On Feb. 2-4, Multi-Vocational Pastors (MVP) and their wives gathered at Falls Creek for the annual MVP and Wives Retreat. MVPs are pastors who serve in Oklahoma Baptist churches that are smaller in attendance. This size church comprises the majority in our state, and their pastors are MVPs (Most Valuable Players). They juggle a lot, and so do their wives. Providing them a weekend away for rest and encouragement is a gift.

Over the weekend retreat, ministry wives connected and discussed relevant ministry life issues, rooted in the truth of God’s Word. Being married to MVPs, ministry wives may be the only “staff” their husbands have. They often run sound, designs, print bulletins/newsletters, play the piano, run the nursery, clean up, welcome, decorate for holidays, lead the women’s ministry, take attendance, make copies and so on.

With the multitude of hats MVP wives wear, they also carry many burdens: loneliness, stress, exhaustion, feeling unappreciated and pressure to be perfect. They also are moms, friends, daughters, co-workers and neighbors. MVP wives are amazing, strong and champions of the faith.

Ministry wives had the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions with topics such as Strategies for Ministering to Children in Smaller Churches, The Presents of Presence: Giving from what you already have in Christ, Dot-Connecting Discipleship and The Secret to Loving Broken People without Breaking Your Heart.

Loving broken people is one of the most challenging missions in ministry. Our churches are full of broken people. Each of us has been broken by sin and impacted by someone else’s brokenness. It hurts. Ministry life is no exception.

In the Secret to Loving Broken People without Breaking Your Heart, we circled our chairs and talked honestly about the realities of loving broken people in ministry. Jesus lived His perfect life loving broken people so well. He knew who He was and stood in that truth. He was full of grace and truth (John 1:14, 16-17).

Like Jesus, we can love broken people when we fully know the truth of who we are. Jesus knew who He was and loved from that identity. He empowers us to live and love that way, too. We can reside in a healthy space of loving broken people by following Jesus in grace and truth.