Magazines 2019 Sept - Oct Supporting pastors’ wives living in rural North America

Supporting pastors’ wives living in rural North America

23 October 2019 , 2019 Sept - Oct By Ilana Reimer

In Sept. 2017, Wendy McCready and Denna Busenitz launched an online support group called Flowers for the Pastor’s Wife. The ministry offers a blog and private Facebook group specifically geared toward pastors’ wives in rural areas across North America.

UNLIKE MOST OF the people who live in Alma, Ont., Wendy McCready wasn’t born and raised there. She arrived in 2010 when her husband Mark began serving as a pastor at Alma Bible Church.

the purposeful poets

Generations of families, business connections and friendships are deeply interconnected in Alma – a town of about 300 people. This can create complications when relationships and church challenges overlap. "It can be a lonely place," says McCready. "You want to make friends like every other person, but your role sometimes affects your relationships with people. They see you as the pastor’s wife."

McCready wanted to provide a safe place where women married to pastors could be equipped and validated. In the spring of 2016, she met a woman who shared that dream – Denna Busenitz, who serves with her husband in ministry in the Sandhills of Nebraska. In Sept. 2017 the duo launched an online support group called Flowers for the Pastor’s Wife. The ministry offers a blog and private Facebook group specifically geared toward pastors’ wives in rural areas across North America.

canadian wendy mccready with daughters anna and olivia american
From left: Canadian Wendy McCready with daughters Anna and Olivia, American Denna Busenitz with daughters Annalise, Abby, Naomi and Miriam. PHOTO: WENDY MCCREADY

Their site www.SmallTownPastorsWives.com has a combination of public devotionals and private, password-protected articles. "We wanted a safe place where women could talk about their challenges and not be worried about someone from their church reading it," says McCready. "If everyone could read this, then I might as well not bother because the whole point was that I needed a place to share things that are difficult."

Despite having a niche audience, the blog has over 360 subscribed readers and the private Facebook group has nearly 400 members. The blog tackles a wide range of topics like depression and anxiety, which leaders might find difficult to discuss in their churches.

"For years I never spoke of ministry difficulties, wrongly believing that there was no safe place for me to go. It resulted in bitterness, isolation and a preoccupation with self," says Stacey Weeks, a reader and guest writer for the blog. "Platforms like Flowers [for the Pastor’s Wife] are essential."

The private Facebook group has become an active place where members can share concerns, prayer requests, encouragements, questions or advice.

"I’ve been amazed at how much my relationships have grown with the women I’m working with in this ministry, even though most of them I’ve never met in person," says McCready. "This [ministry] has stretched my faith to trust God to do big things, above and beyond what I thought was going to be enough."