- NEVER assume that the pastor's spouse is a full-time unpaid employee of the congregation.
- PRAY to God that the spouse who comes along with the preacher you hired is a passionate Jesus-follower who loves God and is called according to God's purposes.
- Note: #2 is far and away better than # 1.
I've found a lot of niches in the church, places where - just like any other church member - God uses my particular gifts. But, and I sense that this is a calling every pastor's husband should seriously consider, I feel a particular inclination to encourage the "men of the church."
There's a lot of talk in every church about reaching young-adults, much concern over children's ministries, constant emphasis on programs for youth, exciting initiatives to reach retirees, and ongoing reevaluation when it comes to the effectiveness of outreach to minorities.
All of the above are most certainly important...
BUT, if there is one demographic that's both seriously undernourished and chronically under resourced in the average "mainline" Christian church, then it would have to be that of men, aged 30-60.
Here's what this Preacher's Husband believes:
- Men and women are not the same (I love that!).
- Women are more highly-evolved - relationally - than men. And, consequently, women share with one-another, encourage one-another and pray for one-another more naturally.
- Men also need one another to grow spiritually. Men need close-knit community, but they don't know how to go about it.
- Men need to be more deliberate when it comes to creating Christian community.
- Traditional men's ministry fails to go nearly far enough in terms of spiritual nurture.
- When men encourage one-another in the context of a "Band of Brothers" their sense of discipleship takes off exponentially. I'm talking about support, encouragement and accountability. I'm talking about "Provoking one-another" as brothers in Christ.
- Once men move beyond a Part-Time Christianity to dynamic discipleship, it doesn't take more than a handful of disciples to make a huge difference in the mission and ministry of a previously uninspired congregation.
- I'll take that a step further: A dynamic men's ministry will literally transform your church.
In the mainline church culture, there's a lot of room for progress when it comes to what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. That may be where we are, but God has charged us with a critical mission, and that is to be agents of positive change. Listen to this scripture from the letter to the Colossians: