Written by Greg Perkins, Church Development Director
As I reflect on 30+ years of ministry and all the twists and turns that journey has provided, I am profoundly aware that I did not get to where I am on my own. It was a team effort.
Yes, there are the teams of volunteers and staff members at various places along the way that shared the load, filled in the gaps, and helped carry out the vision, mission, and plans…but it’s more than that.
Yes, there are the teams of leaders (elders and deacons) that prayed, endured long meetings, and helped support the vision, mission, and plans…but it’s even more than that.
In 30 years, I have worked on many different teams in the churches where we have served, but there is one team that has remained CONSTANT throughout the entire journey. It’s my HOME TEAM…which consists of my wife and me. Sure, we’ve had a couple of other players (our two boys), who continue to play key roles from time to time, but they are establishing their own teams now. Our team continues to forge ahead.
While I am grateful for the other teams on which I have had the privilege of serving, my HOME TEAM is the one God provided me to be a CONSTANT source of encouragement, support, accountability, and refuge in the midst of every trial we have endured. While individual responsibilities on our team have changed based upon the seasons of life and/or ministry, we both remain committed to our primary roles as husband and wife to build up, to preserve, and to protect each other so we can glorify God and remain fit for ministry.
For most of our team’s existence (married life), we have been referred to as “Pastor” and “Pastor’s Wife,” because of the role I filled in leadership of the church. In most situations, there has generally been an agreed-upon set of responsibilities and expectations that have gone along with my title of “pastor,” but rarely has this been the case for my wife. The reasons for this are as varied as the number of churches there are in the world, but it does present challenges for the Pastoral Team to navigate, doesn’t it? It did for ours.
Is the term “Pastor’s Wife” merely the result of someone being the wife of one who is a pastor? Is “Pastor’s Wife” a title?…is it a position?…what are the responsibilities?…what are the expectations?
Because there is little written material on the subject, pastoral couples have been forced to find their own way through trial and error (mostly error). Gladly, this is changing through the many resources that are now being offered through our Superintendent’s wife, Vicki Miller, as well as through our district and national office. I challenge you to take advantage of these resources, AND to find other ministry couples that you respect to glean from their experience. More importantly, begin to view you and your spouse as a TEAM to encourage and support each other in the work of the ministry.
While I made many mistakes in navigating these challenges, I commend the pastor’s wife of my church (MY wife) for being patient and loving through it all. I’m thankful God provided me with just the team member that I needed in our work to build the Kingdom. May God bless YOUR team in the days ahead!
This article originally appeared in the Southern Missouri District Messenger and is used with permission.