my wife IS in ministry

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : November 16, 2006

amy.jpgI’m proud of Amy (my wife). This year, after much prayer and discernment (individually and communally), the decision was made that she would leave her job of 9 years as a full time ESL/ELL teacher with Saint Paul Public Schools in order to find work (either volunteer or part time) working with residents on the West Bank. She was able to find two part time jobs (about 10 hrs/wk each) teaching English in Riverside Plaza to East African immigrants.

Before she found work on the West Bank, folks would ask Amy if she was quitting her job in St. Paul in order to do ministry. Amy would explain that she quit in order work/volunteer on the West Bank (a very incarnational decision if you ask me), Most folks don’t think of that as ministry. They think I’m the one who does ministry and that she does something other than ministry. Fie upon such thoughts!

I remain firmly convinced that if Missio Dei had 10 solidly committed people who lived in community, practiced regular hospitality, with each person giving some of their time volunteering in the neighborhood, the witness would be more impressive than 500 marginally involved people attending a weekly gathering. Disagree if you want.

To close, I want to show you some funny pictures Amy showed me yesterday. She’s teaching a unit on body parts and health and she found these–which are actual visual aids to be used in teaching English:


for further reading . . .

  • None Found


One Response to “my wife IS in ministry”

  1. toddh on November 20th, 2006 5:13 pm

    Part of the issue seems to be that ministry is primarily understood as taking place within the church. At pretty much every church I have attended, that seems to be the focus when you complete one of those “discover your spiritual gifts” tests. The next step is then, “how do we enroll you in ministry here in the church?” There is no wider vision for seeing the primary ministry of the people of God as taking place in the world. Certainly I was guilty of that as a youth pastor.

    I think you are right, better 10 people involved in the community than 500 in a weekly worship gathering.

Got something to say?