by Verlene Harry
One day, my seven year old daughter grabbed my hand and said, “Mommy can you stop being so busy for a minute and play dollhouse with me?” This plea from my daughter, caused me to reflect on how much I was really trying to handle on my own, and how important it was for me to have a healthy balance in my responsibility and commitment to Motherhood and Ministry. When my husband and I was called to Pastor, I found myself many days, like some of you, feeling overwhelmed trying to multi-task, and fulfill the many responsibilities that come with being a “Leading Lady”.
Being a wife and a mother of five children, was already proving to be a tremendous call on my life. On top of that, God had given me the responsibility of caring for a child with special needs. I remember one day while at the hospital with my son, and feeling overwhelmed, I cried out to the Lord and said, “God, I can’t handle this.” It was at that moment, after wiping the tears from my eyes, that I felt the Lord saying to me these simple words. “My Grace is sufficient for thee”, and you don’t have to handle it alone.” As I continue to allow God to guide me through my growth in him as a “Leading Lady”, he has given me the grace to live by these seven key principles for my life. Although, our situations and challenges in life may differ in circumstances, I pray that these principles will encourage you as well.
7 Key Principles for “Moms in Ministry”
1. Schedule Family Time: I had to learn to make sure that I set my priorities in order by making myself a schedule. Just as I was precise and consistent about scheduling important ministry meetings, counseling sessions, and workshops or conferences. I had to make sure that I set some time on my calendar to spend time with my family. Yes, I have the calling of a “Leading Lady”, but my first priority calling is to serve my family, by being a Godly wife and as First Lady Michelle Obama puts it, “Mom – In – Chief”.
2. Communicate Your Needs to Others: I had to learn to ask for help. Sometimes, we try to handle everything on our own. Although, it may be difficult for some than others. Ladies, sometimes we must rely on a trusted support team, and not be afraid to ask for help. I am fortunate to have a mother, who helps me with my busy schedule, and helps to provide assistance when needed. Also, I found it helpful to communicate my desires and needs to trusted Ministry team members. By doing this, I help them to understand how they can cover me in helping to meet my family needs, as I strive to serve the Ministry effectively.
3. Understand Your Capacity to Serve: I had to learn that everyone has a different capacity calling to serve in Ministry. For example, although I believe that God has given me the gift of preaching and teaching to empower women; I also realize that at this season in my life, because I have small children, I can’t compare my Ministry calling and capacity with someone else who is able to travel the world and minister across the country. Again, I continue to remind myself that at this time in my life, my first priority, is to take care of my home and to raise my children.
4. Advocate For and Cover Your Children: In Ministry, I had to learn the hard way, that I couldn’t allow the congregation to put unrealistic expectations and pressures on my children. I had to learn how to protect them from being criticized by people who do not have their best interest at heart.
5. Give Your Children the Opportunity to Serve with You in Ministry: I am learning to encourage my children to utilize their God given talents to serve others. I also would like for them to realize how valuable they are in helping my husband and I, fulfill the vision that God has given to us as a family. As I continue to gain experience, I have learned to remain flexible in my approach, so that I can avoid overwhelming them with too much pressure and responsibility.
6. Don’t be So Hard on Yourself: As a Leading Lady, like many of you, I wear a lot of “Hats”; However, I must remember that when my heart is overwhelmed, I must strive to tackle one task at a time. Most importantly, I remind myself not to get so stressed and frustrated over “Spilled Milk”; I just wipe it up, and keep it moving.
7. Continue to Accept God’s Grace and Wisdom for Your Call to “Motherhood and Ministry”: Last, but definitely not least, I realize that it is important for me to keep a consistent prayer life concerning my faith and my family. We all have a desire to “Get it Right”; however, we must remember that there is no perfect family, and there is no one perfect formula for balancing family and ministry. We must continue to believe that God in his infinite wisdom will grant us the grace we need to fulfill our Destiny
Therefore, my Sister – in – Christ, be encouraged and remember (Philippians 1:6 ) which says that “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Evangelist Verlene M. Harry is the Co-Pastor and Co-Founder of the New Life Restoration Church International, of Waldorf, Maryland. She serves alongside her husband, Senior Pastor Michael A. Harry Sr. Co-Pastor Harry is a native of Alexandria, Virginia. She has been in Ministry Leadership for over twenty years, and she has a heart that is committed to reaching the lost and empowering believers in Christ. In 2009, Co-Pastor Harry founded the W.E.L.L Network (Women Empowered to Live and Lead). This Ministry was founded to provide a forum that would empower and equip Women from all Walks of Life; through, Conferences, Retreats, Seminars and Community Service. Her greatest desire is to encourage Women, and to inspire them to fulfill their God given Destiny. www.nlrci.com