With Pastor Appreciation month in the rear-view mirror and the season of Advent and Christmas chaos approaching faster than we want to acknowledge, it may be a good time to take a moment and think of the family at the epicenter of it all, the pastor’s family. With pastors at the helm of the calendar craziness, churches can step in and make an impact on this family now and all throughout the year.

One of the first ways a church can care for the spouse and family of the pastor is to remember that they made many sacrifices when accepting a call with the hope and faith that God would provide. What that provision looks like can be unique for each family. Maybe the family is hoping for the companionship and nurturing from a new church family and new friends. Provision might look like financial stability or housing security with a parsonage. Maybe it is feeling valued when the congregation is receptive and accepting of your ideas. There are ways the church can provide in all of these avenues. A healthy church wants to support the pastor at church and on the home front!

Seasons change and so do people. A church can care for the spouse and family remembering that factors inside and outside the church can affect them. A difficult pregnancy, loss of a family member, raising kids, becoming empty nesters, and changing of schools or jobs can all impact a family. Now imagine going through these changes in the spotlight. Giving a pastor and the family privacy and space to effectively work through issues can be a relief! A little grace can go a long way!

Another way a church can support a spouse and family is to be healthy in their interactions and expectations. If a pastor’s spouse has 5 kids under the age of 5, her involvement at the church may look different in this season than when her kids are teens and more self-sufficient. Expectations set everyone up for disappointment and cause unnecessary grief for all parties. The family of a pastor is not automatically opted into every activity. Allowing the pastor’s spouse to offer their gifts instead of expecting the gifts changes the narrative and creates heartfelt joy for all.

Using gifts are not mandatory, and family participation is not a requirement of the pastor and his family. Allow the family a chance to spend time together, respecting the pastor’s Sabbath respects the family and spouse. Respecting the pastor’s time and utilizing office hours guarantees the pastor a chance to unplug but ultimately, allows the family to connect.

In the seasons of busyness, look for the mundane where you can step in. Offer a meal, put together a family night out basket, and most importantly, be supportive and whole-hearted in your interactions with the family of the pastor.

Rachel Haseley, Communications Coordinator


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow by Email