Pastors are great. I love pastors, yes partially because I am one, but also because many of my closest friends and mentors are pastors. Many pastors are celebrated often. Many of them are criticized often as well. We even have a “Pastors Appreciation Day” in the evangelical sub-set. Pastors, although far less than before, are celebrated.
All this attention on the pastor, yet there is still a forgotten minister.
This minister is behind the scenes and makes the success of the pastor possible. This minister is rarely celebrated, often forgotten and usually suffers under the weight of the criticism that comes against the pastor. This minister loves deeply, supports fervently and allows their sleep, dreams and life to be placed to the side (if not indefinitely, for a time at the very least) for the sake of the ministry. This minister keeps the same late hours as the pastor. This minister gives deep insight and input into the ministry; although many folks don’t see this, they do. Many times even the pastor themselves forget to acknowledge this minister and how deeply they assist and encourage in the ministry that is being done.
This minister is taken for granted and is often judged based only on two things: their appearance and their participation. The weight of this harsh judgment is often times hard to manage, but this particular minister does it well, leaning on God, (hopefully) their pastor and their friends (if they have any true ones).
Many times this minister is the one who is used by God to put the pastor back together when they are wounded. They come alongside their pastor and speak God’s truth into their lives. This is never seen by the normal congregant, but it happens and this love and care is vital to the vibrant life of the pastor. In fact, I’d venture to say that the pastor is nothing without this minister.
This far in, I hope you are either A. asking who this minister is, or B. already know who this minister is. SO….who is it?
This minister is the spouse of the pastor.
For me, my wife is my biggest supporter, cheerleader and confidant. God has given me an amazing woman whom I can lean on for advise as well as counsel. She’s seen the beauty of ministry and the ugliness of it, yet she still supports me and encourages me to keep going. One aspect of her ministry that is often overlooked; is her great support at home. Without her staying back many nights I could not do the ministry I do. I’m out of the house many evenings and she puts the kids to bed by herself. She makes them dinner, bathes them, brushes their teeth and gets them ready for bed, some nights alone. I’ve ensured that not every night is packed with ministry and have also made sure my night time events are later in the evening, so I can help with bedtime as often as possible. Yet, there are still times where my lovely bride has a night or two, or three where she is alone.
Very few see her effort, or her support to the ministry, yet she is there. Often times, I too forget to thank and acknowledge her and do not fully appreciate all that she has done, is doing or will do. I thank God for my bride and realize that I couldn’t do what God has called me to do without her by my side helping me do it. THANK YOU!
Pastors- don’t forget to appreciate your spouse. They are vital to your ministry both to the church and to yourself.
Churches- don’t forget to thank and appreciate the spouses as well as your pastor. If you are grateful to their pastoral ministry, know that it is possible many times due to their spouses support and encouragement.
For the record, this blog doesn’t come on the heels of anything dramatic. It came to me to blog on this issue simply due to the major sacrifice my wife made this summer as I traveled and was out of the house for almost the whole month of August. It was a hectic summer but she pushed through. It’s been a hectic beginning to the school year, but she’s been right there. God has blessed me tremendously and I desired to share how grateful I am! this month is “Pastor Appreciation Month” and I wanted to thank my forgotten minister. I am one lucky guy!