ARC Women Spotlight | Mandy Cauley
Name: Mandy Cauley
Church and City: Relevant Church Paducah
Launch Date: February 10, 2013
Current Role (if any): Pastor alongside my husband and doing whatever is needed of me in the church
Family: Husband Joel, son Rylan (14), and daughters Dailyn (12) and Mikadyn (8)
What were your feelings when your husband told you that God had called him to plant a church (or in some cases, when you both felt that way)?
Joel and I started full time ministry as youth pastors back in 2001. We began that journey in a city in Kentucky called Paducah. After that, we were youth pastors in Charlotte, NC for a few years before going back “home” to Mobile, AL for a couple of years to catch our breath and see what His next steps were for us. I was fine with just living life close to family ( and the beach 🙂 ) and to be completely honest, getting back into full-time ministry was something I did not even want to think about. When Joel first mentioned feeling called to plant a church, I was not on board with the whole idea of starting a church or even being a lead pastor. The thought of it scared me to death. Joel assured me that if this is what we were supposed to do, God would speak to me too. Then when he said that God had really been putting Paducah on his heart, I was REALLY not on board! Paducah is 600 miles away from our families, but Joel talked me into coming to visit with some friends that we had kept in touch with through the years. While we were there visiting, that’s when God spoke to me that we had some unfinished business in this city and this was exactly where we needed to be.
How did you navigate finding your “role” in the church in the early years?
When we first started this journey of church planting, our kids were only 9, 7, and 3, so most of my time was spent at home. My first ministry is and always will be my husband and kids, but I feel like my “role” has changed a little as the seasons of our life have changed. I am now able to spend more time at the church helping with administrative responsibilities or anything else that I need to help with.
You were in the planting season while your children were in elementary school and now pastor a church while they are in middle school. What are things that your family does to make sure they feel involved and connected and love the local church?
When we started talking and praying about church planting, our kids were my greatest concern. I never wanted them to resent church or feel like they didn’t get to be “normal” kids because their dad is a pastor. It’s so important to communicate the seasons to your kids. Making sure that they know that there are times when dad will be at the church more than he’s at home, but when that time is over, we are going to do something fun as a family. We have always involved our kids in everything we do at the church. Some of the most fun we’ve had as a family is going up to the church, turning on some Hillsong Young and Free and folding the new T-shirts that come in. We try to put a “get to do ministry” instead of a “have to do ministry” mentality in their hearts. We have encouraged all three of them to volunteer in some way in the church. Our youngest currently helps in the pre-school room and our two older kids help with worship and sound in the elementary class. And honestly, they all LOVE the church and have made some of their best friends at Relevant.
What has God done in or through your church that has left you in awe of His greatness?
Wow, I don’t even know where to begin to answer this question. The biggest thing is simply life change. We started this church a little over four years ago, not knowing if anyone would even show up. In just 4 short years, we have seen hundreds of people saved, bodies healed, marriages restored and the list could go on and on. He has given us so much favor in our city. I literally stand in awe every Sunday as I watch the people that He has brought into our lives walk through the doors of our building.
How has being a part of the ARC Women community benefitted you in this journey?
Being a part of ARC has been the greatest asset to planting Relevant Church. It’s a community of people that encourage you and walk with you along this journey. These women and the whole ARC staff encourage you to just be you. I love knowing that no matter what we face, we are not alone. I love being a part of the ARC family and I can’t imagine going through this journey without them!