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January 7 Book Reviews

Partners in the Gospel: Fifty Meditations for Pastors’ and Elders’ Wives

Partners in the Gospel: Fifty Meditations for Pastors’ and Elders’ Wives

Megan Hill

Reviewed by: Emily VanDixhoorn

Partners in the Gospel: Fifty Meditations for Pastors’ and Elders’ Wives, by Megan Hill. P&R, 2021. Hardcover, 152 pages, $13.00. Reviewed by OP member Emily VanDixhoorn.

As much as I may need encouragement, my stubborn side doesn’t always want to receive it, at least not from just anyone. In Partners in the Gospel: Fifty Meditations for Pastors’ and Elders’ Wives, Megan Hill speaks as someone who has been through the trenches of ministry life and come out praising Jesus. Her well-chosen illustrations make listening to her easy, and she brings comfort and delight as she faithfully presents Christ through God’s Word.

As a pastor’s daughter and pastor’s wife, Megan Hill demonstrates a keen awareness of a minister’s family life. She aptly describes both the challenges and the joys of ministry. What is more, she has been well taught in how to handle them. She doesn’t just point her reader to her experience, as if we all simply need to be cookie cutter copies of her. No, she gives thanks for the unique talents of the pastors’ and elders’ wives in her church. To help us to grow as God would have us, she wisely points us to the means of grace for our encouragement in the challenges of ministry life.

Partners in the Gospel can be used privately for much benefit, reading and praying through it. Each meditation ends with clear sections—Reflect, Pray, and Act—that direct us to Scripture relevant to the topic at hand. Thankfully, the “Act” section is not imposing. Sometimes it is more about reminding us of the indicatives of our faith, not just the imperatives. For example, one call to action is that the reader remind herself of her identity as a servant of the Lord. This is one example of how the book aims for the heart and leaves the Holy Spirit room for specific application.

Even better than personal use, I recommend that one “partner” with another “partner in the gospel,” or better yet, a group of partners, to stimulate encouraging one another in meaningful ways. Sometimes I really want to encourage a pastor’s or elder’s wife, and even though I am one, I just don’t know where to start. The challenges can be abstract and multi-faceted; this book can help get a handle on them. Recently, I met with a group of pastors’ wives for a day of encouragement. The book proved immensely useful. We broke into groups to read particular meditations of interest and then discuss and pray together. Some topics were “raising children with gospel hope,” “when you live in a fishbowl,” and “when you long for friends.” I recommend any of the fifty meditations as a discussion starter for a group of elders’ wives seeking to support each other and find refreshment.

Pastors’ and elders’ wives are a great source of encouragement for one another, especially with a tool like this in their hands. But Partners in the Gospel does not need to be limited to them. As Catriona Trueman points out in her recommendation in the book, this book helps anyone “know how better to pray for those helpmeets sacrificially laboring alongside their elders and pastors.” Encouraging an elder’s wife is not rocket science, but it can still be challenging. Whether we are encouraging a pastor’s or elder’s wife or seeking to receive encouragement ourselves, this book comes alongside with compassion, knowledge, and faithfulness to God’s means of grace, which in turn give us much needed hope.

 

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