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In each episode of this 10-episode video series, hosts Kristen Wetherell and Kari Olson invite a pastor’s wife to discuss specific topics pertaining to this unique ministry calling.
If you are a pastor’s wife, an elder’s wife, a seminary student’s wife, or the wife of someone in full-time ministry, this series is for you. We want to encourage you to have a renewed sense of joy and assurance in who God is and what he is doing in your life.
Join us—we’ve saved you a front row seat.
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As wives of pastors, how do we walk through a spiritually dry season yet still pour into the people God has placed in our lives? What do we do when we forget that we are first and foremost a daughter of God before we are a pastor’s wife? And where can we go to find refreshment and joy when we become spiritually tired and in need of hope?
In this first episode of Front Row Seat, hosts Kristen Wetherell and Kari Olson talk with Joanna Kubiak about how to prioritize our own spiritual health and walk closely with God as we minister to our local church and run the race set before us.
Joanna Kubiak is a pastor’s wife who has served in a variety of women’s ministries roles for more than 37 years. Joanna has led spiritual formation groups, wives’ and moms’ groups, small group Bible studies, and mentoring partnerships. In 2016, she began her true ministry passion, 27 Pastors’ Wives Gatherings—a network of online and in-person support groups for pastors’ wives based on principles found in Psalm 27. Joanna loves the woods and grabs every opportunity she can to connect with nature. Joanna and her husband, Tom, have three married adult children and seven grandchildren.
Episode 2: Engaging God’s Calling
and People’s Expectations
with Jani Ortlund
“Rejoice that we have a Savior who gets us and will see us through.” —Jani Ortlund
If someone asked you how you were doing as a pastor’s wife, you most likely wouldn’t respond with all the ways you’re “acing it.” Most of the time, as a pastor’s wife (and just as a human), we feel inadequate, like we’re not living up to certain expectations—whether it’s other people’s or our own. Finding that all-illusive “balance” of ministry, marriage, motherhood, and personal devotion can be challenging and discouraging. So how do we fight discouragement and pursue holiness instead?
Engaging God’s calling on our lives and responding to people’s expectations starts with admitting our need for Jesus. Jesus isn’t surprised by the challenges we face as pastors’ wives. He wants to carry us through those challenges and lift that heavy burden of striving. He isn’t standing in judgment, asking us why we aren’t measuring up to the pressures and expectations of others. Jesus sees, he’s with us, and he reminds us we can rely on his power to accomplish what we cannot on our own.
In this episode of Front Row Seat, Kristen Wetherell and Kari Olson talk with Jani Ortlund about how pastors’ wives can respond with wisdom and Christlikeness to the expectations of others and our own. This conversation aims to remind us we can rest in the grace and strength of Jesus—the only One who can do and be all things to all people.
Jani Ortlund is executive vice president of Renewal Ministries and loves spending her energies connecting women with the Word of God. Serving Jesus Christ through writing, speaking, and discipling are her chief passions in life. Jani is the podcast host of He Restores My Soul and author of various books including His Loving Law, Our Lasting Legacy and Help! I’m Married to My Pastor. Jani and Ray—pastor of Immanuel Church—have four married children and fourteen grandchildren, and minister in Nashville, TN.
Episode 3: Supporting Our Husbands
with Susan Yates
Being a pastor’s wife (or ministry leader’s wife) is a unique joy and blessing, and it also comes with unique challenges. Your husband’s calling as a pastor is to shepherd his own family, the church staff, and those God has sovereignly placed in his congregation—this is a high calling.
With all our husbands walk through in their roles as pastors, sometimes it’s hard to know how we can provide a space of rest and reprieve from the work of ministry through our home, family, and marriage. We love our husbands and we want to support them, so how can we do this well, with the Lord’s help?
In this episode of Front Row Seat, Kristen Wetherell and Kari Olson invite Susan Yates—a pastor’s wife of more than 50 years—to discuss how pastors’ wives can support their husbands in ministry, marriage, and family life. You’ll be encouraged by this conversation, as it’s full of biblical and practical wisdom on loving your husband well and supporting him in ministry while prioritizing your own relationship with God.
As pastors’ wives, we have the privilege of serving alongside our husbands to care for our local church. While there are seasons when we feel confident about our role and where we serve, there are also times when we just don’t know how to answer the question, “So, what do you do here?”
Maybe we’ve had opportunities to serve our church in ways that are in line with our interests and spiritual giftings, and we might also find ourselves in a season where we don’t yet know exactly how to love our church in a tangible way. Or, maybe we’ve given everything we have for our local church and feel burnt out, unappreciated, or discouraged.
Amid all of these variables, one thing remains true about our calling as pastors’ wives and followers of Jesus—no matter where we serve or what we do, the love of Jesus propels us to love our local church body, and as we look to him, may we receive his strength and encouragement, knowing he has gone before us.
In this episode of Front Row Seat, Kristen Wetherell and Kari Olson talk with Megan Hill about how the love of Christ helps us love the local church with grace and humility. Megan is a pastor’s wife and managing editor for The Gospel Coalition who is passionate about helping pastors’ wives and believers learn to love the local church and experience one of our greatest privileges and highest joys.