Seasons come and seasons go. Some seasons, while similar lengths, seem to stick around longer than others. How is winter treating you so far? Maybe you’re getting to use your outdoor toys and tools more, or maybe you’re getting a lot of reading done inside where it is nice and warm! Ministry has seasons of busyness and seasons of stillness, some staying longer than others. One of the more eventful seasons of the year is just around the corner.

As we approach the season of Lent, I thought a few tips for the pastor’s family would be beneficial. Lent is always designated for six weeks with Holy Week and Easter being the pinnacle and finale of God’s goodness and glory, shown through the death and resurrection of His beloved Son. It can feel not so glorious with all of the services, late nights, and rhythm disrupters. Here are a few thoughts pertaining to our ministry families.

  1. A pastor’s spouse sees the behind-the-scenes: the late nights, long hours, and the planning that goes into Lent. Many pastors and ministry leaders stay ahead of the church year by planning ahead to leave room for the unplanned (funerals, visits, weather events, family matters etc.). Some years Lent comes on the tail of Christmas (or so it seems!) and that means the planning period for Lenten midweek and devotional services, along with Holy Week, can happen during the busy times. Make sure there is a period of decompression for the family and for the ministry leader together. A small weekend getaway, a staycation, or a weeklong trip can do wonders for filling the tank relationally for spouses, kids, and leaders. Prioritizing your family and your relationships is healthy for everyone, and there are a few lulls in the church year after Christmas and before Lent begins to implement this!
  2. As a pastor’s spouse, I have diffused many stressful moments in the home, relating to or stemming from stress from the church. It can be taxing when work comes home and meets us at the dinner table. A lack of help with the kids, no time for relaxing when planning is upon us, and the many nights disrupted by services and gatherings aren’t easy. It wasn’t meant to be like this. Pastors and ministry leaders shoulder much of the burden, and their families still get some shrapnel. Pastor spouses: I encourage you to not take any of the stress personally and remind your children often too. While we are still meeting the people where they are at, you can integrate the schedule into yours, or don’t, but never feel obligated to participate in every activity and gathering at the church. That is one more stressor and obligation you don’t need! If you need a breather then take it! If you want to go to Wednesday night service without bringing a dish to pass, you have my permission! We are giving so much behind the scenes, and you are valid in your needs being met too. God sees all that you do, but more importantly, He sees you living out the plans He has for you. 
  3. Ministry leaders often struggle with Sabbath. We have posted many blogs and social media posts on this very topic (, ( Jesus hasn’t called your spouse to do everything and be Jesus for the church. Jesus has already sacrificed himself for the church, His bride. That means YOUR spouse doesn’t have to sacrifice themselves for the church. I often find myself checking in on my husband and making sure that he is giving his all without having it all taken. What I mean is this: if there is a midweek service when he will not be home in the evening, he can take some time away from church work during the day to rest, recuperate, reflect, refuel. He is still “putting in the time” at the end of the day, without overworking and edging close to burnout. I as the spouse can come alongside him and hold him accountable to what needs to be done vs. what he’d like to get done. If your spouse is a ministry leader, you can help protect them by scheduling in time or activities, checking in with your spouse about what they have scheduled, and supporting them in what needs to be done while giving them the reminders and permission that it all doesn’t need to be done today. 

I pray this is encouraging to our ministry families and that it might give insight into the way the church seasons can affect our home front also. A call to serve in the church can be life-giving as long as you don’t give your whole life to it.  May this coming season bring much-needed renewal, restoration, and remembrance of the ultimate sacrifice made for you by your Heavenly Father who loves you deeply!

Rachel Haseley, Communications Coordinator

Categories: Leadership


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