July 7, 2010


Whenever I have asked my husband how I should act in certain instances related to our ministry, like going to a church for the first time, or participating with small groups, etc., his response has always been, "Just walk in there and act like you own the place."

Not to suggest that I have ownership over it, or that I should demand my own way, but that while we serve in a place, I should understand it is my place of worship too, and I should act that way. I should have ownership in it. I should invest in it, and its ministries and people should be important to me. I should help however I can to change the life and health of the congregation for the better.

I should own it...in responsibility, in love, in faithfulness. But there are little things too, that I have come to expect of myself. Things I think to myself, "You're the pastor's spouse, if you don't do it, why would you expect anyone else to?" I absolutely cannot allow myself to leave a toilet paper roll empty when I notice one. I can't leave after a fellowship dinner without helping to clean up. And even if I'm not "allowed" to wash dishes, I can at least gather the plates of others to the trash. I can pick up bulletin papers or candy wrappers after a service. In short, if I notice something out of sorts, I can make it right.

It doesn't have to be a big thing. I might not be able to be a remedy for all my church's issues or needs, but I can make a difference. I can make it better so that when I leave than it was when I came. I know the roles of clergy spouses can look vastly different from church to church, but that's my spouse-i-tude. What's yours?

Linda Hodges
A Clergy Spouse in the North Alabama Conference

1 comment:

  1. Dear Linda, While I do agree with a lead-by-example approach, I have also found that by jumping in and helping, others will sometimes deliberately hang back. They seem to think that if I do it, they don't have to. Guess I'm saying it is a balancing act. But you are completely right to point out that church folks do notice and do pay attention to what spouses do.