Perhaps the most important decision a pastor makes in his life and ministry is choosing the woman who will become his wife. Through my years of pastoring and leading churches, I have always found that a pastor and his ministry will not surpass his marital relationship in terms of healthy growth. If his marriage is healthy, his ministry has a much greater probability of being productive and effective. Conversely, if his marriage is unhealthy, his ministry will be extremely limited and affected greatly.
Jeana and I have been married over 36 years. I became a local church pastor in September 1976, and we were married on Dec. 31, 1976. Jeana was a piano major in college and I am convinced I received the call to my first church because they needed a piano player!
I want to share a few practical things for every pastor and his wife to consider and act upon in life and ministry:
You Are Partners
You are partners in marriage and in ministry. Yes, I wrote that statement correctly. Partnership in marriage many understand, but partnership in ministry is becoming a unique quality for a pastor and his wife.
Jeana and I have always been partners in ministry. We have walked together hand-in-hand through all our years in ministry. She is fully involved in the life of the church. Every pastoral candidate that I call to serve on our Cross Church team is joined by his wife at his final interview. That interview is more about her than it is him.
During that interview I talk to her and ask her:
*Do you go to worship?
*Are you involved in a ministry of the church?
Then I proceed to tell her along with her husband:
*If you come here I expect you to be in worship weekly.
*If you come here I expect you to be involved in a ministry.
*If you come here I expect you to be involved in our monthly staff wives luncheon that Jeana leads.
*If you come here I expect you to be involved in our annual staff advance.
At Cross Church, we expect a pastor and his wife to be partners in ministry. More importantly, God expects a pastor and his wife to be partners in ministry.
Live Life Together
A pastor and his wife need to live life together. Yes, ministry is busy and at times very demanding. Every job has challenging seasons.
However, a pastor and his wife need to live life together. When time away from ministry occurs, this should not mean that he goes his way and she goes her way. Go together! Live life together.
The strongest testimony of a pastor and his wife comes when your people see you together, enjoying life together and living life together. This also keeps both of you from becoming vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks of sexual temptation. When people see you and your wife living life together this lets all others know: She is mine and I am hers. If you are not together or you are rarely seen together, you are sending signals that are very unhealthy for your people. Therefore, live life together!
Be consistent in your walk with Christ and your calling to ministry both at church and at home. Do not be a hypocrite! The last thing the wife of the pastor needs to see is a different man at home than she sees in the pulpit. This is especially true when children enter into your life. Equally, the pastor does not need to come home to a wife who is personified at church as a great woman of God, but at home is a tough lady.
Both a pastor and his wife need to be consistent in their daily walk with Jesus. Consistent in their daily time with God. Consistent in praying together daily. Consistent in their family life and church life.
The anointing of God cannot be fooled! God knows if you are real and consistent daily, wherever you are. Usually, the anointing of God is strongest to those who live consistently wherever they may be, whether at home, at the ball field, within a restaurant, or at the church.
Many More Thoughts
Yes I have many more thoughts on this, but let’s just think upon and pray about these for now:
*You are partners
*Live life together
May the Holy Spirit empower you to be these things and more!