It had been a busy day of ministry. My husband, Quin, a middle school pastor, had an event with the students, and I was running four baptisms. From my very first Sunday as a church staff member, it has been an utmost priority to attend a worship service every Sunday. It’s so easy to continue working through every service and deny yourself the spiritual nourishment you need. When my husband and I started dating, we made the commitment to try our best to go to a service together each Sunday, even though at the time we were both on church staff working in two totally separate ministries. Nonetheless, this was just one of those Sunday mornings it wasn’t happening. We were both so absorbed making sure things ran smoothly, we weren’t able to make it into the worship service.
As a result, we got home around lunchtime, made chicken salad sandwiches, and sat down to watch the service online together in our living room. About 45 minutes in, the music began playing and the pastor giving the message transitioned from teaching to a presentation—the altar call had started. Knowing that we had plans to go over to my parents’ house, I asked Quin, “Are you ready?” He responded, “When this is over.” Confused, I reminded him, “This is the altar call…you’re already saved.” As confidently as though he had informed someone of this many times before, he told me excitedly, “I still need the Gospel.”
My heart was struck, and my mind was stunned. I immediately realized how I need to hear that statement over and over and over again, because being in spiritual leadership can often make you feel ashamed of going back to something so “elementary.” But do you know what the Gospel is? Elementary. It is elementary because it has to be since it is foundational. It may be simple, it may be the first step you take in your faith journey, but we are never above it.
We all know those leaders who feel like they are God’s gift to the Church. I’ve run in circles with them, and you probably have too at some point. Not always, but a lot of the time, their knowledge makes them prideful, and their pride leads to selfishness. Because that’s what pride does to all of us—it makes us feel like more of an asset than the person beside us.
I’ll never forget hearing someone talk about my husband months before we ever dated, saying he had the gift and ability to turn any conversation into a Gospel conversation. That stayed with me through the entirety of our time praying over whether it was God’s will for us to marry. How you treat the “least important” person in the room says far more about you than how you carry yourself around the one who is “most important.” How you share the Gospel, when you share the Gospel, with whom you share the Gospel says a lot about you. And what I see now is that my husband has a passion to do this because he hasn’t forgotten his own desperate need for it.
In our lives and in our ministries, may we never feel like we’ve moved past the Gospel. As pastors’ wives, may we always remember that we are no less in need today than we have ever been before.
About the Author
Lexi Shipp: Lexi Shipp is a passionate writer, speaker, and Bible teacher. She is an author, childhood cancer survivor, and spent 5 ½ years on staff at a Crisis Pregnancy Center. With a degree in Religion specified in Christian Ministry, Lexi is currently serving alongside her husband doing Girls Ministry at London Bridge Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Working with middle and high school girls for years, she has a heart for connecting all generations of women and championing the next generation for the cause of Christ. Lexi serves as the Blog Team Lead for the SBC of Virginia’s Women’s Ministry Blog and on the SBCV Women’s Ministry Strategy Team. To read more of Lexi’s writings or to book her as a speaker, visit alexisshipp.com.