in Staff Dynamics, Transitions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Wow, I’ve never heard of a senior pastor’s wife being so loving like that. I’ve never experienced it myself. I agree that it must be very rare! I’ve been heart broken church after church that we’ve been in over the fact that the other pastor wives don’t connect. We have such a resource in each other and yet they are so guarded (mostly because they’ve been hurt before). I’m trying to be the change in our current situation (good advice you gave!) but it’s super hard and after 2 years I feel that I’ve been unsuccessful. I’ll keep trying.

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