Holly Furtick

When ministry isn’t measurable

As a pastor’s wife, there are somethings that only I can do for my husband.  I can make sure that our home is peaceful not chaotic.  I can encourage him about his sermon in ways that no one else can.  I can be a protector of the vision and promotor of our church culture because I know it better than almost anyone, I helped form it.

Of course there are other things that I do at our church.  But for me, my first calling at Elevation is to support my husband.  And I have to be relentless to protect my calling and not get distracted by other opportunities that may take away from that.

There are days when I wish I had someone else’s job though.  A more visible job.  Not because I want to be seen, but because I want to be able to measure myself.  I want to check things off a list of accomplishment.

I am learning that just because my job isn’t visible doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable.  And just because my contribution isn’t measurable does not mean it isn’t ministry.

This is a word for all the women and men out there married to a spouse in “full-time ministry.”  Just because your name is not on the pay stub does not mean you are not in ministry.  Doing the work of God is a team effort.  We are all called but we can’t all have the exact same calling.  If your spouse feels empowered and supported from home, together, your ministry will be more effective.

If we all did the same job, we would never be effective.  And sometimes the most fruitful work is not the most fun.  I must have a willing heart to say, God, I will do anything, everything or nothing, if I can just be a part of the work that you are doing in our community.

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Wrapping up Christmas

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Earlier this week I had the opportunity to serve at A Child’s Place. A Child’s Place is an organization in Charlotte that serves homeless children. Did you know that there are over 7,000 identified homeless children in Charlotte? These are children living in hotels, shelters and staying with relatives. A Child’s Place provides many services for these children, one of which is family sponsorship at Christmas time.

I got to wrap some the many gifts given by the generous people of our city. We had such a great time. If you would like to serve with your family or group, here’s where you can find events going on this week and next. Click here to join the movement.

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Give Away!

I am so excited today to give away this book today! My good friends, Lori Wilhite and Brandi Wilson are releasing Leading and Loving It, Encouragement for pastor’s wives and women in ministry, today!

Lori and Brandi are pastor’s wives with a passion for people. I have so loved getting to know them personally over the past several years. Their book is full of wisdom, honesty, and practical encouragement for any woman in leadership and ministry. I hope you will buy (here on Amazon) it if you don’t win it.

And everyone is a winner today because not only am I giving away a few copies of their book, but for the next few Tuesdays, Leading and Loving It is putting on a web conference. You can hear from Lori and Brandi as well as other leaders like Christine Caine, Lisa Bevere, Sheila Walsh. I was also privileged to be able to share as well.

Tuesday August 6th: Joy Stealers: Tackling the leadership challenges that threaten to steal the joy found in the calling God has on our lives.
Tuesday September 10th: Navigating Relationships: Learning to better navigate the oftentimes choppy waters of relationships and leadership.
Tuesday October 1st: The Importance of Influence: Grabbing hold of the influence that God has given us. Embracing it. Resting in it

Each session plays the following times:
9am EST/6am PST
12pm EST/9am PST
4pm EST/1pm PST
7pm EST/4pm PST
10pm EST/7pm PST

Here’s the link. I hope you will take advantage of this amazing, FREE resource!!

And now, I have 5 books to give away. There are 3 ways you can enter: leave a comment here on the blog, tweet a response, or leave a comment on Instagram. Simply tell me how and where you are in leadership or who you will be giving the book to. I will pick the winners and post them here later this week!

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Gotta keep em separated?

Amanda left this comment on my blog this weekend…

Hey Holly!  My husband and I are starting a church near Atlanta Ga and our grand opening Is 3.3.2013. The church is called ThreeLife… We have been seeing great things our last preview service we had 200 people and we haven’t even started yet. Our next preview service is this Sunday. We are super pumped about it. What I wanted to ask is….how do you separate church and family? I am horrible at it. I mean I have a 3 year old and realize I cannot be at the church constantly and want him to have as normal as a life as possible without being stuck at church day in and day out while I work and focus on church business. It is just so hard to separate it even when leaving the building. I see how you always post pics of you and your kids…which shows me you are mom first then Preachers wife. Anyways, I just wondered if you have any advice. We have been a part of a large church before now and very demanding, but since this is our deal it seems so much more weighty on me. I guess I will just have to MAKE myself separate it. My husband and I talk about having a day of no church talk…haha and we are like so, what do you want to talk about?? : )… Praying blessing and more to keep coming your way.

Amanda, here is my answer.  DON’T SEPARATE THEM!  They cannot be separated.  If my husband was an NFL quarter back, my family would eat, sleep and breath football.  We would wear team apparel.  We would travel to away games as much as we could.  We would hang out with other football families.

