An Open Letter to the Wife of the Pastor

Dear Wife of the Pastor,.

You are an unsung hero in the church! Rarely is your exceptional ministry noticed, let alone commended. I am writing to you because you need regular encouragement, and most Christians are unaware of your unique burdens, trials, and the strain that your husband’s ministry places upon you.

Please be assured of the fact that your labour is not in vain in the Lord,[1] and in due course you will be rewarded if you faint not.[2]

This personal note is written to remind you about the truths of your ministry at home and your involvement in the local church. These have been organised into five different headings so that the points are clearly defined and easy to follow.

May this letter encourage you and help your church to pray and support you most effectively. You are loved; you are appreciated; you will be rewarded.


How often have you been called “The Pastor’s Wife” despite the fact that no such title exists in the Bible? Well-meaning people raise you to a place of prominence because of your husband’s responsibilities, but they do not realise that you were never called to the ministry. 

What churches often fail to see is that the pastorate is not the responsibility of a man and his wife. In fact, the Bible has nothing to say about one who is married to a pastor except that which relates to all Christian wives. When assemblies elevate the wife of a pastor, they are unknowingly setting her up for failure because of the unachievable (and unbiblical) expectations they place upon her. She is not an office-bearer in the church and must be protected from being viewed in this position.

Perhaps the greatest danger associated with assigning an unbiblical title is that she will lose her unique, God-given identity. She is not seen for who she really is, but for what is expected of her. Her temperament, talents, and individuality are held hostage by perceptions of her ministry. This leads to great anguish of spirit and if left unattended, may result in serious mental health issues.


Sadly, most Christians expect the wife of the pastor to possess the full gamut of spiritual gifts so that she can speak eloquently at women’s conventions, organise special church events, counsel women effectively, provide outstanding food, plan and coordinate the creche ministry, be constantly given to hospitality, and always filled with joy and energy. This is simply not the case. In fact, it seems like there is greater expectation these days placed upon the wife of the pastor than the pastor himself.

You must remember that you are first and foremost a wife. Whether or not you are gifted to teach is a secondary matter, and this must be remembered by the church. Practically speaking, this means that your primary responsibility is to manage the home and be submissive to your husband.[3]

Every Christian has been given at least one spiritual gift,[4] and this includes you, but the church must be very careful that you receive the same treatment as all people in the assembly. It is important that you are afforded the privilege of discovering what your particular area of service is, rather than being shaped by the expectations of others on account of your connection to the pastor.


Some ladies who are married to a pastor revel in their “derived authority”, whilst others shudder at the thought of having to make decisions in the church. On either end of this scale there is a spiritual misunderstanding. The Scriptures make it clear that only biblically qualified men in the local church are conferred any authority, and this leadership has very specific commands and guidelines.[5]


Although you may not have been called into the ministry in the same way your husband was, you have been given a very unique and challenging area of service. Most of your ministry is not seen by the public, and the majority of the struggles are behind closed doors. Listening to your husband’s daily interactions, offering love and support to him when he is discouraged, and “lending” him to the church many nights each week are just some of the burdens you face on a regular basis.  By its very nature, your ministry is fraught with loneliness and often means that it is difficult to maintain close friendships with ladies in the church. On top of this, you must be ready at a moment’s notice to have people in your home who need counselling from your husband. Even date nights and time that is set aside for relaxing together can be interrupted when serious matters arise. If your husband is not fully supported by the church and outside work is required, this presents another dimension to an already complicated life which you must come to terms with.

Many people pray for their pastor and so they should.[6] However, most neglect to pray for the wife of the pastor and this is largely because they do not understand where you fit in the local church, and the enormity of your responsibilities at home. It is important that you operate with honesty and humility so that people are educated in how to support you and pray for you. This means that you must share (wisely) the burdens and struggles you face on a weekly basis with carefully selected people.


Most of this letter has been spent correcting misconceptions surrounding your life and ministry. At this point I would like to remind you that you have the unique privilege of a front row seat in the ministry. If you are not careful, you will paint your husband’s ministry in bleak and cheerless colours when in actual fact, it is the highest calling in all the world. To peak behind the curtain a little and to see in greater detail God’s work of sanctification in your local church is an unparalleled joy. Watching your husband- the man of God, study, pray, preach, counsel, and minister to people is a rare and wondrous blessing. To see firsthand how God changes people and to work alongside the servant of the Lord is a sacred and unique responsibility. Don’t let the burdens and hardships rob you of the joy associated with your special calling to be the wife of a pastor.

In Sincere Love and Appreciation,

Pastor Daniel Kriss

[1] 1 Corinthians 15:58

[2] Galatians 6:9; 2 Corinthians 5:10

[3] Titus 2:5

[4] 1 Peter 4:10

[5] Refer to 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9

[6] 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

This letter is dedicated to my wife, Jessica, who has served by my side in the ministry for many years

Lessons from a Dinner Party: The Priority of Worship & Communion with Christ

TEXT: Luke 10:38-42


Last week was Vision Sunday. During that service we were greatly encouraged to hear from different people in our church as they presented the areas of ministry that they will oversee this year. It is certainly an exciting time in the life of our church.

As I considered this throughout the week, I was both cheerfully optimistic and soberly contemplative. Let me explain. My heart is full of joy at the thought of people willingly entering into service for the Lord, but at the same time I am very aware that ministry can be a distraction from the most important thing – fellowship, worship, and communion with Christ.

We have spoken a lot about balance in recent days, and this message will again help us find the “centre of the see-saw” when it comes to worship and service.

Last week we deployed many people into areas of ministry and this message is timely because it will help us to understand how worship must precede service if it is to be honouring to the Lord.

Join me as I preach the first in a two-part series today entitled: Lessons from a Dinner Party #1: The Priority of Worship & Communion with Christ. Read more…