“I was called into ministry at the age of 15. I knew I was going into ministry but didn’t want to be a pastor’s wife,” she remembers. “I am very outgoing and had many friends. When I thought of pastors’ wives, I thought of a lonely church member that people talked about.”
She met her husband, Tony Evans, when they were both 18 years old. Like his future wife, he had dedicated his life to ministry – although not the pastorate. However, the tables were turned during his last year at Dallas Theological Seminary when a professor challenged him to start a church.
“When he came home and told me this, I thought he was kidding. He was not going to be a pastor and I was not going to be a pastor’s wife,” Evans said. “We were going to be in evangelism. It took me a couple of years to adjust to the thought that this is what God called me to.”
‘Seasons of a Woman’s Life’
Obviously, Evans had her doubts about entering a season of life as the first lady of a church. “At this point, I was not teaching or counseling. I didn’t think I had the gifts or the skills required to be a pastor’s wife. I was home with two small children. I told Tony that I just couldn’t do this – fulfill all the demands and expectations of a pastor’s wife,” she recalls.
“Then Tony gave me some very simple yet effective advice: that I just needed to be myself. Jeremiah 1:5 became a key verse to me during that season of my life. God formed me and He made me to do this very thing. It was a defining season of my life.”
Changing seasons in her life drove her to write the book Seasons of a Woman’s Life. “God wanted me to be a woman – married to a pastor – in that season. Regardless of the season in which we find ourselves, there is always room to grow.”
She believes her life is evidence that God uses experiences to start a ministry, because her ministry to pastors’ wives grew out of these seasons of her life. She has hosted an annual First Lady Conference for the past decade. She also ministers to counterparts through her Web site, www.loisevans.org. Here, pastors’ wives can access a message board and a virtual prayer room while maintaining anonymity. “There are real people helping these women behind the scenes,” she explained.
Evans believes many people in our culture view the term pastor’s wife as a label and not a calling – even some of the wives themselves. “When I minister to these women, I try to help them change their thinking. I want them to really pray and seek God on what He has really called them to do. He has given them gifts and skills. I urge all pastors’ wives to use those.”
She offers the same advice to other pastors’ wives that she received from her husband years ago: be yourself. “Be who God has called you to be in the season you are in right now. Life is seasonal. The book of Ecclesiastes talks about it. Let God develop you for that next season of your life.”