By Barbara Bach
When I compare myself to my husband, I am reminded that God made me from scratch; I am unique. God has proven Himself faithful over and over again to Randall and me as husband and wife. It will be fifty years this summer that God called us to Open Bible ministries with no official ministerial preparation. WOW! God has a sense of humor!
Randall and I break down our life of ministry into four chapters of service:
Open Bible College, in administration and as president
Open Bible Churches, in executive roles
Open Bible East Region, as regional executive director
Open Bible Churches, as president
I was comfortable as a bookkeeper during our first three chapters. I loved traveling, representing Open Bible, and meeting new people. To me, no one is a stranger, and I considered everyone my best friend! I was comfortable in these roles.
However, when we were called to Open Bible East Region, the Lord spoke to me and said, “You are 46 years old. It is time to grow up and get out of your comfort zone.”
One of the roles as a wife of the regional director at that time was to take on the women’s ministries position. Every fall there was a big women’s conference held in a hotel which involved much planning. I found I was comfortable with planning events. God proved Himself faithful by leading me with themes and finding the perfect women to come alongside for the program.
The part that caused me great insecurity was working with the team of district ladies, all with varied personalities. That area is where I felt I was not a great leader. It was hard to ask the ladies to go in the direction I felt the Lord leading. At times I was taken aback by some of their personalities. All leaders have various gifts, many different from mine, but I did not know how to work with strong, outspoken personalities. There were times I felt I needed to speak into a situation but did not feel what I said was effective.
I watched Randall lead boards and groups. When I compared myself to him, I did not feel like I was a leader because our personalities are so different.
I watched Randall lead boards and groups. When I compared myself to him, I did not feel like I was a leader because our personalities are so different. He is a “Type A” personality; I’m the type that just wants to sit and chat over a cup of coffee or have a three-hour lunch, whatever that is called!
After meeting with the district women’s directors, I would tell Randall, “I am not a leader!” He would assure me that I was. I did not enjoy leading a team. I just wanted to get together with women and have two-way conversations, not be in a setting where one person overpowered the atmosphere.
Over the years I gained a better understanding that God has given me favor to be an influence. Around me women feel they have a “safe place” to go. That does make me a leader, just not in the way others may be called to be a leader.
To this day I watch my husband lead an organization and marvel. God has given him the character, qualities, and giftings to do just that. We have certainly clashed at times because of our differences in personality. To be honest, I have judged him at times. However, over the past fifty years the Holy Spirit helped me to appreciate our differences because we are not to compete against each other, but to complete one another. We are better together because of both of our strengths, though they may be opposite.
God has gifted each of us in a unique way to be fruitful where He has called us to serve. I pray that after 24 years I’ve learned to appreciate the differences in leaders, just like I have with my husband of 50 years!
I will always thank God for His faithfulness in leading us in every chapter. My desire is to continue to grow in Him. He is never done with us!
About the Author
Barbara Bach served in ministry as a bookkeeper/administrative assistant for forty years. She and her husband, Randall, just celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary, 49 of those years in ministry together. Her joys have been to travel and connect with people, cook/bake, serve in hospitality, and connect with people all over the world via social media, all while drinking lots of espresso. Her desire is to encourage people to hide God’s Word in their hearts and walk in obedience because it is then that we have joy, hope, and peace.
Barbara’s website includes encouraging words, guests’ journeys, and “made-from-scratch” recipes. She has enjoyed mentoring her 15-year-old granddaughter with her baking skills since she was three. For encouragement, baking tips, or mouthwatering made-from-love recipes, go to barbarasfrenz.com