April 26, 2010

Two for the Price of One? (New Poll)

Long gone are the days (in most churches, at least) where the congregation got "two leaders for the price of one"--the pastor they paid and the unpaid secretary the pastor was married to.

These days, most clergy spouses work outside the home (59% of wives and 87% of husbands, a 2009 survey of UM clergy spouses found). The leadership roles they do play in the congregation are generally unpaid and more or less equivalent to what any active layperson might do. There is a lot of talk about expectations placed on clergy spouses to teach Sunday school, sing in the choir, play the organ, or lead the UMW--but how much do we actually do?

I teach classes occasionally (a short-term Bible study or filling in for an absent Sunday school teacher) and sometimes help my husband serve communion (something we both enjoy and find meaningful) but overall, I don't do much. I try not to cave to pressures to even attend every event, much less lead them. I often say that my husband needs a secretary, but it's stressful enough on our marriage when I try to organize his personal life, much less his professional life!

What about you? Take the poll in the sidebar at right--the serious one and the more lighthearted one below it--and let everyone know what roles you play in your congregation. (Leave your "others" in the comments below!)

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