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The Preacher's Husband

notes from a clergy-hubby

Category Archives: The Husband

Come on over to "The Life-Charged Life"

Click on the picture at right to check in with the new location. This blog is now sharing space and content with “The Life-Charged Life.” It turns out the life of “The Preacher’s Husband” (AKA “Clergy-Hubby”) is a life-charged life. It makes no sense to post in two places when the one will do.

See you over at “The Life-Charged Life: a journal of living like we mean it.

God’s rich blessings – DEREK

PS – check the bookstores for my latest books

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In Assisi last month

Greetings friends, “peeps” and fellow clergy-hubby types….

Just a quick update to remind everyone that this blog is now consolidating its content with my daily offering – The Life-Charged Life. You can click on the photo to the right (on the http://www.clergyhubby.wordpress.com home page) in order to link, or simply click the words “life-charged life” where they appear on this post.

BTW, if you are a Preacher’s Husband and wish to engage in some “insider” dialogue, simply post a comment here or email me at derekmaul@gmail.com – then we can commence to chat.

Peace – love – and many blessings – DEREK

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OK, friends, the jury is in. By acclamation, an overwhelming vote, and 100% of responders… This blog is going to merge with my daily blog – “The Life-Charged Life”. I will – for the time being – continue to use this “Clergy-Hubby” site, but the content will be the same as “The Life-Charged Life.”

Take today’s post, for example – it could have ended up in either location. So:

  • Read
  • Enjoy
  • Let me know what you think
  • Pass this address on to others
– DEREK

Church as it happens - this Sunday

My publisher is always telling me I need to be “cutting edge” in my use of social media.

  • That’s how I got into blogging, and I appreciate the nudge Upper Room Books gave me to get my “on-line journal” going.
  • It’s also why I’m on facebook. Again, I’m glad I’m involved, and I value the way it keeps me in touch with so many people.
  • I TWEET too – although really I’m not sure what I’m doing and 90% of the time my Tweets are little more than an invitation to read my blog. I’ve been told people want to read any snippits of pithy, humorous or informative information I’m willing to put out there – but thus far I’m not locking in on the medium.

But, yesterday, I think I may have gotten a handle on the  Tweet idea – even though my “Aha!” moment came in retrospect and I didn’t actually Tweet a thing.

Kids' Moment with Karen Weber

Here’s what happened. We had a baptism at fpcBrandon. A young couple, active in our church, brought their infant son and it was one of those deeply moving occasions. So I grabbed my Android and snapped a couple of pictures. Then I thought, “Why not post this on facebook in real time?” So I did. I labelled the post “Church as it Happens.”

I enjoyed the concept of Church-as-it-Happens so much that I posted a series of pictures, with comments, in real time during the morning. It felt awkward to be “playing with my phone” so much during worship, and I did get a couple of sharp elbows from the preacher, but I do believe it was worthwhile.

Lots of children at 8:30 service

That evening I talked with a friend who had picked up the facebook posts. She told me what I had done was a “made for Twitter” thing, tweets – apparently – are more “stream of consciousness.” To be honest I’m still not sure that I’m going to do that much on Twitter, because I have a hard time remaining in any way detached from the event I’m participating in – plus part of me can’t get away from the idea that “It’s rude to be on your phone” when participating in any kind of a public event…..

IMMEDIACY: I think what intrigues me most about this whole conversation is the immediacy. Of course, it’s also true that nothing is quite so immediate as actually being there! Point taken. But, I don’t believe the church-as-it-happens concept is about providing an alternative to showing up. I think it’s about taking some of what is real and engaging and transformational about Sunday morning at fpcBrandon and holding it out there as a kind of invitation.

Go in Peace - Rebekah

Let’s face it, the vast majority of people don’t even have public worship on their radar. So this is not about giving anyone an easy out, it’s about offering the beginnings of an easy in. Social media is crawling with the raw evidence of life without committed faith. I believe it’s time that – without judgment or anything other than love – more evidence of the truth of the Gospel message finds its way into the mix.

It’s time that – without judgment or anything other than love – we tell the story and we tell it right.

– DEREK

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"The Preacher" with her very happy dog, Scout Labradoodle

It’s crisis time for this blog, and I need to hear from any interested readers.

