Introducing Mr AND Mrs Pastor… isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be? After all, if a Church hires a pastor aren’t they really getting a Two-For-One Deal? She married him didn’t she? She supports his ministry, doesn’t she? What DOES she do with all her time if she’s not the de-facto Children’s Ministry Coordinator, Women’s Ministry Manager, weekly host of families visiting the pastor, etc?
Mark Driscoll has a lengthy post on how to love the pastor’s wife, that I’m going to copy here in parts over the next few days in between some other articles. It is a helpful expose on the mysterious and controversial role of the pastor’s wife.
One of the most important and most overlooked people in a church is the pastor’s wife. She is usually not on the organizational chart, does not have a formal job title or job description, and is an unpaid volunteer. But her ministry can make or break her family and church
In a few mainly prosperity-oriented, religious-type churches, the pastor’s wife is treated as the first lady, with an over-the-top amount of power and deference. However, in most small churches, the pastor’s wife is treated as the last lady, with an over-the-top lack of love and consideration. As a result, she’s the last lady to sit down for a church meal because she’s in the kitchen, the last one to make it in to hear her husband’s sermon because she’s getting hen-pecked by the needy and religious women, the last person to get help when she’s in need because she’s busy looking after everyone else, and the last person to get her husband’s undivided attention because his phone is always ringing with someone who has randomly decided they are more important than her.
Many pastors have children. On Sundays, the pastor’s wife is basically a single mother. She gets up early to cook a nice breakfast, chat with her husband, and pray for him before sending him off to preach. She then has to get the kids up and ready, get herself ready, and get the family out the door early enough to not be late to church, because everyone will talk if she’s late. She often does not have a designated parking spot as she should, and upon entering the church she is continually interrupted by people wanting to chat—often including rude people, demanding people, and critics of her husband. She tries to keep an eye on her kids during all of this while carrying a diaper bag and other belongings, and eventually she makes her way into the church service, where it is likely she does not have a seat saved for her. Surely the church can do better than this.