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The Preacher's Husband

notes from a clergy-hubby

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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 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 – 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

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.


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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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Rebekah Maul: "The Preacher"

Since I moved this blog over to WordPress we’ve picked up some new subscribers. So – once in a while – I’ll be posting some entries from the original Preacher’s Husband blog to catch everyone up to speed! Here’s a definitive post from earlier this year – it’s actually an article I wrote for FOCUS Magazine.

Choosing Who to Follow: Two years ago I started my first blog. The eponymous site is an on-line journal, where people look over my shoulder and read what’s going on with my life.

I’ve posted over 600 entries to date, around five new items per week. The experiment has generated some interest, somewhere around 3,000 hits every month. You can check it out if you’re interested, just log in via and click on “The Life-Charged Life.”

My blog features great photographs, plus some of my best writing – the same kind of content presented on this page. But it’s a journal, so most people don’t even bother to take the first look. The sites people go to in droves tend to feature scandal, controversy, juicy gossip, famous people or writing of more topical interest.

Well I’m not that interested in negatives. But it does make sense to write about topics that generate attention. So I scratched my head and came up with a subject I’m well qualified to address but may well raise a few eyebrows. The new blog is called, “The Preacher’s Husband.”

Bingo! I had more hits in the first couple of days than I’d hoped for in a month.” It turns out that people are interested in what it means for a guy to be married to the pastor of a church.

To tell the truth, I’d like to have known the answer to that question back when Rebekah and I started dating. But, occasional incidents of prejudicial thinking and lapses into male chauvinism aside, the overwhelming weight of my experience has been positive. I’ve been married to a preacher for close to three decades – and I have the stories to prove it!

No stereotype: Probably the best thing about the preacher’s husband gig is the absence of stereotypical expectations. Simply put, people don’t have preconceptions regarding what I’m supposed to do: there is no well-worn path to follow.

We may be in Twenty-first Century, but I still talk with minister’s wives who say they’re expected to, “Play the piano, teach Sunday-school, run the women’s group, clean the church kitchen, organize Vacation Bible School and be their husband’s secretary.”

Not so for yours truly – because nobody knows quite what to expect from the preacher’s husband. True, I am excluded from invitations directed to “ministers and their wives”, but the beauty of not occupying a culturally pre-assigned role is the freedom it gives me to simply follow Jesus.

My mother-in-law, Nell Alexander, gave me this advice when Rebekah was called to her first church. “Derek: love the Lord, love the preacher, love the people. If you get that right, everything else should fall into place.”

The other thing she said was, “If the preacher brings home extra folk for dinner unannounced, you can always cope by cooking extra biscuits.”

My freedom has given me pause. So much of what we do in life, cradle to grave, happens under the unyielding scrutiny of social norms. Many of these standards have less to do with what is “right”, or “Christian” than they have to do with what has become de rigueur for North American culture.

That’s why neither my wife nor I complain about the challenges of our non-standard life. Everything we’ve done, from my years as stay-at-home dad to her position as senior pastor at a vibrant church, has been free from the strictures of cultural stereotype.

The apostle Paul put it this way: “If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations?” (Colossians 2:20).

It’s always a good question.


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