Pastor's Wife and Church Life
My (Pastor Matt Jones) good friend Chad Vegas who pastors at a church in Bakersfield called Sovereign Grace Church, recently posted a short reflection on how believers ought to view the wife of a pastor in their churches. I found it to be a good word and with his permission I am sharing it here for our Del Rey Church family and friends. Blessings!
'Pastor's Wife and Church Life'
by Pastor Chad Vegas
"Pastor's wife" is not a God-given office in the church. The wife of the pastor is a church member like everyone else. She is not a second employee, or associate pastor, or women's director, or church musician etc. She is not to bear the burdens of the church. She is to be a helper to her husband and a mother to her children. I am often asked by members about how we encourage the "pastors' wives." The answer I give is to see my wife as a member of the church like everyone else, and not as some kind of co-pastor with me. I intentionally shield my wife from as many burdens of the church as possible. If she wants to serve in some way, then she is welcome to do so. But she is not a free employee that comes along with my salary.
Now, are there additional burdens on a "pastor's wife" we cannot avoid? Yes! Does she see her husband get mistreated by people he lays down his life for? Yes. Does she lose friends when people decide to move on to other churches, or when they become upset with her husband over a ministry decision? Yes. Does she have to be guarded about friendship because some people try to get close to the minister's wife in order to be "in the know"? Yes. Do her children often bear the pressure of living up to their dad's reputation? Yes. Does she have to walk her children through the loss of their friends when people leave the church, or get upset with her husband? Yes.
For these reasons the pastor's wife needs to be a godly, hospitable, and close-mouthed woman. She needs to be a woman who trusts the Lord. She needs those "godly graces" from the Holy Spirit to be married to a pastor. She does not need any particular "ministry gifts" in order to be the pastor's wife. In summary, treat your pastor's wife as a church member. Pray for her because of her unique challenges in being married to a gospel minister. But don't set extra expectations for her.