Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pastors' Wives Changing Role

Christianpost.com has an interesting article on the changing roles of the pastor's wife. I was wondering how you view yourself? Do you view yourself as a ministerial partner? Independent or able to pursue your own ministry interests? Behind the scenes support?

One pastor's wife that I know, once shared that she could not view herself as independent of her husband's ministry because people saw what she did in light of his ministry.

Call me old fashion but I cringe at the idea of pastors' wives being ministerial partners. Mainly because he is the one called to serve as the pastor. Also, in this day and age it causes confusion with so many churches abandoning the Bible in order to fit in with the expectations of the world.

2 comments:

Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

This has always been a difficult place for me. I am very strongly introverted and highly intellectual. A comfortable place has always been hard to find.

In seminary, I took a sem wives' class addressing the relationship to the congregation, and the professor's stance was that a pastor's wife wasn't doing the congregation any favors by being incredibly active in the running of the congregation. She was depriving other members of the opportunity to serve and grow and if and when the pastor got a call elsewhere, they not only lost the pastor, but also the LWML chairman, sunday school supervisor, social organizer, organist, church secretary, etc.(you name it)

I have clung to this philosophy sometimes for dear survival. The congregations my husband has served maybe didn't understand my approach, but to some extent they learned to accept it. At any rate, they've never griped to my face.

I don't consider myself my husband's partner, though I am, I think, capable and interested in areas regarding doctrine and practice. Theology fascinates me, but as a layman. My husband is the pastor. I am not his co-pastor.

I also do not seem to handle the typically female roles in churches...putting together potlucks, playing the organ, teaching Sunday School, etc. So I have no desire to take charge of any of these areas. I do try to support where I can. But I'd rather be in the pew and in the Bible Study rather than leading it.

Instead, I cling to my vocations. I am a Christian, a wife, and a mother. I try to provide a stable home that is a shelter from the church. I try to pursue my interests so that I remain interested in life and hopefully interesting, and I try to love, nurture, and teach my children. What I do in the congregation cannot take away from those things, but as a Christian and a member of this congregation, I serve where I think I can be of use, not where other people think I should be of use.

While this has been my guiding philosophy the whole time, I am actually just starting to be completely comfortable with it. Maybe I'm growing up.

Dr. Luther in the 21st Century said...

I can sympathize as a highly introverted and intellectual pastor who is married to a highly introverted and intellectual woman. I have to work rather hard to get people to realize I am not cold and uncaring, I just spend too much time in my head.

You really do sound like my wife. She is my most faithful attendee for Bible Study.

There were high expectations in our congregation considering our senior pastor's wife is our organist, choir director, women's bible study leader.