Married to a Pastor

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Greg Linscott, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
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    Dr. Bob's comment on another thread has got me wondering... how involved are other pastor's wives in ministry?

    I suppose what I'd like to see addressed in this thread:
    </font>
    • How you (if you are a pastor's wife) or your wife are involved in the ministry of the church</font>
    • What you do ministrywise (or what does your wife do) because you want to</font>
    • What you do ministrywise (or what does your wife do) because of pressure/expectations from the church (stated or unstated) or your husband</font>
    • Are there any responsibilities that should fall upon the wife of a pastor simply because she is "the wife of a pastor"?</font>
    I would like to request that only those serving or who have served in full-time vocational ministry (pastor, assistant pastor, missionary, Bible college professor, etc.) and their wives respond to this thread. No offense to the rest of you, but I'd like to get the response and ideas from the perspective of first-hand experience.
     
  2. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
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    I'll answer my own questions...
    1. My wife is involved in children's church, nursery, music ministry (singing), counseling (as a generally silent partner when I am counseling ladies), church decoration and cleaning, and encouragement (mainly through correspondence and small craft gifts).

    2. My wife really enjoys the decoration and encouragement. She is a "crafty" lady. [​IMG]

    3. My wife enjoys teaching and childrens ministry, but some pressure is there, I believe, because we have three young children (ages 1, 4, and 5). There has been some mild pressure for her to lead the ladies ministry, which we have successfully avoided for her thus far. The counseling is something I have asked her to do for my protection, although she is interested in learning more and getting less "silent." [​IMG]

    4. While this will be developed more, I believe that it is a reasonable expectation for the pastor's wife to be an example of a godly woman (as it is for other christian women whose husbands are not pastors, of course).

    I don't know how I would make it in ministry without my wife. She is a wonderful partner in this life of service to the King of Kings!
     
  3. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    How about those of us that are bi-vocational (full-time, but not paid for it) pastors? I'm sure we share a few common experiences. I'll add if it's in keeping with the intent of this thread.
     
  4. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
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    Bi-vocational fits too... sorry to leave you out! [​IMG]
     
  5. USN2Pulpit

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    1) My wife is an encouragement to me. She is often times my eyes and ears when I am not sensitive enough to know something or "read between the lines." She helps keep me organized, which is paramount. I have such a lack of time being a pastor (which is a full-time job regardless of pay status) as well as an employee outside the church.

    2) My wife works with the youth on Wednesdays for Youth Outreach and with the Awana kids (and adult/youth leaders) on Sunday nights. It's a labor of love that she enjoys, but it is, none-the-less, tasking to her.

    3) Church expectations of her have at this point been satisfied - she is working within her spiritual gifts, and that is what was needed.

    4) Her responsibility is to me as my partner and helper. My wife first, "pastor's wife" second. She is performing her role admirably, as far as I am concerned.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    How you (if you are a pastor's wife) or your wife are involved in the ministry of the church

    My wife was limited, like every other woman, to no more than three major areas. For example, my wife taught SS, worked with music (choir, specials), and did the bulletin boards (she was crafty, too)

    She could not, by our agreement, be "in charge" of anything (like Mission society, SS Superintendent, choir director). This kept her out of potential conflict - members use attacks that to get "at" the pastor.

    What you do ministrywise (or what does your wife do) because you want to

    My wife is super talented and COULD do almost everything, and do it BETTER than the average member. But we are working to train others "to do the work of the ministry", not burn ourselves out by doing it all ourselves!

    What you do ministrywise (or what does your wife do) because of pressure/expectations from the church (stated or unstated) or your husband

    In our first major pastorate, the church had no pianist. I "requested" my wife fill that role. She had to know the songs on Monday and practice long hours to be ready by Sunday. It put terrible stress on her.

    Also, people assumed she "had my ear". But as soon as they started "hinting" or expressing themselves, she'd always direct them to me - set up a time for them to talk to me. One lady (I remember and it was 1971!!) said don't bother the pastor, blah blah blah. My wife looked at her aghast and called me on the phone immediately and in front of the gal told me what was said. Embarrassed the gal into silence for years!

