I am not a gifted pulpit preacher, but I am a gifted officer. Let me explain. In our first year of officership, my husband, Daniel, and I started following the normal routine that married officers seem to follow: preaching on alternating Sundays. But then Maverick came into the world fast and furious and ready to shake things up.

I remember one of the first times I tried to preach after he was born. Because I did not fall gracefully into motherhood (it was more like I hit every branch on the way down), I had forgotten to bring diapers and extra clothes with us to church. So, naturally, Maverick had a diaper blow-out. My mother, God bless her, wrapped him in a random shirt she found in my office, and held him, laughing, as I finished preaching. 

I remember thinking, Nope, I can’t do this.

Every time I preached after that, I either heard Maverick crying, saw him crawling at the back of the church, or even just thought of him and got distracted. I found it extremely hard and, the fact that preaching was not really my thing, did not help the matter. 

Now, let me say this before I continue: my husband is the best dad I know. He cares for his boys as much as I do and always supports me no matter how crazy my ideas are. I never once felt pressure from him to “do it all.” But I did feel pressure—both culturally and personally—to compartmentalize “mom” and “officer” and never let the two mix.

“Preaching may not be your gifting, Bhreagh, but do it anyway.”

It was difficult. How could I do the work that was expected of me but also accept myself for who I am and how God created me?

To save you a lot of stories about tears, anger and frustration, I will jump right to the point: the Rowe family does not do it all or expect any member of our family to have the capacity to do everything. In our marriage, we have done the work of figuring out who we are as image bearers, what giftings we have and how working together can make us more effective for the kingdom.

In the last nine years, I have only preached from a pulpit five or six times. Do I have the capability? Sure. Is teaching from a pulpit my gifting? I don’t think so. Am I in a marriage and working relationship with an extremely gifted teacher and preacher? Yes. Do I have to do something that is not my gifting just because I can, because it will look good or in the name of equality? No.

I know Daniel and I are in a bit of a unique situation, in which we can work together in and out of the home and share a healthy dependence on each other’s giftings. However, this same principle can and should be applied to every aspect of our Christian lives: working together is always better.

The Apostle Paul gives the church in Ephesus instructions about how we are all called by Christ to work in different roles: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. When we work together, he says, we will attain “to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). He ends with: “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:16).

Maybe you’re like me and wish you fit into the “better” category. Maybe you struggle with the false narrative that certain roles are higher or more valued than others. Maybe you feel unseen because your roles or responsibilities often are behind the scenes.

Whatever your “baby with a diaper blow-out” is, remember this: you were not created to do it all and have every spiritual gifting. In your marriage, lean on your spouse and their giftings. With your kids, do the work of helping them discover their own spiritual giftings. Humbly investigate your own. Then, lean into them and watch how God fits it all together to equip the church, build each other up and make an impact for the kingdom.

How grateful I am to serve such a smart and caring God, who made me unique, part of a team and removed the pressure to do it all.

Captain Bhreagh Rowe is the community ministries officer, St. Albert Church and Community Centre, Alta.

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