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A personal life update

1.30.2024 • 20 Comments

Instead of a traditional blog post today, I wanted to give a life update on what’s been going on with our family. Our home life has a big impact on VMP and the past year has been a strange season for us. 

Many of you know, Tyler has been an elder at our church for the last few years. About two and half years ago, our church was without a youth pastor. Tyler stepped in to volunteer as youth leader and did that role for about a year. I’ve learned from Tyler not to overthink God’s call on our life. We can spend so much time praying that honestly turns into stalling when really, there are needs all around us and God is simply calling us to step in. All that to say, Tyler didn’t feel this great big call to youth but he saw a need and knew he could help. That year grew a love for the local church for Tyler and after we found a wonderful youth pastor, Tyler stayed in the office to help in other ministry areas. 

A personal life update by valerie woerner, life changes, year, pastos, familyEach step has been just another step of obedience for Tyler and not super planned. As his wife, this can be stressful 😜 but as his sister in Christ, I am grateful to bear witness to how the Lord works when we say yes to things even if they’re out of our comfort zone. 

Last Spring, Tyler began to serve as interim pastor. It was initially a temporary role planned for 3-6 months. We felt like this was the next step laid out for our family. About 2 months before the transition took place, I started doing prayer walks around our church campus every week before women’s bible study. Again, just another way the Lord was preparing us and honestly, giving confirmation to say yes to something that was very much outside of our plans. 

After lots of prayer for the elders, staff and our family, the elders are proposing Tyler to become senior pastor in a permanent position. We’ve had the last month to really pray about this and what it would look like for our family. It would involve Tyler going to seminary and just a shift in our flexible entrepreneurial lifestyle. I’ve had all sorts of emotions from feeling unqualified to be a pastor’s wife and even feeling selfish to not wanting to share Tyler. Watching him in this role though, I cannot deny that God is doing something special somehow without my permission. 😜

When people ask me my thoughts, I say pretty honestly, that this was never something I would have handpicked for us. I was pretty happy with our current life! BUT it has felt so clearly what God is calling us to that I would never want to choose my comfort level over God’s plan. How foolish? 

On Sunday, the elders shared with the congregation this proposal and there will be a process to determine if this is the right fit for our church. 

A personal life update by valerie woerner, life changes, year, pastos, family

After being an entrepreneur for the last 15 years, I’m very accustomed to being the sole decision-maker of VMP (with lots of prayer and Tyler’s input of course!) so this is new territory for me to hang out in this “wait and see” phase. All that said, I am excited to see what God does. Tyler has had so much support from the church staff, elders and body and it’s honestly been fun to see how God is using Him in such different ways from web and tech things in his past 15 years of work. 

I think that’s the most fascinating thing. Watching this unfold knowing we never could have or would have planned for this! When Tyler became the interim, someone mentioned that we didn’t know what we were getting into. It was meant as a dig, but the truth is, we didn’t and that’s ok. That’s part of trusting God’s plan, isn’t it? We feel as prepared as we can be but we know there will be so many unknowns ahead. That’s why we need all the prayer we can get! 😉

Will you join us in praying? 

– Prayers for our congregation as they discern this decision.
– Prayers for if this isn’t God’s plan it will be clear to all involved and unity to move forward.
– Prayers for Tyler and me to stay united.
– Prayers for the girls. This is all new to them too. 

And if you’re a pastor’s wife or a pastor’s kid, I would love to hear the unexpected blessings of full-time ministry. This season reminds me of what had me wanting to write Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday. When you’re pregnant, everyone wants to tell you “better sleep now while you can”, “everything’s about to change in your marriage”, basically all the negative stuff. I feel like I’ve been pretty well warned about the pressures and struggles of ministry so give me to the good stuff that I don’t even know is possible. Email me at info@valmariepaper.com or leave a comment! It might encourage someone else too. 

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Comments (41)

Precious woman of God
. Go where HE calls you and be encouraged, HE has equipped both of you, for such a time as this! So blessed for you in this new season.

