November 15, 2013

Scheduling Meetings on the Pastor's Day Off

I should be over this by now, but it bothers me that church people do not respect the pastor's day(s) off.

Yes, yes, I realize that there are emergencies. I understand that. But in the last couple of months, the church has scheduled multiple meetings and expects my husband to attend. In fact,  my husband (the pastor) has even scheduled some of the meetings himself. His comment to me is that this is an exceptional time of year--budgeting and the stewardship ministry kick-off. Naturally, those are vital. But it just seems that there is always something "vital" going on.

Now that our kids are on their own, I'm not bothered as much. But it makes it very hard to plan for us to do something together when I never know if there is a meeting or some other event planned.

Other minister's wives and husbands have told me that their spouse may not take any time off at all, so I guess I'm fortunate in that regard. And he is better than he used to be about having to go to all the meetings. My husband takes 2 non-consecutive weekdays off, but often times, he is planning or studying or going to Conference meetings on those days. And of course, it also doesn't count emergencies like funerals or hospital visits for emergency surgeries. And while he may "take off" 2 days, he works, on average, 7:00 am to 10:00 pm on all the other days. He does this, in part, because he's just that kind of person and would work that hard no matter what kind of job he had, but the church is only too willing to enable him.

You must also know that our church has about 800 members and there is no associate. I've jokingly said to some of the Staff Parish Committee folks that they are killing my husband and need to hire an associate. Actually many of them agree, but aren't moved sufficiently to do something about it.

On the other hand, our church is doing very well. It is a bright spot on the landscape of other churches that are declining. We continue to have many new members and meet our budget. And there are plans for expansion. I have no doubt that my spouse's leadership is largely responsible; and I imagine that when my husband stands before St. Peter, he will hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

So, I support my husband and do not complain--unless it gets too bad. But how many of us spouses are in a similar position? We want the church to thrive, but at what cost?

Grace, Kathy

1 comment:

  1. Hi Just read this and could not believe it. I am also a clergy spouse, fighting the good fight to help my husband see that killing himself for the parish is not a good choice, either for God or for his family. I have become much more assertive over the past few years with church leadership, wardens and council members, to let them know when enough is enough. We were in a parish that nearly ran him into the grave. I have already buried one husband (liver cancer) and do not believe that God is calling me to do this again. You both need to let the leadership of your parish know that the time for an associate is NOW not after he is put in the ground.