My early days of being a pastor’s wife were always easy. I sometimes saw the church as an enemy—the job takes him away from me, our kids, and our home. All plans were tentative, depending on what needs arise in the congregation.
Once I stopped seeing myself in a battle for his attention, I could partner with my husband in ministry. Like the example set by Priscilla and Aquila, we could work together to disciple and minister others.
I wanted our church members to know how much I loved and appreciated them, so I came up with a list to work toward. I certainly don’t do them all perfectly, and now that we’re serving at our fourth church, I can say some of these were easier at some places than others. But when I read back over the list, it’s a good reminder to live out 1 Cor. 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
Here are 30 practical ways pastors’ wives can show their churches some love:
1. Pray for members specifically and often.
3. Serve the church with your gifts and talents.
4. Be a willing hostess.
5. Show and tell your children’s Sunday school teachers and youth leaders how much you appreciate them.
6. Don’t always be the last one to pick up your kids from their classes or child care.
7. Don’t take the best parking spot.
8. Don’t expect youth to baby-sit for free.
9. Write cards, letters, and/or emails to members.
10. Keep confidential matters confidential.
11. You can’t do all things for all people, but be careful not to just do some things for some people.
12. Do not participate in gossip.
13. Respect your husband as the head of your family and the leader of your church.
14. Get to know other ministry wives in your area to learn from.
15. Be real about your life, family, and weaknesses.
16. Keep an eye to the social media accounts of your church members so you can encourage them if you see they are going through a hard time.
17. Give generously of your time, money, and possessions.
18. Be visible and approachable around church.
19. Realize that some of the pressure you put on yourself is just that—self-inflicted, and not from the church.
20. Take time to feed yourself spiritually—grow in the spiritual disciplines of prayer, bible study, and worship.
21. Don’t take a job or position just because if you don’t no one else will, allow others to step up and use their gifts.
22. Get to know women in different life stages from your own and learn from them.
23. Be willing to accompany your husband on visits and in meetings if he needs you to.
24. Know your weakness and try to strengthen them. For example, read a book on counseling (like Women Helping Women by Fitzpatrick and Cornish) or hospitality.
25. Make your husband a better preacher by giving constructive suggestions at the appropriate time.
26. Keep yourself healthy.
27. Forgive and forget.
28. Keep frozen cookie dough in the freezer to bake when someone stops by the house.
29. Stay in the loop on issues that impact the city where you live and serve.
30. Serve more than you expect to be served.