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Ecclesiastes 4:9 NLT

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.

Maureen: This year Kenny and I celebrate 40 years of marriage and have been ministering together for about 30 of those years and looking back over those years, I am amazed that we are still together and still in ministry! Someone commented to us that sadly this testimony is becoming rare but “Better Together” can only work if Jesus is Lord and centre of the relationship.

We have let each other down so many times over the years and have seriously considered throwing the towel in on both fronts but because we kept our relationship with Jesus first, above each other, we have been able to get through the conflicts and pressure that marriage and ministry put on us, realising it was not about us as individuals but about the call of God on our lives together as a couple. He needs to get the glory by all that we do!

Psalm 115:1 (NIV) Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.

Kenny: I grew up in a strong Afrikaans family that lived out the traditions of the culture where the woman cared for the home and the children. It was very much a man dominated world. Together with the children, the wife was seen and not heard but then I met Maureen who came from a completely different background. From the beginning of our relationship, we realised we had vastly different upbringings, but we also knew it was God’s plan for us to be married.

The biggest struggle I had in those early years was the fact that the lady I married could have her own opinion and her own gifting that was not dependent on me.

Matthew 19:4-6 says that the two shall become one, but I did not understand the oneness of marriage and that it was not always about me ‘being the boss.’

Maureen: We learnt so much about ministry and being married in those early years and today we celebrate a partnership not only in our marriage but in our ministry together.

Kenny: An understanding of partnership is key for couples who are both called to minister in the Kingdom of God. To accept they are in partnership together and a partnership is hundred percent from both. In Genesis GOD said He made male and female in His image. When this reality became truth to me, I could lead Maureen as someone special made in the image of GOD just as I was.

I know there are times when we minister together, Maureen’s prophetic gifting is needed to break open the atmosphere before I can bring the Word or minister in my apostolic and pastoral gifting. It is important to know each other’s strengths, weaknesses and giftings, so that we can give each other room to operate in these giftings.

Maureen: One of the pitfalls of ministering together is unfulfilled expectations. Expectations of the people on us and expectations we place on each other.

I have been thankful that in both the churches we led, Kenny protected me from the expectations of the people to be and do what God has not called me to do. I really want to encourage women not to feel pressurised to step into a role God has not prepared in advance for you and given you the grace for. Not everyone is called to be ‘up front’ but everyone is called by God to fulfil a purpose. Find that purpose and be secure in it.

I have also learnt not to place expectations on Kenny when we are ministering together. In our partnership, he still carries headship, and my role is to support him, and I cannot place demands or expectations on him to make room for me or give me a platform just because I have gifting and strengths that he may not have.

My gifting in the prophetic, in teaching or even in administration does not override the governmental authority that he carries, as head of my home and an elder in the church. I know so many women who struggle with this, but God is a God of order and His Word is clear in this. God can open doors for our ministries as women who carry strong individual gifting when we honour His Word. As a co-heir I am free to minister in my gifting, to teach the Word, to prophesy and to move in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit but as far as my understanding of the Scriptures goes, the tasks of setting doctrine, applying discipline, and giving direction to a church are governmental tasks that are part of the headship role a man carries.

It is so important we keep Jesus the centre of our focus especially in matters like these and to trust Him to give us the platforms He has purposed for us, individually and as a couple.

There have been times when the label of a strong woman has been seen in a negative light, but the Holy Spirit gave me such revelation in my early struggles to understand my calling and gifting.

A strong woman is one who depends on her own strengths and abilities, but a woman of strength is one who depends on Jesus Christ and His strength and ability to work with her and through her.

Kenny: It is important for us as men not to stand in the way of our wives growing and developing in their gifts and call of God. We need to be encouraging them to pursue their gifts and their relationship with Jesus and then give them room to exercise those gifts so they can grow.

There have been times when we have both ministered in churches, but Maureen’s ministry is honoured. If I were not secure in my own call and who God has created me to be, it would have caused massive fights and destruction of our relationship and ministry. Men, we must be secure in who we are and to what we have been called in Christ Jesus, or we will become threatened by our wives and hold them back instead of encouraging them to grow.

Maureen: Both of us must be secure in who we are in God and what He has called us to if we are wanting to have a fruitful ministry together. When we are invited into a context to minister as a couple there are times when my private support of Kenny and his ministry is required rather than my public ministry and as women of strength, we do need to grow in wisdom in this. Having one’s own ministry does not mean it has to always have a public platform when together as a couple.

That is where honour and humility come in.

Over the years as we have grown individually in our gifting and ministry, we have had to intentionally press into our relationship with Jesus so that He remains the centre of our partnership and comes first before each other. That is key. The minute I place my relationship and love for Kenny above that of Jesus, we come into conflict with one another.

So, looking back at over 30 years of ministry together, these are some of the things we have learnt. We want to encourage those couples who believe they are called to minister in God’s Kingdom together, to make sure they have some of these in place.

Be sure you are both called to minister together. It is so important the wife and the husband know what God has called them to and what gifting they carry. They need Scripture, prophetic word, and leadership endorsement to confirm their calling so that when it gets difficult, they can stand. This is what has kept us in ministry. The “God has said” factor!

Understand what Partnership means to you as a couple. The partnership may look different for each couple. Be clear with the roles and expectations of the partnership especially when you are travelling into other churches.

Accept that conflict will happen and stay humble.

Learn to deal with the conflict by putting it in front of you as a couple and not between you. Communication is a big weakness for us as a couple and many times the conflict occurs because there has not been adequate communication between us.

James 4:6 and 10 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble." Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

We have learnt that God opposes us when pride comes in our conflicts and relationship so even in our ministry together, we have made every effort to stay humble. All that we do and have is because of the gracious Hand of God in our lives!

Respect one another’s contributions and value each other’s giftings.

Celebrate it instead of condemning it, especially when at that moment it may be the wrong thing to say or do. Give each other grace to make mistakes. Remember we have been created to complete each other and not compete against each other.

Philippians 2:3,4 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Practise forgiveness as a lifestyle.

When we minister together, it is so important to make sure there are no obstacles in the way that can affect unity. Over the years we have noticed God really does command a blessing when there is unity. (Psalm 133) Our best times of ministry have been when we have been in unity and have had no unresolved issues between us.

Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

There is so much more we can say.

Remember that you and your spouse have been called to reveal the purposes of God together and there is an area of influence that only you can impact as a couple.

Discover that calling, then boldly and confidently walk in it, knowing that God Himself has called you and set you apart for such a time as this and what He has begun in your lives, He will bring to completion!


Kenny & Maureen

Kenny and Maureen Le Roux are regular contributors as Women of Reverence.

Kenny and Maureen Le Roux celebrate 40 years of marriage this year and about 30 years in ministry. They have led two churches over that time - a church in KZN and one on the West Rand in Gauteng. In 2015 they handed their church over to another couple and travel full time into the Nations equipping the Body of Christ and helping to identify and train leaders.

They are parents to two adult sons, Justin and Timothy and grandparents to Cody who is 22 months and to twins coming in April.

They are involved in Venture Church in Johannesburg and continue to encourage and equip leaders through digital platforms due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Their passion is to see the Body of Christ mature into the full stature of Christ and walk out the purposes of God in their lives.

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