Like many of the YWAM tribe, Richard and I met on our DTS. After 6 months of school, 3 years of corresponding across the seas and several months in the same evangelism team, we got married and started serving as a married couple, before becoming a family. It all began 30 years ago, and recently while facilitating a workshop on Family and Ministry at our YWAM France annual gathering, we heard from single, newly-married and young parents about the challenges they face in transitioning from one ‘status’ or ‘life season’ to another in the Mission.
I remember some of the resources I devoured in our early years of engagement and marriage: Sally McClung’s book “Where will I find the time?“, which covers topics such as marriage, family, friendship, work, leisure, and renewal, based on her experience as a wife and mother of two children, working with YWAM Amsterdam.
A cassette recording (yes, I’m that old!) of Darlene Cunningham called Marriage & Ministry, giving advice on how to prioritise the important over the urgent, including tips from what she would share with Loren as soon as he walked in the door after a trip away.
“The pleasure of your company”, a book on hospitality by Dale Garratt (Scripture in Song ministry) was also great inspiration, including a wise warning to take into consideration our children’s personalities and emotions when asking them to give up their bedrooms for guests.
The challenges and joys of ministering together as a couple or family are real! Our bases and ministries don’t all have the same expectations or facilities. Cultural differences also come into play: what does hospitality or outreach look like in your setting? How can you and your family be involved together, what are the unique considerations you need to prayerfully work through?
Serving together as a couple or family will undoubtedly look different as you transition to a new location, work through culture shock and adaptation, face health challenges or a child’s disability, see a greater release or reduction in financial and prayer support. Could it be more satisfying and fruitful as you ask your children for input, learn more about each other’s giftings, skills or personalities ?
May you and your family be strengthened and benefit from the rich learning experiences of ministering to people from all walks of life, as God leads you.