Easy Ways to Encourage Your Pastor

Easy Ways to Encourage your Pastor! www.annswindell.comThis is the start of my most recent article for the Deeply Rooted Magazine blog.
You can read the entire article here!

I love church. I really do. I love the Church with a capital C—the church universal that Jesus died and rose for, filled with every tribe and nation and people and tongue (Rev. 7:9). And I love our particular church that meets every Sunday in a building that used to be a funeral home (a reminder of the beauty of going from death to life every week!). And after years in church ministry, as a pastor’s wife and now as a seminarian’s wife, I can unequivocally say that while church is messy and challenging and sometimes deeply painful, I know that there’s nothing else I will give my life to—because that’s what Jesus did. If he gave his life for the church, then I will give my life to the church, to love and care for and serve his people.

If Jesus gave his life for the church, then I will give my life to the church, to love and care for… Click To Tweet

While my husband and I are not in full-time ministry right now, I know what it’s like to be married to a pastor, and one of the many things learned in those years of ministry is that most pastors live in the simultaneous reality of loving what they do and also being tired. Sometimes pastors are just kind of tired. But other times they are exhausted. Getting to pastor the people of God is an incredible gift, but it is also a job that doesn’t have very clear starting and ending times. Ministering is fluid; people don’t have important questions and life crises only between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm. Work and ministry and life bleed into one another. And yes, sometimes pastors need better boundaries. But sometimes life and ministry are one and the same thing—and that’s ok. And tiring.

Your pastor is meant to be a gift to you. But you are also meant to be a gift to your pastor: Click To Tweet

I don’t know who your pastor is, and I don’t know what kind of season your pastor is in. But this is the pastor that you have in this season of life, and he is meant to be a gift to you and your church family. The flip side of the equation is that you are meant to be a gift to your pastor, too. One way to do that is to intentionally encourage him and the other staff members at your church. So, as we end Pastor Appreciation month, here are some simple ways you can encourage the pastors in your life:

  1. Say thank you. Say thank you when you see him on Sunday. Send a quick note of thanks to the office. Write a thank-you email regarding something specific that meant a lot to you. This will go so, so much farther than you can imagine.
  2. Drop off coffee or food at the office. Find out when the weekly staff meeting is and drop by with donuts or coffee. You might just make the staff’s entire week! They will know they are loved and thought of on days other than Sunday.

Read the rest of the article here, at Deeply Rooted!

Come and Write Your Story

Come and Write Your Story at www.annswindell.com

This is the start of my newest article for The Gospel Coalition.
You can read the article in its entirety here!

I’m not gifted at comprehending my own spiritual growth while still in the midst of it. I don’t typically live through trials and victories with my antennae attuned to how God’s transforming me. I wish it were otherwise; I wish I had the ability to see my immediate experiences through the lens of spiritual development. But most of the time I’m just doing my best to love God and my family—and make it through the day intact. I’m not necessarily looking for the big themes or revelations the Lord is weaving into my life in the moment.

But I know God has numbered the days of my life (Ps. 139:16) and that he’s working out all things for my good as he conforms me to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:28–29). I don’t want to miss these things; I want to be able to point to how God’s transforming me “from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor. 3:18) as I walk with him.

I turn to two things in order to help me understand my spiritual growth: my Bible and my pen. via… Click To Tweet

So I turn to two things in order to help me understand my spiritual growth: my Bible and my pen. Reading the Word and writing my story—these are how I’ve learned to experience my life as a purposeful whole, even when the days feel splintered and confusing.

Read the rest of the article here–and let me know how you understand your spiritual growth over at TGC!

And, if you’re interested in writing your story, make sure to check out the Writing with Grace: Memoir class that I’m teaching this fall. Registration is only open until October 11th, so don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to write your story powerfully and hear from industry experts! See you there!

Yes, the World Needs Your Story

The World Needs Your Story www.annswindell.com

This is the start of my newest piece for Darling Magazine. You can read the whole article here! For those of us who find ourselves drawn to the written word, the pull toward pen and paper is more than just a hobby. It’s a lifeline. Many of us … [Continue reading]

Write Your Story, Change Your Life

Write Your Story www.writingwithgrace.com

I started writing my story years ago; long before I was anywhere near a book contract or a marketing team, I felt that the Lord was inviting me into a process of writing my story down and--in the process--meeting him in the middle of it. I'm not sure … [Continue reading]

When Our Dreams Fail Us: The Gift of Elusive Satisfaction

When Our Dreams Fail Us at www.annswindell.com

This is the start of my newest piece for RELEVANT magazine. You can read the whole of the article here! If you had asked me, ten years ago, what it would take for me to reach my dreams, I probably would have said what a lot of writers say: I … [Continue reading]