It’s pretty hard to be a good small church pastor without the full support and involvement of your wife. My ministry as a pastor would not be what it is except for my wife.
Yes, Lynnette plays the piano, but not all the time. We do have others who play and lead music. No, she doesn’t lead the Women’s Ministry and doesn’t even attend the Ladies Bible Study. Yes, she is involved in teaching the children in Children’s Church just about every Sunday. She also presently leads our Tuesday morning Moms and Tots program. And beyond the programs, she does a lot of ministry by connecting with ladies and by caring for those who need some love. She loves taking meals to people who need some encouragement. And her involvements have changed depending on which church we were in and what was happening there or even on the ages of our kids and what they were involved in. But that’s not even really what is most important to me.
All of the above things contribute to the work of the church, but what I find most valuable is her willingness to listen to me and to give me good input and feedback. I can share my frustrations with her and know she will listen. I work through alot of my thinking and ideas by bouncing them off her before I ever talk with my elders or other leaders about them.
So why am I saying this? Because I think that we need to be very careful not to do what most churches do… fail to recognize how valuable your wife is to your church -and most importantly to you as the pastor.
Take time to appreciate her. Tell her how much you value her support and input. Celebrate things with her. Give her freedom to say “no” when things get to be too much. I know I need to do that more for Lynnette.
Treat her as a partner in ministry. Don’t be scared to talk about what happened in your day and who you talked to. Let her in on the conversations you have been having and the dreams you hold for your church and yourself personally. Take time to listen to her ideas and to her dreams for the church.
I really hope you have a wife who sees how valuable her support is. There are pastors – even good ones, who are no longer serving in a church because of their wife. I hope your experience really is one of mutual partnership in ministry where you both feel called and both are concerned about your community and your church! And as you include your wife, also protect her and her time. Hopefully you will both have a long and joy-filled ministry together!