Okay, so you’re a pastor’s wife now! I’m sure you feel completely prepared for this position after years of training, mentoring, classes, and a MRS degree. Oh, you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing?! Me too!
For you new pastor wives who need some fun, quick, easy ideas to implement that will help support your husband, your church, your family, and your ministry, look no further! Here is your to-do list for your first few months or years in ministry.
- Find one other pastor’s wife, not at your church, and tell them you need a pastor’s wife best friend.
Seriously. Be blunt about it. Tell them that you need a “safe” person. You need a ministry girlfriend who you can call after a particularly tense church business meeting. You need a friend in ministry to give you the tried-and-true casserole recipe that will comfort a widow or feed a family with a new baby. You need a friend to whom you can say, “I wish I could just sleep in one Sunday instead of going to church” with no fear of judgment. Invaluable! Never let go of that friend!
- Obsessively learn names of church members.
Okay, don’t actually obsess about it. But put some energy into it. Look at a church directory or find some church people on Facebook. It means SO much to people if you know their name early on. Make it a game if it helps you!
- Choose your seat wisely.
Maybe your husband really cares where you sit, and wants you in the front row. Or maybe you’d prefer to be in the back of the sanctuary so you can scope everyone out. But if it’s up to you, be purposeful about where you sit. Mix it up. Don’t sit by the same person every week. Don’t sit on the same side every week. If you’re feeling especially feisty, purposely “steal” someone’s spot that has been sitting there every week for 50 years. There’s no better way to start to recognize and know everyone.
- Minister smarter, not harder.
You’ve heard “work smarter, not harder,” right? Same thing for the pastor’s wife. Don’t dive into every ministry. Be wise about what you choose to participate in, and if possible, pick one where you are somewhat visible. Show people you are a team player. You don’t have to be playing piano every week on the stage, but maybe you are an honorary greeter. Maybe you sign the kids in. Maybe you lead a committee. Find something you’re passionate about and good at. It’s a bonus if it’s something people can see versus a “behind the scenes” ministry, especially at first. People want to see you investing in the church and want a chance to get to know you.
Those are my quick tips for the new pastor’s wife. You may not have an office, a business card, or any official title, but pastors’ wives make the church go ‘round. You are critical, you are valuable, you are making a difference. Smile and enjoy the ride, Mrs. Minister.
To follow my life as a pastor’s wife, check out my instagram (laurarisdall) or our church website at westpointe.org.
To follow our ministry journey, see below!