    Are there any responsibilities that should fall upon the wife of a pastor simply because she is "the wife of a pastor"?

    In the church? No. At home? You bet! Her organizational skills, homemaking, child rearing, all free the pastor from much of the hectic duties of a "normal" husband and father.

    On Sunday morning my wife would always make sure I looked good, then sent me to the church. SHE took care of getting all the kids ready and do SS on time. Allowed me to focus my heart for teaching and preaching.
     
  7. PastorGreg

    PastorGreg
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    My wife is just that. She is God's gift to me (and a good one [​IMG] ). The fact that I am a pastor is incidental. If I find myself flipping burgers, her responsibility will not have changed at all. There is no "pastor's wife" in Scripture. She is neither the assistant pastor, nor the women's pastor. She has the same responsibility as anyone else to be faithful and to minister, as she and her husband see fit. Her first responsibility is me and the kids; she loves that role and does a super job at it.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Wow ... She could work miracles too???? :D

    My wife has a variety of things she does, nothing that she is required to do. I was unmarried for about 3 years so they didn't have a pastor's wife to lean on in those days. She has been a great asset to me personally and to the ministry. She does most of the counseling/talking to ladies. Her only real official duty is leading the ladies' Bible study each month and during our "Men's and Ladies' Wednesdays" (6 or 7 weeks about 3 times a year). Other than that she has no official duties except being my wife ... and she is very good at that. I expect the same from that I do from every other lady (and man) in the church: Be there, be involved, be growing, and be helping someone else become more like Christ.
     
  9. Circuitrider

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    My wife has been a pastor's wife for over 30 years and now she is a pastor's wife to pastor's wives. One observation she made about this ministry is that a pastor's wife cannot resign :eek: ...although Dr. Bob and I know a pastor's wife who did exactly that while her husband continued to be the pastor.

    My wife was the music coordinator of our church as well as playing keyboard instruments, singing, and even sometimes directing the choir. She was the church secretary during most of our ministry. In addition she usually had one area of teaching ministry such as King's Kids - pre-school, beginner SS, etc. She did provide direction for the ladies fellowship, but was never the director. [​IMG]

    These jobs were all done because she wanted to do them and chose to do them. Sometimes there was pressure to do certain other jobs, and I tried to run interferance and protect her from overcommitment. Did I always succeed...No, but most of the time we were able to keep her work load within reasonale parameters. ;)

    Her most important job is being the wife of the pastor...she protects him from sin and provides a warm, loving and secure place of security and safety for him. [​IMG]

    Like all in ministry, we have to deal with overcommitment. Sometimes because we love people and want to serve them we make time commitments which are challenging to keep. We have never regretted making the sacrifice of service. My wife would say if she were answering this thread, that Mrs. Thelma Cedarholm taught her to give herself unreservedly in ministry, and she has done that for almost 35 years as a pastor's wife. [​IMG]
     
  10. TaterTot

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    Well, I will be the rose among the thorns - I AM a pastor's wife! [​IMG] when we came here four years ago, (no kids yet) they church asked if I would be willing to teach the teens. I said I'd love to. I have always played the piano when needed, and now I am interim music director. (I have a masters in Church Music.) My church pays me for both youth and music roles. I told them it wasnt necessary. They have NEVER expected me to:
    keep nursery (and I have 2 toddlers)
    lead WMU or any other group
    act as secretary
    teach Sunday School
    make the bulletin
    clean the church
    or do anything that I didnt WANT to do. I am so thankful for our sweet little church.

    AND they take care of me, too. Last week, my husband was in Rome, and different ones fed us, entertained us, called to check on us, helped me get the kids ready for church (WOW!!!) and always walked us home from church to make sure we were safe. They also gave my husband $420 for spending on his trip. This is not an "average" church.

    At out last church, I did adult choir, was youth director, led children's choir, cleaned the whole church, made the bulletin, called the old folks, and drove the church van. And they made me feel as if it werent enough.
    But I LOVE being a pastor's wife. Sure, there are some sacrifices, but the benefits greatly outweigh them.
     

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