Let me be clear; it’s not crisis time for me, it’s crisis time for this blog! I write another blog (almost daily) that generates a tremendous level of interest. And, to be honest, my other blog covers a lot of ground this page would address if it was my only space.

So I have to ask the question. If this blog went away, then would the few readers who visit here transfer their interest to “The Life-Charged Life”, or will I lose you altogether?

You see, a huge part of what it means to live “The Life-Charged Life” involves my role as a clergy-hubby. So I feel that I’m short-changing this blog when I post on the other… and I feel like my other readers are missing out when I post good stuff over here.

So I’ll leave it at that. This is a one-month fact-finding fishing expedition. Do you want this blog or not? Let me know, either way.

Like I said, I’ll be posting 6-days a week regardless, over at The Life-Charged Life.

Peace – DEREK “The Preacher’s Husband” Maul

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Believe it or not, this little collection of Duplos and blocks and construction paper is a profound commentary on the Christian Education learning model...

I have not been a very active preacher’s husband this summer. Not, that is, other than my core value of being there 100% for Rebekah and doing everything in my power to provide her with a solid home base to operate from.

My inactivity has been as regards church in general. I’ve been showing up, but I’ve allowed other people to teach Sunday school, I’ve put The Men’s Room on ice, and I’ve limited my Sunday evening small group to just a few fellowship activities.

To be honest, I think it’s been good, both for me and the church too.

My excuse (if I needed one!) has been the new book I’ve been writing. Today I pretty-much competed the project – which is just as well as my deadline to get it into my publisher is Monday (Aug 15). I have some detail work to do before the final proofing and printing of a hard-copy (one chapter at a time) all day Monday.

Open to Learn: But I have been showing up for church activities, and that is very important. This morning I attended a teacher/leader training event put on by pastor Tim Black. It was a workshop designed to hone some of our skills, expose us to new information and get us geared up for the new church education year.

I have to admit, I didn’t want to go! I didn’t want to break away from my work on the book, I didn’t want to be reminded that there are other things going on in the world besides what I’ve got going on. And I didn’t want to be learning anything at all, sitting in class. And I especially didn’t want to be made to participate in any interactive group-learning scenarios…:-)

  • But I did show up – because that’s what you do.
  • And I spread some cream cheese on a bagel – because they were there.
  • And I made some coffee – because, duh!
  • And I participated – because I’m the preacher’s husband!

And, of course, I had a good morning. I had a good morning because I was in fellowship with some really cool people who love Jesus, and who are committed to be leaders in education at our church. And I had a good morning because it wasn’t about me, it was about what I need to learn. And I had a good morning because, when two-or-more show up to do something in the context of mutual faith, well, God shows up too.

Our guest speaker – Beth House – did make us to an interactive project, but it was excellent because it demonstrated how important it is that we pay close attention to what it going on when we’re leaders in the faith community. It’s always about who we’re not reaching as much as it is who is in class every week.

That insight alone was worth showing up for.

Bottom line – The Preacher’s Husband needs to blend in with the crowd sometimes, sit at the feet of Jesus, and be willing to be taught… and to learn… and to serve in new and creative ways.

Peace – DEREK

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Nice form, Gerard....

I’ve been thinking about the most basic, essential important duty of “The Preacher’s Husband.” The question – not so much a question as an observation – came up today when I was playing golf with my friend, Gerard (see, there he is, exhibiting unique golf skills just this morning). Gerard is on the way to becoming a “clergy-hubby” by virtue of his wife’s progress through candidacy (with the Presbyterian Church) and seminary at Asbury on Orlando (MDivon the cards for next May).

Peg is second career, they’ve been part of a variety of churches over the years before finally realizing that they were Presbyterian (!!), and Gerard already has experience as an elder. So we were talking about the whole gig, as it were, and he was saying stuff like, “I’m not sure I could keep my mouth shut,” and I was saying stuff like, “You won’t be a regular church member anymore,” and “Your entire ministry focus is going to shift.”

