ARC Women Spotlight | Tomekia Williams
Name: Tomekia Williams
Church and City: Impact Church of Savannah, Savannah, Georgia
Launch Date: 2014
Current Role (if any): Staff Teaching Pastor
Family: Husband, Corey Williams Sr.; children, Corey Williams Jr (21), Ca’Maya Williams (19), and Courtney Williams (13)
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)?
We both knew that God had called us to pastor. We had planted before when I was much younger and less intimated, so this time around, although I was much older (in a sense), I was more calculated in my efforts to take the risk. Nonetheless, I knew that following God and my husband was honorable. Additionally, this time around I had more wisdom than before. I somewhat understand what it means to have zeal, without knowledge – Romans 10:1-3.
For you personally, what has been your biggest challenge through planting and/or pastoring and what have you learned from it?
There are so many lessons that I have learned and am learning. One challenge for me personally has been identifying when my role and responsibilities need to shift. For example, when we planted, I was the pastor over our children’s church, until someone more called to that area showed up. I was able to connect with families that way, and for that reason it was hard for me to let that role go. A current challenge I am facing is not being able to be at certain meetings, leadership events, etc. because of the demands of my home life. Sometimes I feel that I’m “missing in action” and my leadership role is diminishing because I’m vested in the interest of my children. I’m learning that going with God’s ebb and flow for my life makes things a lot easier. There is a grace for every season and there’s no need to be in a rush for anything. I fight to stay in rhythm with God given priorities.
How did you go about finding your “role” in the church? Has it always been the same or has it changed over the years?
When my husband and I met, I was already a minister in training. We both knew that the call of God was on my life. I was capable of teaching the Word and would often be asked to speak at women’s conferences, so naturally I would assume some of the responsibility of crafting our Sunday morning messages. Equally, I carry out some of the pastoral duties like visiting ill members and performing eulogies at funerals and likewise. I recently joked with my husband that t’s about time he prepares me to perform weddings! Although speaking and teaching is one of my primary responsibilities, I still work in our children’s church as a pre-teen teacher. My role has pretty much stayed consistent with my area of gifting, but I’m always available to serve the body in whatever ways I can.
What is something your family does to manage the balance between raising a family and pastoring a growing church?
We try to balance our family and church life by making sure we have a lot of fun at home. We make date nights, family date nights, and daddy-daughter date nights ALL A PRIORITY. My husband is good at keeping the house “light”. Because of this, we never know if he has had a bad day in the office or if he is troubled by something because he keeps a jovial spirit. I am more serious in nature, so we keep each other balanced which leaks into the atmosphere of our home. Additionally, our children serve with us in our church, so they see the joy of serving people. They, too, partake in the divine plan God has for our family. Since our son has moved out, and our middle daughter is in college, we only have the baby with us who is actively involved in our children’s church serving in the infant area. I make sure she is aware of the compliments parents give us as it relates to how their toddler enjoys coming to church because of her. I make sure I compliment her on how God is using her to ease parents’ minds about releasing their children to our children’s church.
What is something you wish you had known or wish someone had told you before taking on a church plant?
The advice I wish I had received before planting would be:
- Every season will not be the same.
- Trust your husband’s leadership.
- Keep your eyes on the things that matter the most.
- Stay confident in God’s plan for you, your husband, and your children.
- Keep a healthy lifestyle. (exercise, eat right, etc.)
- Find a godly mentor, spiritual mother, or someone godly you can be authentic with.