Recently, I found myself in a discussion with my fellow youth workers on a youth pastor site on facebook, and the discussion was about our wives, and how involved should they be in our ministry. Also, the question arose “if interviewing for a position, should the committee ask you about your wife and her thoughts about the ministry, and her role in the ministry?” This brought back a ton of feedback, and many church leaders were coming from different perspectives. I wanted to give you a few thoughts about how involved should your wife be in your ministry?

  1. God designed for her gifts to not be your gifts– Have you heard the cliche, “opposites attract?” This is true. My wife and I are different people with different abilities, strengths, weaknesses, and interest. This is such an important reason to make your ministry successful. There are things that come my way in our student ministry that my wife can implement her gifts in areas that I am a bit uncomfortable or not gifted in. She complements me, because her gifts are different from mine, and when both of us are using our gifts for the ministry, our ceiling and potential becomes higher.
  2. She can keep you accountable– We all see and hear about different scandals taking place involving student pastors and leaders with younger teenager girls. I feel that with my wife involved in my ministry, she can keep me accountable. We all need accountability! I do not care if you are a pastor or not, you need and should desire accountability. Your wife should be your number 1 accountability partner.
  3. Your wife can offer you a different perspective– I ask my wife about ministry, sermon series, games, etc. Her insight blows me away every time, because she brings about a different perspective on those things. She thinks and brings up questions that I would never ever think of, because we are made differently. Also, she understands where teenager girls are coming from. This is impossible for me to understand at all, and she gets it, and helps me as I address things to them.
  4. Your wife can address certain issues and counseling sessions that are difficult for you– This goes along with the accountability issue. If I need to counsel a girl, I always have my wife or another girl youth leader. Your wife is always best though to eliminate any accusations, etc. Sometimes, my wife can pull girls aside and discuss personal matters that I could not address by myself. Some things teenage girls do not want to tell me, but feel comfortable telling my wife or a girl youth leader.
  5. Your wife is your best friend– Ministry is a very lonely and difficult place to be sometimes. My wife has helped me so much in this area. When she is involved, she understands where I am at and who I am dealing with. She then can help console and listen to the problems that ministry brings.
  6. It brings an example for your students– You should be putting your wife on a pedestal. You should never demean her in front of your students. You should constantly be building her up and lifting her up. Students in our youth groups are coming from broken homes and families, and they are craving a Godly and Biblical example of what a right relationship should be according to the Bible.
  7. Never place your wife in a position where she is uncomfortable. If your wife does not want to teach, do not force it on her. Let her be her, and do not try to make her into this thought that we have about every pastor’s wife that they should play the piano and teach.

These are just a few thoughts on the issue. So, how involved should your wife be in your ministry? I think that it is totally up to you and your wife. You guys discuss it, and come to a place where you feel comfortable. In my ministry, we are accomplishing a lot more with my wife involved than if my wife were not involved. She is my help meet, and personally, when the church called me, they called us both. We are a package deal, and it works for us this way, and we understand that it does not for others. The Bible is not clear on exact expectations of how involved should your wife be so I think that it is debatable. It works for us though, and we love it. My wife is as in love with Jesus and His ministry as much as I am, and that means the world to me!

Thoughts welcomed, just leave a comment below:

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “How Involved should your wife be in your ministry?

  1. Good thoughts on your reasoning as a couple. My wife is also involved in our youth ministry, but only because she is passionate and wants to be. Every year we reevaluate her involvement together. This is nothing more or less than I ask of every youth leader though.

    A few thoughts, though.
    1. Any church that is interviewing a candidate has the right to desire whatever they want. Thus, they can ask about my wife’s heart for youth ministry and whether or not she plans on being involved. But if my wife does not feel called and gifted to help in our youth ministry, then I should have the integrity not to take a position where the church demands it of her! I wish all churches would see the ministry involvement of all spouses of church staff as a bonus, not a requirement! I read this desire from you in your statement “I think that it is totally up to you and your wife.” We specifically need to break down the “pastor’s wife” mold that so many women have felt forced into over the years. (Side note, does anyone see a development of a “pastor’s husband” mold?)

    2. We don’t know each other Josh, so I don’t want to be one of those “angry blog comment writers”, but female youth pastors were probably alienated by this post. We HAVE to continue to sue language in ways that include our sisters in ministry in our “boys club”! I think that the way you speak about your wife’s gifting and the blessings that she brings to your ministry just reinforces the need to be inclusive in this way.

    3. I really love your personal understanding that your wife adds a new perspective, ability to approach difficult topics for you as a guy, and that our relationships with spouses (when healthy) set a great example. I feel all of these same things with my wife as a partner in ministry.

    4. The one negative is that it sometimes makes it difficult to leave work at work when I get home. This is a small negative compared to all of the positives, but is a reality sometimes.

    I am glad you have found the blessing of a wife who is passionate about youth ministry! It is a huge blessing! Peace brother.

  2. LOL…I’m sure your wife compliments you frequently, as I hope you do her. I try to compliment my wife at least twice a day (on her abilities, appearance, etc.). However, in list item #1, may I suggest you mean, “complements?” 🙂

    My wife is invaluable to my ministry–apart from the general area of moral support–in that she is a good editor (catching things I miss that might offend people in drafts of handouts, sermons, etc.) as well as being a good “foil” when doing drama…an area where other church members are often reluctant to participate. I’d be absolutely lost without her, but I agree: it’s up to each individual minister and his/her spouse to find a balance that works for them.

  3. I took my position single and ended up falling in love and getting engaged to a volunteer in the program, so I am marrying into her involvement. It was a careful process and minefield of dating someone involved with the church and youth program, but done properly it is possible, and I agree completely with this post and thank you for some thoughts on the subject!

  4. As I was reading your first point, “God designed for her gifts not be your gifts” I was instantly reminded of when Jimmy agreed after prayer about becoming the director of Reformers Unanimous for UGBC. We sat down and discussed what potentially my role would be in this ministry as his wife. I remember him saying to me, “Some of the spiritual gifts that God has given to me may not be the same as the gifts he has given to you so therefore, you should pray about first of all, if God is leading you to be a part of this ministry with me, and second, where in the ministry would God have you to serve?” God did reveal to me my role in this ministry with my husband. It is to support him with prayer, counseling with individuals if necessary if there is a female involved, supervision of the daycare (scheduling) and also making sure the meals are planned and provided each Friday night. Jimmy is sure to let me know on how much he appreciates eveything I do to support him in this ministry and we have so many people who encourage and help us in this ministry. We are so thankful for them and their willingness to serve as well.

  5. Ben,

    Judging from the little interaction that I have had with Josh through this blog and emails, it is my assumption that he did not address women youth pastors because it is his belief that Scripture does not allow for women to be pastors (Josh, please correct me if I am incorrect in this assumption). I come from a conservative Baptist upbringing and am Southern Baptist. My belief and the teaching of my denomination is that women may be gifted to teach (and there are some incredible women teachers), but they are not permitted to be pastors. I am not trying to spark any sort of debate here, just pointing out what I believe and where I believe Josh is coming from.

    By the way, Josh, I hope you don’t mind that I borrowed some of your thoughts for my blog. On the interview questions I sent you, this topic was addressed. Your post was extremely timely. Thanks again for what you do here and for your church.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s