I’m so glad you are here! I hope you’ll find our time together refreshing and invigorating. My name is Coletta Smith. I’ve been a Pastor’s wife for 23 years now – and I love it. I haven’t loved every moment of it – and that’s some of what has motivated me to create this blog – there are a lot of struggles that are unique to ministry and pastor’s families. But I do LOVE the calling God has given our family. Along with those unique challenges come more unique opportunities for touching peoples’ lives with the hope of Jesus, because of the position that He has put us in. And that’s not just true for pastors’ wives, but for anyone called by God through the hope of Jesus. You have a calling… a circle of influence… and a whole adventure of good things that God has planned for you to do for His Kingdom. My hope is to help you to embrace this high calling and to live out the life, the abundant life that He has in store for you.
I’m not sure that I’m that much of a writer, but I am an equipper. I love to take what I’m developing everyday in ministry and make it into a concise tool so that you can use it too. So, you won’t find lots of ponderings and poetic language here. Instead, you’ll find new ways of thinking about the challenges that you face everyday in ministry. You’ll find handouts that you can use with gals you might be mentoring – grounded in Scripture and intensely practical. Hopefully they will serve as jumping off points for you as you create an atmosphere of “seizing joy” as you embrace this life of serving as Jesus did.
Craig and I met while leading worship with Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) at Kent State University in Ohio. We loved serving together and quickly realized that God could use our passionate personalities to accomplish great things for His Kingdom. My partner in ministry became my best friend, who became the love of my life – the one with whom I wanted to experience this adventure of following Jesus.
We’ve been married 23 years and have two beautiful and strong daughters. Rochelle (17) plays guitar and teaches about 15 little kids every week how to play. Since she was old enough to talk, she’s loved singing. I can remember listening at her door as she sang “Heart of Worship” at the top of her lungs, up on her bunk bed. Now, she loves leading worship and helping others to experience the joy of being in His throne room. She is headed to University of Northern Colorado in the fall to finish her Business degree.
Lynae (14) is a very spirited girl of deep conviction and zest for life. She loves her husky puppy, Suka, and climbing 14’ers (when the rest of her family can keep up). She is burdened for those that experience injustice, so wants to explore serving God through law enforcement. I love that she looks for the outcast, whether it’s on the streets of Guatamala with our family or in youth group, and looks for ways to pull them in and include them – just the way Jesus does.
And not to be forgotten – our two dogs, Suka (a very young Siberian husky) and Selah (a young-at-heart Golden Retriever).
We love just spending time together – playing Nertz or Settlers, watching movies, rock climbing, skiing and hiking, traveling and seeing the world.
We love eating crab and cheesecake – two special treats.
We love action movies (I also like Hallmark movies and chic flicks, but the fam has vetoed my movie choosing privileges).
We love adventures – snorkling the Great Barrier Reef, surfing off La Jolla, skiing in Whistler, 4-wheeling and zip-lining in the Costa Rican jungle, horseback riding for days in Texas, hiking around waterfalls in Switzerland, WE LOVE ADVENTURES!
We value our family calling to ministry – and we try to share the load as much as we can, always looking for ways to help each other do the things God has called us to do. We remind each other of the blessings that come with this life – especially when the load is heavy.
God called Craig and I into full-time ministry before we met. During our time at Kent State University, God used Campus Crusade for Christ to grow us in faith and in the practical tools of ministry. We’re both excited to someday introduce the men and women who invested in us during those early years to the hundreds of people that have been impacted by what God has done since then. What a joyful celebration that will be!
After graduation, we were married and began serving at a church in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Craig was a Youth Pastor. I taught science at a Catholic girl’s school and disciplined lots of high school and middle school girls. Those were tough years of ministry, but we learned a lot. Most of all, we learned how MUCH we had to learn.
To grow us and equip us for what was ahead, God led us out to Denver Seminary. I continued to teach, but this time at a middle school in the lowest income district in Denver. Seminary was a rich time of growing to see God more clearly and understand how to be good stewards of this calling God had given us. I loved auditing classes when I could and Craig and I processed together as much of what he was learning as we could. Craig was also the Pastor of Youth and Worship at a small church plant during our seminary time. We continued to lead as a team and trust God to draw students to Himself and show us how to be a part of that. I led high school discipleship groups and usually a middle school group, both of which I loved dearly. Our house was always full of teenagers and we saw God do amazing things in their lives.
After seminary graduation, Craig went full time at the church where we had been serving, our first daughter was born and we continued to love youth ministry. After several years, and God expanding Craig’s speaking ministry, we came to a point where we realized we could no longer maintain a healthy youth ministry with Craig speaking so often. With our church’s blessing, we founded Shepherd Project Ministries which would grow from a way to manage Craig’s speaking to an international equipping ministry dedicated to equipping God’s people to seize strategic intersections of faith and culture, providing conferences, resources, and speakers around the world. I served for twelve years as the Director of Events and Speaker Management. Craig remained an Associate Pastor at our home church, Heritage Evangelical Free in Castle Rock, Colorado. This chapter was super faith-stretching and we saw God do more miracles on a daily basis than I had ever encountered before.
God intervened, quite suddenly, and led Craig to accept the Head Pastor position at Heritage (now called Ridgeline Community Church), where we had been serving (for 18 years at this point). The church had gone through some difficult times, but God kept us there and allowed us to see fruit from many years of investment. We saw some health restored and God move in our midst to restore a heart of passion for His Word and the lost in our community. It was a joy! And then again, God suddenly intervened to move us just down the interstate to Mission Hills Church in Littleton, Colorado, where we are currently serving. I have the privilege of disciplining pastors wives, staff wives, and staff women. I’m loving this new role and also loving this whole new animal called “big church”. It’s exciting to see how God wastes nothing – using all of the things I’ve learned about being a Pastor’s wife for the last 23 years in this new pasture, allowing me to help tend a much bigger flock.
And then again, God suddenly intervened to move us just down the interstate to Mission Hills Church in Littleton, Colorado, where we are currently serving. I have the privilege of disciplining pastors wives, staff wives, and staff women. I’m loving this new role and also loving this whole new animal called “big church”. It’s exciting to see how God wastes nothing – using all of the things I’ve learned about being a Pastor’s wife for the last 23 years in this new pasture, allowing me to help tend a much bigger flock.