October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Regardless of your pastor’s gender, it’s so important to remember his/her family. This is a guest post written by Jessica Burke.
In July, I became a pastor’s wife. I didn’t expect that anything would change when my husband was affirmed as a pastor of our church. I had been prepared for this pseudo-role for years through our time in seminary and when he served in other ministry roles, but when it finally happened, I wasn’t quite sure I was cut out for the task.
It’s not that I have any real job. My husband has a great responsibility to be a shepherd to his flock. But my role has no job description, no official title, no real parameters. And yet, there is something different about being a pastor’s wife.
I’m noticing changes already.
People call my cell phone a few times a week when trying to reach my husband on church business. At church or church functions, people will come up to me to try to get my ear so I’ll talk to my husband about something.
I feel a great weight and burden over the success and health of our church that I never had when we were normal church members.
I am approached more about my children now than ever before. I feel an unfair expectation to serve in every capacity in the church. I feel like I need to be more guarded than I used to feel.
I’m fortunate that I have a really sweet church and while I am experiencing some of these new things, I feel very loved by my church.
But I know it isn’t always that way for pastor’s wives.
In honor of October being Pastor Appreciation Month, I want to share 3 simple ways you can love on your pastor by loving on his wife.
1. Watch her kids. I know this is a loving act for any mom but since most pastors work really long hours, this could minister to his wife very well! My husband is a bi-vocational pastor, meaning he works a full time job in addition to his job as a pastor. Take her kids for an afternoon so she can go walk through Target as leisurely as she’d like or get a much-needed haircut.
2. Tell her how thankful you are for her husband’s ministry, her family, etc. These words are a great encouragement to me, even when they are about my husband. I greatly appreciate it when people go out of their way to affirm him to me.
3.Take the time to remember she is a normal person and church member and interact with her as such. Don’t be intimidated by her and avoid friendship. And be sure to talk with her about things outside of church matters.
Our lives are rich because of our church, but we also have a new stress with my husband being in this role. I’m excited for him, but I see how the burdens of our church can weigh him down. Take some time to pray for your pastors and their families. I know they will be grateful.
If you want to know more about how to be a good, healthy church member, I highly recommend these short books to you (affiliate links):
I Am a Church Member by Thom S. Rainer
What is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti Anyabwile
Jessica Burke is married to her high school sweetheart and a homeschool mom to 3. After 3 years of living in Eastern Europe, her family settled in NC where her husband works in full-time ministry. She loves reading, being outside with her family, and traveling.