This is so exciting! My husband is a missions and outreach pastor in DE and we’re currently in the process of stepping out to church plant. One thing our pastor often says and it’s so true is “Front lines. Front seat.” If this is God’s path for you all it will certainly bring trials but you’ll also get a front row seat to God’s work and goodness and faithfulness… and so will your kids!

An amazing plus side of being a pastor’s wife is getting 24/7 access to “your” pastor. Confessing sin, expressing doubt, and seeking pastoral counsel in the comfort of your own home. It has been the biggest blessing and agent of sanctification for me.

Sometimes I get a perspective shift when I just think to myself, "God saw fit for us to serve Him full time and we get a paycheck to do so?! AMAZING." Depending on how you're feeling that day, you can emphasize different words: God saw fit for US? FULL TIME? PAYCHECK? It's humbling, and sanctifying, and at the end of the day, didn't ask to be humbled and sanctified by my precious Lord? All the bad stuff (almost all related to other people) just falls away.

Also, the epistles, especially 2 Timothy, give such encouraging instructions (fight the good fight, etc) but also REALITY: the last paragraph of 2 Tim 4 is just a list of names of people Paul interacted with in his ministry, for good and bad. That's church planting for ya…

"feeling unqualified to be a pastor’s wife" … Girl, this makes me laugh at how we beat ourselves up. 🙂 What more could a congregation want in a pastor's wife than someone who is confident and consistent in prayer, and who has a passion to motivate those within her circle of influence to pursue Jesus? That's you!

Prayers for you all and God's blessings on your lives of ministering to others in Christ's name.
I also pray you will be able to continue your Prayer journal business. I was gifted a one year journal 3 years ago, loved it, gifted some myself and have used 2 6-month journals each year for the last 2 years.
I feel like your personal prayer life, your God-given ability to help others develop a solid prayer life.. all this positions you in a beautiful place to be a Minister's wife. God is working His will in your lives and also in the lives of those you will share His gospel.
Blessings!!

Thank you Karyl! And yes, no plans of shutting down VMP! If anything, I've been encouraged by so many entrepreneur friends who are also pastor wives. It's like the white car affect where you start seeing them everywhere? I had no idea so many pastor wives were authors and entrepreneurs.

How exciting! When I saw your post, I secretly hoped this was exactly what is was about. In our quick Costco chat a while back, I remembered thinking that this might be a more permanent plan. Whatever happens will be great because God’s in it! You guys are awesome and we may have to come visit your church soon.

Aw!! Miss y'all Amanda! Glad we got to catch up that day and would love to have y'all come visit!

God is so good and has a marvelous plan ahead for your family. I join you in prayer for blessed decisions to be made. (My son left the secular world to serve our Lord, I understand your focus now). God bless you all.

So excited for y’all!! Definitely praying. God moving is wild. Getting to have a front row seat is such a gift.

Thanks so much Kelsey! It's been fun to watch Tyler and impossible to deny the Lord is at work! Proud wife! 🙂

I will be praying for you, Tyler and the girls! It is exciting to have your hands open and a predetermined “yes” to whatever God has for you! Thank you for sharing with this community of people you have never met but will love to come alongside to pray because we are all in His family! Soli Deo Gloria!

That means more than I could ever express Diane! So grateful for this community and was excited to share with y'all!

My husband was an associate pastor in the same church for 24 years. Our girls grew up there, and they are now young women of faith. Those years were foundational. Embrace the opportunity! Excited for you!

Congratulations!
May the Lord lead and guide you in all the steps and adjustments.!