Because this Preacher’s Husband stuff is all about, in my mind, just the one thing. And the one thing is to create an environment at home that’s supporting, nurturing, loving and relaxing for “The Preacher;” to give her a place where she can experience restoration and replenishment, so she can do the preacher thing without picking up additional stress she doesn’t need.

Not that anyone needs stress, it’s just that I see my job as giving her a safe place, an anchor, a rock where she can tie up and just feel the love.

The Great Adventure

“If you can do that,” I told him, “and give her a home where she feels loved and safe and completely nurtured and supported in the strongest way possible… then you will be the best kind of clergy-hubby there is….”

That’s all – DEREK

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Our mission team hits the road/air - very early this morning!

Early this morning (5:00 am to be precise) our mission team to Central America met at the American Airlines check-in at Tampa International Airport. Andrew flew all the way from Italy to take part, and we left our house at 4:24 am! But I didn’t just drop him off, I touched base with the entire group.

Why? Because I’m the preachers’s spouse. I’ll try to explain:

My topic of interest in today’s post is the area of “being there.” Every preacher in the world is spread thin; it’s a fact of ministry that it’s impossible to satisfactorily stay ahead. Even if a church has just 25 active members it’s impossible for the preacher to keep up. One crisis can sometimes take an entire day and then the week’s schedule is already shot!

It helps that First Presbyterian of Brandon has amazing elders, creative ministry teams with excellent leadership, an active Stephen Ministry, and variety of nurturing small groups – plus three pastors on staff (Rebekah, Tim and Earl). But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still anywhere from one to a dozen places and events happening at any given moment where the senior pastor’s presence is expected, anticipated or at the very least desired.

And that, my friends is why there’s a whole category of “preacher’s spouse-ness” known as, “There’s no way I can make it could you possibly just show up?” Some people call this, “Taking one for the team.” Or, “Representing the brand.” Also understood as “unofficial ceremonial stand-in.”

Typically what I’m talking about is not even officially “unofficial.” Most of the time my being there isn’t even a conscious something that anyone would necessarily take note of or point out if it didn’t happen. But it’s meaningful all the same, because the gift of presence is one of the most important things we have to offer as the preacher’s spouse.

Let me share a couple of examples. This morning was one. Obviously I was taking Andrew to the airport because he’s our son and we love him. But skipping my usual “drop off” and going inside, then making sure I spoke to everyone in the mission team, and saying “Blessings” and “Peace” as they headed out through the first security checkpoint… these were all “preachers’ spouse things”, and they were qualitatively different because of that fact.

I’m also talking about:

  • Some of the weddings or funerals I attend
  • Receptions I have slipped into long enough to shake some particular hands
  • Checks I’ve written and causes I support
  • Girl Scout cookies I’ve purchased
  • Retirements… graduations… even some parties I’ve crashed!
  • Hospital waiting rooms I’ve prayed in
  • Awards ceremonys I’ve applauded
  • Toasts I’ve given
  • Concerts I’ve sat through
  • Sporting events I’ve cheered at… You get the picture.

There’s a chance I might have attended some of these events anyway. But there is something about the quality of presence and the fact that I’m there without Rebekah that states – pretty clearly – “The pastor at First Presbyterian is here in spirit, is thinking about what’s going on, and has you in her prayers.”

As preacher’s husbands we are pleased to have this awesome opportunity to make our own way, because there is no stereotype to fill. But that doesn’t mean we don’t still – sometimes:

  • Wear a tie when we didn’t want to
  • Attend a wedding we’d rather skip
  • Shake an extra hand (of several hundred)
  • Miss a game we wanted to see
  • Kiss a cheek we’d rather not
  • Laugh at a joke that wasn’t funny
  • Eat a peanut-butter pie that made me gag (that’s a whole story of its own)…

It’s called being there, the ministry of presence, the ambassadorship of the office.

Together to sign the floor of the new Discipleship Center

We’ve all been seated at the tail end of the head table at a public event, resisting the urge to visit our smart phone when the program gets tedious. And we acknowledge how much more fun it is when “The Preacher” is with us.

But it goes with the territory, and the majority of time I’m honestly thankful for the opportunity to be identified with such a dynamic ministry. We’re better together, always, but if there’s anything I can do to extend the ministry of presence… I’m there.

Just don’t forget to feed me!

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