When I was a Lead Pastor’s wife, I knew I had a level of influence – a platform if you will – with the people on our ministry team. Sometimes I wondered if I would stand before God one day and hear Him say, “Tricia, I put people in your sphere of influence. What did you do with it? Did you leverage it for Me, or not?” Oh, I wanted to be able to say, “Yes, Lord, I used my influence to help them grow in faith and leadership!” And, with that on my heart several years ago I began pastoring my peers – building into the lives of the pastors’ wives and spouses on my team.
I was fully aware that ministry could be lonely and that these ladies could benefit from someone else who understood the journey. Often times these women were pouring into the lives of others without anyone pouring into them. So, I began doing a few simple things to pastor my peers:
Monthly Newsletter: Using a simple tool, I sent the women on our team an email newsletter. I included a “leadership challenge” (a devotional thought from me), a list of calendar events, and I threw in a new recipe just for kicks. It was a fantastic way to cast vision for our team, remind them that what their families are doing is important, and create a sense of unity of us.
Girl’s Night Out: Every other month, I took the ladies out for dinner. Spending time with these ladies helped us build relationships and strengthen a feeling of loyalty. We didn’t talk about super spiritual stuff.....just life. But those conversations revealed ways I could pray for them and how I could encourage them in the days ahead.
Leadership Challenge: Once or twice each year, I offered to read through a bible study or book with anyone interested. If possible, we would meet to discuss our thoughts, but more often than not time was a limited commodity, so rather than meeting face to face, we opted to simply share our thoughts via group email. In the context of studying together, I found opportunities to inspire service, develop leadership skills, and challenge perspectives.
Random Texts and Notes: When I celebrated and encouraged the good work of our team, I spurred them on to love and even more good deeds. “Thanks for counseling the lady in the lobby.” “I noticed your hard work...so proud of you!” “I love seeing your smiling face on the weekends.” Never underestimate the power of your kind words.
Why do these things? Why should we invest in the lives of the spouses on our teams?
Because as goes the leadership, so goes the church! Do you want a vibrant, healthy, passionate church? Then do the work necessary to build a vibrant, healthy, passionate leadership team...including the spouses on your team! As a lead pastor’s wife, you have the unique opportunity to lead and sharpen them. And, if you are thinking you don’t have the time or energy to take on such a project, let God’s promise encourage you:
Proverbs 11:25 “The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.”
Pastoring our peers. It’s one of the best things we could do for our ministry team.