Hi! I’m Gillett Doggett. One of the team members of Poimen Ministries. Before becoming a pastor, I served in teaching ministries for 20+ years. And then 30+ years as pastor. And now, at the writing of this message, I’ve been with Poimen Ministries for about 10 years.
When I was a young husband and a father of two small children, I didn’t think seriously of the needs my family would have should I be taken home to be with the Lord. After all, we are told the Lord would always provide. I think this gave me the excuse to avoid thinking of what would happen to my family if I was no longer here?
Several years had passed in my role as husband and father before the Holy Spirit grabbed me by the collar and said, “this is for you, pay attention!” I’m sure many of you have experienced this from time to time. You read and teach certain passages over and over, with the intent of helping someone, but often forgetting that we also need help and guidance.
It happened to me when I was reading through 1 Timothy.
1 Timothy 5:8 “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
I had always taught that message with an emphasis on dead-beat dads. It was my wake-up call to them. Now I worked hard to provide my family with a home, clothing, food and other necessities, but that day, I realized that providing for them extends beyond our final breath.
• What would their life look like if I was no longer here?
• How will they pay the mortgage?
• How will they have money for daily expenses?
• Will our church help them?
• For how long?
I certainly didn’t want to be, in the eyes of the Lord, worse than an unbeliever. As tight as finances were, I knew I needed to do something to provide for my family’s future, because I knew at that moment, I wasn’t.
It began with investing in life insurance. I knew this step would provide the monetary resources my family would need if I was called to be with the Lord. However, years later, I had other concerns about providing for my household, especially my wife. Our children were grown and living on their own, so I now had different concerns if I died. I began to wonder, what care would my wife have from the church when I am gone? If she’s actively involved in a leadership role, say with women’s ministry, what transitional process will take place when the new pastor and his wife come in?
There is no “one answer fits all” solution. Your wife may not be in a leadership role, or the new pastor’s wife may not be interested in such a role and would be happy to have someone else lead. Regardless of their role, I would not want my grieving wife who has been so involved and serving alongside me feeling like, “now what?” I would counsel you as a pastor to talk about this with your wife, and the two of you meet with your Board to create a clear transitional process to help your wife grieve, continue to serve in ministry, and avoid feeling like she’s in competition with someone new.
Now, during your tenure as a pastor, such a process may never be needed. But, like car insurance, you may never use it, but should the need arise, you’ll be glad you have it.
I encourage you to visit Pastors Legacy Plan as the first step in creating the legacy you desire, and assure you are providing as the Lord expects.
Article Credit: Gillett Doggett, POIMEN Ministries