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The Church Planter's Marriage

…Two years after we planted Clear Creek Community Church, I recognized a feeling of emotional detachment from my wife and kids. I don’t remember where the question came from, but I asked myself, “What if my wife and children never feel loved by me?” I thought about how much of a failure I would be if I planted a church successfully, but I did not know how to love my wife and kids in a way that they felt cherished, protected and connected to me. What if I reached the end of my one and only life and thousands of people became Christians, but my children wanted nothing to do with me?

–Bruce Wesley, “Loving My Wife and Children More than Ministry.”


 If you haven’t met him, we’d like to introduce you to Bruce Wesley, Acts 29 pastor of Clear Creek Community Church in Houston, Texas. We are honored and excited to have Bruce speak at our upcoming Dallas Boot Camp on “The Church Planter’s Marriage.”

Married for 28 years to a wonderful woman named Susan, and currently preaching on “Redeeming Marriage” in his church (listen here) – Bruce brings more than theory, but the wisdom and kind boldness of experience.

Bruce delivered boot camp message “The Enduring Legacy,” in 2009. Here are two short clips from that message on how anger affected his marriage and family, as well as how he fought to protect his time with Susan in the hectic early days of church planting.

   In this clip, Bruce speaks from experience about the destructiveness of anger in the church planter’s family. (Hear more from Bruce on a church planter’s anger here.)

   Bruce talks about Rhythms of Grace that protect and enable an enduring legacy for the church planter. One of the grace rhythms is relationships – and particularly that of the planter with his wife. It must be protected for the health of the entire mission.

See the schedule & sign up for Dallas Boot Camp (March 10-11) here.


And, Happy Valentine's Day!

Love is tough. And we’ve corralled some great, tough, short audio clips from Acts 29 pastors addressing church planters in their marriages. Some rebuke, some teach, some give practical ideas and inspiring challenges. We want to see church planters’ wives loved well, flourishing as a picture of the gospel with their husbands.

We challenge you to make it a Valentine's gift to your wife to listen to these 14 clips and write down three action items that you will follow through on in loving your wife this week.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word… that she might be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27

  1. Are you building oneness or twoness with your wife? John Ryan 
  2. Do you know the dark places of your wife’s heart? Darrin Patrick 
  3. Have you ever spent as much time planning a date as a sermon? John Ryan 
  4. Many pastors have horrible marriages. Mark Driscoll
  5. Pursue her heart: Ask good questions & study her John & Fran Ryan 
  6. Pursue her heart: Most of us are pitiful at asking our wives questions. John Ryan 
  7. Pursue her heart: It’s difficult & takes patience. John & Fran Ryan 
  8. The Date Planning Challenge. John Ryan
  9. Are You Actually Prioritizing Your Wife over Church Planting? Ask Your Wife. Mark Driscoll 
  10. Initiate Prayer with your Wife. John Ryan
  11. Planter: Do you just come and go without communicating your schedule with your wife? John Ryan 
  12. Men, God's charged you with the discipline of your family - have you burdened your wife with your role? John Ryan 
  13. What do you do together with your wife on mission? John and Fran Ryan 
  14. Have you helped your wife understand her role in the mission? John and Fran Ryan 

Here's the full-length versions:

Join us next month for Dallas Boot Camp and hear from Bruce Wesley, Sam Storms, Matt Carter and Matt Chandler - it's only $25!