What an exciting place to be… waiting for God to unfold His plan for your family and your church family. I’ve been a pastor’s wife for 12 1/2 years! My husband started as the Youth Pastor and then transitioned into his current Associate Pastor role. I’m sorry so many people have only shared the negative experiences with you. I absolutely love being a pastor’s wife. I am thankful for the ways I get to see my husband loving and caring for our church behind the scenes. My kids have only ever known ministry life and they love it. Doing ministry in this way as a family has been so beautiful for us. Of course there are hard things, but that’s true of any role/job/etc! I think being in ministry has given me a really beautiful view of the church body from a unique vantage point. You will make a great pastor’s wife if this is what God calls you all into. Praying for you all and your church family as you wait for a decision to be made. Cheering you on, Val! You have inspired me in my own walk with Jesus and I’m sure you’ve done the same in your church community!

Awww Jess! That is so kind of you to say. And I should have clarified, it's only been one or two negative perspectives and mostly just y'all need to consider what you're getting into if that makes sense. All to prepare us and I honestly think it's because it's hard to share the really good stuff because it's hard to quantify as easy as the hard stuff?

This is so exciting! And honestly after following you for all these years, it feels so right that God would choose you guys to shepherd a church, I mean you’ve been shepherding all of us for the last 15 years. Full time ministry is no joke, but God equips those he calls.
You’re in my prayers! And I can’t wait to see what God does going forward!

Being a pastor’s wife is beautiful and rewarding and hard. I highly recommend the book “How to thrive as a pastor’s wife “.

Dear Val💕,
I have nothing to add other than to say that our family is going through a similar experience… while it is not going into full time ministry, it is going to a foreign country and being pulled way out of my comfort zone. And yet, as with you, God has been preparing me for this next step, giving the courage to say “yes”, despite the unknown. May God bless you and your family as you wait and prepare and have courage to follow His perfect plan.

Praying for you, your family, and your congregation! I’m excited to see how God will use you all for His glory. Thank You for sharing your honest feelings as you step forward in faith. Keep clinging to His promises! ❤️

Pastor's wife of 15 years, mom of 3. The kids will be ok. If this position ends up going through, you are giving them the gift of a bigger community to love them. The thing I've always tried to do with my kids is to separate "church" from "God."

Ex – why do we dress up, why do we behave at church, why do we try to be on time, why do we speak respectfully to grown ups at church even if they say awkward things or you don't really want to talk to them? Because it's Daddy's job and this is how you should behave if you visited his workplace, REGARDLESS of where he worked. We choose to be polite and kind at Dad's workplace, because Dad works here and we want to show respect to him. NOT because "God expects it of you." NOT because "we need to set an example for others," NOT because "we need to make Dad look good by behaving."

What does God expect of my 11 year old? The same thing God expects of any other 11 year old. She gets to be a kid, attending church, not knowing all the answers, volunteering with some of her gifts in areas/opportunities where she has time and interest. God is pleased when she is kind and God is pleased when she is respectful, but God also understands that she is a kid. She isn't responsible for being an example for others, for serving the church "more" than others, or for anyone else's faith or salvation. Basically, I try to reduce the burden of "church" as an institution, if that makes sense, and make it so church be a supportive and fun community for her as well but not something she bears any extra responsibility for. I don't want her to look back and resent what she "had" to do out of burden for the church. I want to free up space for her to have her own relationship with God free of what the "church" expectations were.

Similarly, I try to participate as if I was any other congregation member. I don't run programs or ministries unless God has called me to do that. I volunteer in areas I feel gifted in, with the time that I have, and I practice hospitality, kindness, welcome and try to connect others, and try to avoid any show of favoritism or being part of a clique. I don't gossip and I try to always look for the good in others. I pray for others in the church and try to care for them, probably more than I would if I was a "normal" congregation member, but I view that as an opportunity instead of a "have to." The one thing I get to do that others don't is be the confidant, listener, and wife to our pastor. I try to focus on being really great at that. 🙂

I read this to my husband last night. Thank you so much for taking the time to share. This is so helpful, you have no idea!

I'm so glad! Feel free to email me if you ever need to chat. I just try to remember that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. The ultimate "success" of God's mission or of a church isn't up to us or our family.