I do not try to separate church and family, I do everything I can to integrate them.  We want our kids to see all that God is doing at our church.  They are at church a lot but I try to keep it fun and special.  Of course, they cannot be at church 100% of the time.  Often times I will bring them to part of a special event and then let them go home with a sitter or have special activities for them to do while they are waiting on us.  I want them to grow up thinking church was their life and that they love church.  I want their closest relationships to be within our church and church staff.

I also do not try to separate it with my husband.  I offer an encouragement for him that no one else can give.  Just like we can’t not talk about our kids, we can’t not talk about our church because church is a part of who we are.

I know that there are a lot of other families in ministry who take a totally different approach to this topic.  And I don’t think they are wrong.  But this is what we feel is best for our family right now.  And it makes me so happy when my kids want to go to church each weekend.

Amanda, I am praying for you as you get closer and closer to your launch date.  I am praying protection and provision and God’s favor over your familiy and your new church.

(If anyone else would like to ask a ministry related questions, feel free to leave a comment any time, I will do my best to answer you.)

 

 

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eGroups… An army behind me

This weekend at Elevation we had eGroup sign ups. I loved when they read a letter from a girl who said even though she walked alone in the halls of her high school, she felt like she had an army behind her. I love that.

Being a part of a small group is essential to belonging to a large church. It can take a few tries to get in the right group. But when you do, you can find relationships that will push you and encourage you and stand by you at just the right time.

Check out this video our team made.

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4 ways, 12 locations to serve this summer with kids

This year, I’ve enjoyed more than ever the opportunity to serve our community with my children.  Elijah and Graham are getting old enough to understand the importance of service, and Abbey’s getting easier to bring along wherever we go.  As we’re now halfway through summer, I wanted to share with you some of our Elevation Outreach team’s best opportunities to serve with your children before they head back to school.

 

GIVE A GIFT::  When you’re shopping for your child’s school supplies grab extra items for a homeless child served through A Child’s Place.  Lace up some shoes and bring an extra new pair or two to share with our partner Samaritan’s Feet.  This is my current favorite for my boys because they’ve got specific tasks they can complete.  They get to sort, tie, count, and drop shoes in big boxes in a big warehouse where nobody cares how loud they are, and running between tasks is actually encouraged.  Any time of year you can pack a shoebox full of gifts for a child through Operation Christmas Child and Samaritan’s Purse.  This is a favorite of Elevation staff mom Kelly Hubatka for her four girls and Elevation Providence mom Dana Ramsey who says, “My kids (Christian, 8 and Caroline, 13) love helping other children and take ownership of the process.”

 

FEED SOMEBODY::  One of the easiest ways to relate the importance of service to kids is through food.  They understand that everybody needs to eat.  And they can be a part of feeding somebody in so many ways.  Elevation Blakeney mom Erin Proctor says her two kids (Tamarah, 12 and Ty, 8) get up at 5:30am once a month with no complaints to serve breakfast as a family at Charlotte Rescue Mission.  Proctor says the kids feel empowered to truly serve as they say good morning and bring breakfast plates out to the men’s tables.  At Samaritan House, you and your eGroup can serve and share dinner together with homeless neighbors recovering from surgery.  Our church has scheduled, regular opportunities with these two partners so you won’t have to serve alone – seasoned volunteers will be there with you to show you how everything works.  Next time you’re at the grocery store, you can pick up an extra bag full for Matthews Help Center or Hope Cancer Ministries.  Both these organizations are experiencing a shortage in their food pantries and would really appreciate your help.  The kids can help put the groceries on the shelf at drop off if you have time as you help them understand the importance of sharing.  And everybody loves the smell of freshly baked cookies.  You can whip up your favorites on site to share with patient families at Ronald McDonald House.

 

CLOTHE SOMEBODY::  When you’re cleaning out your closets for new fall fashions, take your outgrown clothing to our partners at Crisis Assistance Ministry, Project 658, or Camino Community Center.  The operation at Crisis is huge.  Thousands of items of clothing circulate through there every day and kids age five and up are a big help.

 

SHARE YOUR TIME::  One of the sweetest new opportunities this summer is at Charlotte Family Housing’s Hawthorne Place.  Elevation University campus pastor Larry Brey spent the night there this month with his son Corbin (age 6).  Our service Sunday through Thursday nights once a month allows CFH to save thousands of dollars.  “We’d been there less than an hour and Corbin was already asking when we were coming back,” said Brey.  You arrive at 8:30pm, play with kids getting ready for bed, visit with parents transitioning out of homelessness, and tuck yourself into a private little room with your own bathroom and bunk bed.

