4. Take care of yourself.
Healthy eating, exercise, time with friends, and personal maintenance time (spa day, shopping afternoon, time for a hobby, a bubble bath) are not luxuries. Don’t feel guilty spending time on personal wellness. Keep yourself mentally, spiritually, and emotionally healthy. Make a workable plan to regularly engage in self-care.
5. Persevere in the hard times.
No matter how hard things get, show up. We know that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). The God who called you will work it out. Church planting can be especially difficult for women, so have faith in the One who called you.
6. Consider your husband’s role.
If you’re married, it’s important to address some issues ahead of time that affect your husband, such as what role they will play in ministry (if any) and what people in the church should call them. For example, my husband did not want a leadership position. He served as an usher and was called Brother Haire. The husband of one woman I interviewed served as deacon because he did not feel spiritually qualified to be co-pastor. Another thing to discuss is how the husband should handle gender bias you face. For example, husbands are often mistaken for the pastor simply because they are male, especially at meetings or gatherings for pastors and spouses. Some husbands handle this misconception by correcting the person immediately. Other husbands decide not to attend these meetings to avoid the situation altogether. Decide what will work best for you and your husband.
7. Communicate openly with adult children.
One empty-nester I interviewed said she told her adult children not to feel obligated to join her church. Her main concern was that they were serving God, and if it was not at her church, so be it. Another pastor, however, said she felt hurt when her adult children did not join her church. Her church is small, and she believes that her children and grandchildren should share their spiritual gifts to help the church grow. At a third church, the adult children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren are members, but only a few are in leadership. Young children will, of course, attend your church, but the issue becomes tricky with adult children. Communicate your hopes and expectations to them, especially if you live in the same area.