June 6, 2014

What Pastor Spouses Want Their Congregations to Know

As some of us will be moving to new churches, it might be worth considering what you want your congregation to know. Here's my list. You might have a different one.

1. I don't play the piano. Might wish I did, but I don't.
2. I am not an extension of my spouse. I have my own views and convictions.
3. I don't carry messages to my spouse. For one reason, I might forget, but the other reason is that if you want to tell the pastor something, don't drag me into it.
4. You can talk to me about something other than the church.
5. Our children are our children. But please be sensitive to them, because they live in a glass house.
6. Don't come to visit me without calling in advance.
7. Criticism about the church or my spouse even if "given in love," is still criticism.
8. Christian people do not hurt their pastor by hurting me or the children. This happens more than you know.
9. I am not a co-pastor. Don't count on me to help on every committee or attend every church event.
10. I really do love the church, but I'm not married to it. Really.
11. I did not take a vow of poverty when my spouse decided to become a pastor. I appreciate and expect a fair salary as much as you do.
12. I really do appreciate all your support and have received many unexpected gifts of friendship.

I don't share all of these things immediately when going to a new place, because in time they will all come up naturally anyway. But I do stick to these principles and found the church people, not only understand, but appreciate knowing.

Blessings on you.

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