This post focuses on other things we should or should not do as we love on and walk beside our ministers’ wives in our churches. Share these with your women’s ministry leadership team and find ways to support these wives on an ongoing basis.
1. Do not assume your ministers’ wife WANTS to be a leader or member of your leadership team. Find out what her passion is for ministry and support her in it. Read this post for more details.
2. Ask how you can pray for her and her family. For a large staff, each month pray for a different minister and spouse. Contact, find out specific requests and send a note of encouragement during that month. My church, Long Hollow in Hendersonville, TN, is large with lots of staff ministers. Each month one of our women’s ministry team members emails our other team members a list assigning us a different minister and his wife and family to pray for, send cards, encourage. It has helped me get to know them better as I’ve prayed for their specific needs.
3. Send birthday and anniversary cards to your ministers and their family members. Ask the church for a list of dates so you can mark these on your calendar to send them “hand written” notes or signed cards! What a novel idea in this technical age!
4. Ask your ministers’ wives if they would be willing to share their story with your women as an event or small group. Let her know you want to get to know her personally and your want the women in your church to know her. If she is not comfortable sharing in a group, maybe ask if she would record something to be played later.
5. During staff appreciation, do something special for the wives. Provide them with a pamper night that includes manicures, pedicures, massages or facials. Often the wives get overlooked as the minister receives accolades. She is such a vital part of his ministry that she also needs to be shown appreciation and recognition for her love for and support for this spouse and his family.
6. Do not complain to her about her husband! If you have an issue to discuss, go directly to the minister you need to talk to. The wife does not need to be in the middle of telling him what you want him to know. Tell him yourself!
7. If she has young children, offer to take the kids out so that she and her husband can have a night alone. Or, offer to keep them overnight so they can go out of town for a night or two. Perhaps a family with similar aged children could invite them over to play once a month for an evening or overnight date for their parents.
8. If she loves to teach, ask if she would lead your next Bible study for a short period of time. If she’s not a teacher, ask her to be a part of the study as a member.
9. Provide her a copy of In Our Shoes: Real Life Issues for Ministers’ Wives by Ministers’ Wives Bible study. If you have more than one staff wife, give them each a copy so they might do the study together.
10. Remember, these women are just like you…busy women who have a heart for God seeking how to grow and serving Him. She struggles with some of the same issues you do but hers may be much more visible!
What else do you do to encourage your ministers’ wives? Consider personally asking them what they need.
In Our Shoes: Real Life Issues for Ministers’ Wives by Ministers’ Wives
Handbook for Ministers’ Wives, Dorothy Patterson
Being a Minister’s Wife – And Being Yourself, Nancy Pannell