Lois Evans: Connecting With Pastors' Wives

As a pastor's wife, Lois Evans felt isolated. She desired accountability, longed for fellowship and encouragement, and wondered if other senior pastors' wives felt the same way. Thus came the conception and birth of The First Lady Ministry, her outreach to pastors' wives.

"The ministry began two years ago out of my lack," Lois explains. "I had no nucleus of women to network with. I wanted a core group of like-minded women." Out of Lois' desire to connect, love and minister to other pastors' wives, The First Lady Ministry supports and trains them to fulfill their ministry role without losing their personal identities.

But Lois' view of being a pastor's wife wasn't always this positive. In fact, as a young woman, it ranked at the top of things she did not want to do. She even told God, "Yes, I'll follow you — but I'll never be a pastor's wife."

Though she married evangelist Tony Evans, founder and president of the Urban Alternative, Lois easily found her place in life and ministry as an evangelist's wife. After all, it didn't have the same pressures and expectations of a pastor's wife. Then came the day Tony told her that God was redirecting his life, from national evangelist to pastor of a local church.

"Never say never," Lois says. "I did my 'Sarah thing' and laughed — not because I couldn't do it, but because I had told God, 'No, thank you.'"

Her biggest obstacle was the expectations placed on her to act or serve at church in a certain way. "During my first two years as a senior pastor's wife, I struggled with the role thing," she says. "I told Tony I didn't know if I could make it!" With her sister's counsel and her husband's advice, Lois realized that she wasn't the church's "wife," but Tony's wife. That's when she made the choice and commitment to be only herself. And that's exactly what she inspires other pastors' wives to be: themselves.

Through her honesty and vulnerability, Lois encourages ministry wives to make a difference for the kingdom of God by serving according to their season in life. For example, when the Evans' children were in grade school, Lois was a busy mother. She was limited in areas she could serve at church because of the demands of her family. But she knew her ministry was to her kids. "I was in the season of raising my children," she says. "They needed my attention then. I couldn't let the ministry [hinder] my relationships."

In her current season, Lois is the president of The First Lady Ministry, a senior vice-president for the Urban Alternative, author, singer and speaker. What's more important, Lois Evans is a woman content in simply being herself.

Article copyright © 2003, Sheryl Giescrecht.
All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
Used by permission.

Sheryl Giesbrecht is a pastor's wife in Bakersfield, Calif.