One question we have gotten at our YOULead training event is “What do you do when the pastor’s wife is not on board with the women’s ministry?” I have heard this many times before.
We would probably all love for our pastor’s wife to support and participate in what we are doing with women in the church. But do we EXPECT it as a part of her role? I do not think that is fair to her. God may have gifted her in the role of preschool, young couples, or student ministry. That may be her real passion and calling. As a leader, we should support her in that call.
Now, would we like for her to take part in what we do to reach and disciple? Of course! But don’t place expectations on her without thinking it through. Perhaps you can take her to lunch and discuss the ministry with her. Ask her if she sees herself as any part of that, no matter how small. It could be something as simple as a welcome or prayer time she leads. It might be a video testimony of what God is teaching her you can show to your women. It might be to just sit on your team as an advisor.
In my former church in Texas, when our new pastor came to our church, we so desired for his wife to be a women’s team member as our former pastor’s wife was. But her true calling was to young couples and that was where she wanted to devote the majority of her time. So we asked her to serve as an advisor on our team so we could bounce ideas off of her and get her perspective. We also discovered that she was a wonderful story teller (not as in liar!) and she began opening our special events with a story based on our theme. She was so creative and engaging and the ladies loved her stories. We found her niche and it blessed her and us!
The pastor’s wife has the pastor’s ear better than any other woman. If we can embrace her and allow her to be who God created her to be and serve in the place she feels called, we will show that we also minister to her as a woman in our church body. Show her love and appreciation. Let her know you pray for her continually.
Recently our women’s team at my current church began praying for our staff families by dividing the names up and each team member praying for one or two staff families a month. I have gotten to know not only the staff person and position, but also their spouse and children. What a privilege to pray for these in strategic positions in our church and the Kingdom.
Pray for and get to know your pastor’s wife. Ask her how you can pray for her. Seek her ideas for ministry to other women. Allow her to be all God has created her to be. Perhaps you might give her a copy of In Our Shoes, and encourage her to find another minister’s wife to meet with for mutual encouragement and prayer.