By Constance B. Fink
Whether speaking at a small retreat or large convention, Jane Rubietta invites honest application through humor, vulnerability, and spiritual depth. Lives have been changed across the country and internationally.
Her numerous books and articles invite readers to tumble into Jesus’ arms to find the love they have been looking for. Her newest book is Come Along: The Journey into a More Intimate Faith.
After a few years in ministry, Jane saw so many church ministry casualties across the country that she wrote the book, How to Keep the Pastor You Love, and she and her husband, Rich, launched a ministry for clergy families and leaders called Abounding Ministries.
Just Between Us visited with Jane recently to learn more about how God is using her to reach women in ministry through the good times and bad.
JBU: What can a congregation do to care for their ministry family?
JANE: The congregation must take inventory of their own lives first. It is tempting to be critical of the pastor and family, but the congregation needs to realize that scriptural exhortations to love and forgive are for them as well. That keeps everyone humble, repentant, understanding, and supportive of each other.
JBU: How do you encourage ministry couples to care for each other?
- Take care of your own soul, body, heart and mind so you can be present for your spouse.
- Put time together at the top of your to-do list, right after time with Jesus.
- Don’t confuse your job and your identity, your calling and what your congregation feels about you.
JBU: What are ways you care for your three kids and husband when traveling?
JANE: What doesn’t work is expecting the same of myself as the people who don’t travel with their jobs—or people with maid service! There is no way to do it all, though the world says we can. I have to decide what to let slide. I delegate daily chores, which is work up front but worth it in the end. The important thing is to keep communicating with each family member: What’s working? What isn’t? Who is frustrated, and why? Is it a parental problem, and if so, what do we do about it?
JBU: How has your upbringing prepared you for what you do and are today?
JANE: I remember the day I sat at the kitchen table with my Bible and journal and wept as I realized, “I am who I am today because of how I was raised and how my home functioned—or dys-functioned!” I could rejoice in that, however difficult my childhood might have been, because I loved what God was doing in and through me. I rejoiced! That’s a miracle.
But, there was a time when it hindered me – when I pretended I was “fine” because every other ministry wife seemed “fine”. That led to immense shame because Jesus wasn’t making me “fine” like He seemed to be doing for others.
It became a faith crisis that started me on a journey. I began to see my upbringing as a gift that uniquely equipped me to help women come out of their spiritual anesthesia and move toward a vibrant faith and ministry.
JBU: How did you find your personal ministry?
JANE: I had a crash and burn time in our first church. I did everything to please everyone and to “secure” my husband’s pastoral position. I tried to make up for what he couldn’t do. Through a long process, I realized that I needed to take determined care of my soul. I learned to separate who I am from what I do. Through various spiritual disciplines, I began to hear God’s whisper: “Write.”
When I re-entered ministry life, I realized others experienced the same issues (like control and anger) but no one was addressing them. Then God prompted me again, “Do you notice? They are just like you. Do you think you have something to write about, now?”
JBU: What advice would you give to someone who wants to find her niche?
JANE: Wait a year to say yes to anything. Take time to listen to your longings. Where do you feel God’s pleasure when serving? Where do you see God’s fruit? Conversely, what is absolute agony for you?
JBU: Is there something on your heart that you would like to share?
JANE: Yes. After a recent speaking trip to Guatemala, I am grieved more than ever for women’s hearts. The inability of women to access their emotions and begin healing breaks my heart. We end up with plastic women, who have pat answers and statements like “It’s all good” and “I love Jesus, I love God, I love my church” when they are one second away from splitting in half. I long for women in ministry to be real with their situations and journeys, and come together to begin to heal.
- Scripture: Ephesians 3:20 and Zephaniah 3:17
- Song: “And Can It Be” by Charles Wesley
- Hobby: Gardening
- A fun thing I like to do with my husband: Ice skating – he keeps me from falling down all the way around the lake.
For resources or to contact Jane, please visit her website at www.janerubietta.com