You can also go Here to see a few events that we are already doing this summer.  You can sign up and jump in!

You can find out more about any of these outreach opportunities by emailing our outreach team, or follow them on the Elevation Outreach blog.

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Return from down under

We just returned from Hillsong Conference in Sydney, Australia. Wow. What an amazing trip. I was so honored to meet Pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston. Their ministry is so inspiring, we came back so full of ideas.

My husband was a preaching machine. From the time he got off the plane and almost every day that we were there, he had the opportunity to minister to the people at Hillsong church and those at the conference. His messages were timely and inspiring.

We also got to hear from other great preachers like Pastor Brian, Joyce Meyer, Joseph Prince, and Louie Giglio. Needless to say, my notebook is full and my soul was challenged.

And of course, no trip to Sydney would be complete without seeing kangaroos, petting koala’s, walking the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and viewing the Sydney Opera house. Here are a few of my Instagram pictures…

 

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Easters past and present

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Happy Good Friday!  I just love the Easter season!  These are pictures from our staff Easter party, we had such a great time. 

The anticipation of this weekend is so exciting.  Yesterday, I had the opportunity to preview our worship experience at Elevation and it is going to be spectacular.  I am so proud of our team.  I cannot wait for tonight.

Today I thought I would link a few blogs I have posted from Easters past…

Posted 4/9/09, in this post I talk about raising kids in the ministry (there may or may not be pictures from my childhood)
Who says you have to hunt eggs on Sunday?

Posted on 4/2/09, here I talk about praying against attacks from the Enemy.
Put up your dukes

Posted on 3/31/10, it's an oldie but a goodie!  4 year old Elijah tells the Easter story with props (man he is growing up fast!)
Elijah Furtick presents the Easter Story

Posted on 3/30/10, I share one of the Easter activities we like to do with our kids.
Celebrating Easter

Posted on 4/1/10, more the seriousness of the Enemy that we face and our need to fight back.
Keep your dukes up

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This year I am praying

Easter is an amazing season.  I am so looking forward to the creative gospel presentation at our church (I have had a sneak peek and it is going to be incredible). But on a bigger scale, I can't wait to hear about all the unique ways different churches all over the world are celebrating Easter.

There is something about Easter that people are just more open to coming to church.  And as the Church, we will proclaim the gospel to each and every person who comes through our doors.  The Enemy knows this too.  He will attack in every way he can to stop us.

He will attack our families in any way he can.  If he has to attack our health, our outlook on life, or even our attitude towards each other, he will.  He will try to distract those who are far from God and have had someone invite them to church.  He will do anything he can to stop people from hearing the gospel, and anything he can to stop me from praying.

Sometimes, I forget this.  It's like I get so bogged down in the day to day affairs.  While my husband is working extra hard this week, I am trying to maintain all the actual details.  I just get sidetracked.  Not this year. 

I'm taking today to focus on really praying.  I am praying for my husband as he prepares to invite people to give their lives to Christ.  I am praying for my pastor's wives friends all over the country as they support their husbands and ministries.  I am praying for our staff.  I am praying for all the people who will come.

And I want to pray for you.  If you are on staff at a church, I want to pray for you and your church by name.  If you have invited someone to church who is far from God, I want to pray for them by name.  I am excited to think of all that God is going to do this coming weekend all over our nation and our world.

If you would like for me to pray for you today, leave a comment or mention me on twitter.  I will be checking them all day long and lifting you up.

 

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Just One

JustoneI am excited that the JustONE Conference is back!  Lori Wilhite and the team of Leading and Loving It have brought their innovative conference back for a second year!

The JustONE Conference is a free virtual conference for all Pastors’ Wives and Women in Ministry. This 4 week conference will include over 20 speakers sharing from their personal lives and leadership.  I am so honored to be included among the incredible line up of speakers that include Kay Warren, Lysa TerKuerst, and Lisa Young (click here to see the full schedule).

Each session will be shown 4 times during the week.  So find a time that is right for your schedule, and join in!  The conference begins Monday, January 23 and Tuesday, January 24 and is offered both morning and evening… 11am EST/ 8am PST and 9pm EST/ 6pm PST both days. 

This year the conference is based on a beautiful passage of scripture, 1 Timothy 4:12b-16  (The Message) “Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed–keep that dusted off and in use. Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation.”

You can register here for the conference.  Although registration is not required to participate, registering will allow you to receive reminder emails and links directly to your inbox.

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