Priscilla Shirer: Motherhood, Marriage & Ministry
Married to Jerry for 8 years. He was an Executive with Hilton Hotels, but several years ago decided to go full time into managing the business aspects of Going Beyond Ministries
They have 3 young boys
In her early days she hosted a local TV show
Ann Graham Lotz (daughter of Billy Graham) is her ministry mentor
Priscilla Shirer is undoubtedly one of the most humble, professional, Spirit-filled and friendliest Christian speakers I have ever met. She has visited South Africa several times and considering her ‘fame’ and prominence within international Christian circles, Priscilla is a wonderful example of a Proverbs 31 woman. (Though she will be the first to admit she isn’t perfect and doesn’t have it ‘all together.’)
She is a brilliant speaker, profound author, loving wife and dedicated mom. Together with her husband Jerry (who is a model example of a supportive Godly man), they run Going Beyond Ministries.
Like her Biblical namesake, Priscilla (who was one of the first Christian missionaries with her husband Aquila) is reaching the nations with her Bible-based, life-changing books and teachings. In time for mother’s day, JOY! Magazine caught up with her to find out more about how she copes with Motherhood, marriage and ministry.
Some people would call you a superwoman! When did you get into ministry?
I would say it’s in my blood! My father is Tony Evans (well known Bible teacher, preacher and father of the faith in America) and as the daughter of a pastor, I was involved in a ministry environment from an early age.
When I was in college, I interned at a Christian radio station and from brief on air exposure, I was asked to speak at women’s bible studies and other events. After graduating, I began my masters degree at Dallas Theological Seminary and in 1997 was asked to lead a weekly bible study at the Zig Ziglar corporation. I later came on board as one of the company’s motivational speakers and corporate trainers, and though I loved my job, my heart’s desire was to teach the Word of God to women. In xx Jerry and I started Going beyond Ministries and have never looked back!
How do you balance ministry, motherhood, and marriage?
I have the same concerns as most working moms about balancing life. I remember walking through my neighborhood one morning about eight weeks before my second son was born. I prayed, “Lord, how do I balance being a wife, mother, and a woman in ministry? If You do not supernaturally balance all of this, then I don’t know what I will do!” I will never forget His answer to me…I watched as the sun rose in the sky, the birds began to sing and the world came to life that morning. He whispered, “If I can balance all of this, I can balance your life!” I have trusted Him ever since to help me, day-by- day, to figure out how this should all work.
I cannot begin to tell you how difficult this balancing act is physically and emotionally. Jerry and I firmly believe that God has given us clear direction that this ministry is what He wants us to do (at least for now), so we assume that He will provide the means for us to do it and He has. My husband and I are in ministry together. We are team, and it is this unfailing support that we give eachother that provides the basis of what we do.
Jerry and I both work from home all week long. This means that we get to spend a lot of time with the boys throughout the entire week before we go to a women’s conference on a Friday and Saturday. The Lord has also provided me with a mother-in-law that is a professional grandmother! She doesn’t want to do anything other than be with our children and she often looks after them when we travel. Our trips are normally 1-2 nights, so that we are not away from our little ones for long. Any trip longer than 2 nights (which is rare) means they come with us. If I didn’t have a husband who worked with me, and a mother-in-law to help me with my children, then I don’t know that I could do this. But God has constructed our circumstances to support the calling that He has on our lives.
Still, I do worry like all mothers about whether or not I am balancing everything well, and I am sure that I will never be perfect at it! There are many nights that my dinner dishes don’t get washed, my laundry takes a couple days to complete, and toys are scattered on my living room floor. Things around here are far from perfect, but I believe that as long as I am taking care of God’s business by keeping my family as a priority and then focusing on the women to whom I am to minister, He will make up the slack.
I must admit that I have little time for other things. I often have to say, “No” to invitations for lunch and get-togethers. That is the sacrifice that I am making for this season of life. A friend and mentor recently encouraged me by saying, “Priscilla, you can do this (ministry, wifehood, and motherhood), but you cannot do anything else!”
If you are a mother and are also considering serving the Lord in a full-time ministry capacity, ask the Lord for clarity on how you should proceed and when you should proceed. He will clearly tell you whether now is the appropriate time for you to move forward or whether you should wait until you are in a different season of your life. If He calls you to do something, He will equip you with the necessary tools to do it while at the same time allowing you to keep your priorities straight. It is and will always be a prayerful, day-by-day process of relying solely on Him to keep everything balanced and orderly.
What is your secret to keeping a marriage safe from the pressures of life?
I am certainly no expert on marriage! I’ve only been married for 8 very wonderful years. However, having shared these years with Jerry I’ve seen that there are several factors that are necessary for a blessed marriage.
Women (and men for that matter) should go into marriage knowing that service to others is the heart of the marital relationship. If you are getting into the relationship looking to be served, then you will be shockingly surprised at all that is required of you, and your spouse will soon be burnt out on all his attempts to keep you happy.
The most successful and loving marriages I have encountered are those in which both parties are fully engaged in the task of serving the other.When both husband and wife go into marriage with this mentality, then both are happy and content, because the other is continually meeting their needs. So, right now, take a personal inventory. Are you a servant? How can you begin to develop that characteristic in your life?
Women need to prepare themselves to follow the leadership of your husband. So often women take the reins of the relationship after they say, “I DO.” If your husband planned dates and took initiative in certain areas of your life together before marriage, then allow him the same courtesy after marriage. Let him lead.
If you become the leader in your relationship at some point, then he will stop fighting for his role and let you have it. Only then will you realize the huge mistake you have made. You will wake up one day and wonder what happened to the strong man you married. Allow him control situations, even if it means he makes decisions that you don’t particularly care for. Trust God to speak to your husband, and support your husband in prayer; even if his decision is the wrong one, submit to him and trust in the Lord. He will bless your marriage if you do this. Follow your husband graciously even as he learns from his own mistakes. Because of this, you will be rewarded with a husband who is secure in his leadership, and as a result wants to romance you, love you, serve you, and value your ideas and opinions in your life and marriage.
A final word of advice to our readers?
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matt 22:37 if you do this, He will make your path straight.
For more info see www.goingbeyond.com