Give honor to whom honor is due
Honor has always been important to me. Growing up in a Caribbean Puerto Rican household, I was taught from a young age to honor those around me. Be it my parents, my elders or my Pastors, I understood that we are to honor those around us. The term “honor” means to hold in high esteem, to project and put value on. This has become one of life’s great passions for me. Here at StartCHURCH we regard honor as a core value. We seek to honor each and every Pastor and each and every story that comes to us. Traditionally, October has been set aside as “Pastor Appreciation Month”. It is a time of year when many congregations come together to honor their Pastor. It is a time to say “Thank you for what you have given to our church!” and honor (hold in high esteem, place a high value on) what God has done through them. As October approaches I want to challenge you to take a different approach to Pastor Appreciation month. Let’s look at honoring another person who has a significant impact in our churches...the pastor's wife!
The pastor's wife works under the radar
After being in ministry for almot 20 years, I can truly say that there few people anywhere, in any church, who have as much impact as the Pastor’s wife. Yet, most of what they do is behind the scenes and goes unnoticed. They aren’t often giving sermons, leading from the front, or getting the praise. Oftentimes they move under the radar; loving the church and its people, and creating a foundation upon which a thriving church can be built.
Who does more in the local church then the Pastor’s wife?
When I was Pastoring, my wife worked tirelessly to make me look better than I really was and to help our church in countless ways. Whether she was leading praise and worship, coordinating the logistics of our outreach programs, or managing the women’s ministry, her relentless pursuit of my well-being, and that of the church, was never compromised.
While in a hurry one day many years ago, I tried to escape the house with a pair of pants that were poorly ironed. To my surprise, like a Doppler radar scanning the skies, my wife scanned the details of my attire and noticed the small creases on the side of my slacks. Immediately she went about helping me get ready. 15 minutes later I left the house perfectly pressed and professional! She would not let me leave unless she ironed them to perfection. Even to this day, I do not know how she does it. Her capacity to care and love us is awe inspiring. I am amazed and humbled at her dedication to her family and even more so to the Lord and to His bride.
A job with no stardom
The truth about the Pastor’s wife’s role is that it doesn’t come with stardom. In fact, Pastor’s wives will often attest to the reality of more scrutiny from the church than support. She usually serves unpaid and though she knows she is worth her pay, she does not ask. In fact, in many churches, when the pastor's salary is considered they often do not think about what she does and just consider her as part of the package.
Has your church stopped to think about all she does? After Pastoring my own church, and talking with thousands of churches through StartCHURCH, I find the job description of a Pastor’s wife to be one of the most important roles in the local church. Here are a few of the most common roles she plays in the church:
- Cheerleader: Most churches don’t understand how often their senior Pastors get discouraged, and how often they want to quit the ministry. You have the Pastor’s wife to thank for him sticking it out another week!
- Bookkeeper: Most often in church life, the Pastor’s wife is the bookkeeper. She is keeping the church on track financially; a responsibility that comes with much burden.
- Coordinator: Often times, the Pastor’s wife is in charge of multiple schedules. From the nursery schedule, to the cleaning schedule, to most calendars within the church; the buck tends to stop with the Pastor’s wife.
- Intersesscor: Only heaven really knows the prayers of the Pastor’s wife that have kept the church and the Pastor covered in the arms of God’s grace. Many times I would find my wife on her knees, with her bible open, crying out for me and the church and the city in which we were investing our lives. Like Aaron, the Pastor’s wife often lifts the heaviest hands.
Honor the pastor by honoring his wife
And for many Pastor’s wives, this is simply the beginning of all they do. As we approach Pastor Appreciation month, I want to encourage you to realize that one of the best ways to honor and encourage the Senior Pastor is to honor and encourage his wife.