Happy Pastor’s Wife Appreciation month! But let’s do it year round.


Happy Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month! It’s that month out of the year to honor the wife of your pastor. Hers is not an easy job. Smiling and shaking hands at church is just a miniscule portion of what she does. There are so many things that go on behind the scenes that involve your pastor’s wife. And hear me out. I am not complaining. I have had an amazing life in ministry. Is it busy? Yes. Is it hard? YES! But if I had to do it all over again, this is the life I would choose. (And just look at my husband! He’s hot.) Our church has gifted me many different things over the years. But the older I get, the less I want material things. What would bless my heart even more is to see Christian women serving the Lord with their whole heart. I really think most pastor’s wives would agree. So how do we do that?

Pray for her. Satan would like nothing more than to destroy any Christian family, but he greatly delights in destroying a ministry family. Over the last few years I have heard of many ministry families that have been torn apart. Pray that your pastor’s wife will be strong in adversity, pray she will be a blessing to her husband, pray she will give attention to her children. Pray that she will respond well to criticism. Remember, she is a woman, just like you. She is a church member, just like you. (This always makes me think of Marguerite in the movie “Ever After”: “You’re just like me, a big nobody!”) Attack her children and she will most likely want to respond in the flesh. I’m not saying she will, but our first response is to defend our families, isn’t it? Pray God will give her wisdom. Sometimes, when a woman feels she has no where else to turn, she’ll turn to the pastor’s wife. Your pastor’s wife needs the Holy Spirit to guide her in what to say, and it might not be what that person wants to hear. She should balance it with grace and truth. (Now, there are circumstances where a scorner refuses to hear correction. Grace or no grace, they just don’t want to hear it.) Plus, it is really hard to be angry with someone when you are diligently praying for them.

Encourage her. Send her a text. Send her a card. Give her a hug and thank her for her ministry. My husband has often been heard saying “Obey every prompting of the Spirit.” If the Holy Spirit brings her to mind, do something. I have told our church ladies if God lays someone on their heart, pray for them. But why not let them know? That may be just the time that your pastor’s wife needs to know someone has brought her before the throne. You may not know all your pastor’s wife goes through, but God knows. When is the last time you texted her out of the blue and told her you were praying for her, or you appreciate her, or love her, or thanked her for what she does? Maybe she likes vanilla cake…

Take the initiative. Don’t depend on your pastor’s wife to do everything. There was a lady at our church who was fabulous at this. One Sunday, it was announced that a lady in our church was to have surgery in two days. I was in the nursery and missed the announcement. By the time I got out of the nursery, this lady had already set up meals for a few days. She saw the need and did it. Maybe you show up early for a fellowship meal and help with set-up. (I promise you will not break out in hives if you show up early. You might even get a blessing out of it.) Maybe your pastor’s wife cleans the church and she has a busy week coming up. Why not volunteer to clean for her? Maybe you take her shift in the nursery because she has a guest present in the services. Don’t always wait to be asked.

Have a servant’s heart. Be willing to help out. And do it with a joyful heart, not begrudgingly. This goes hand in hand with take the initiative. Volunteer for things, don’t wait to be asked. At ladies meetings does your pastor’s wife have to do everything (music, announcements, speak, games, etc.)? Ask her if there is anything you can do to help out. And ask specifically. “Would you like for me to do a game?” “Would you like for me to bring a snack?” Is there a major function coming up? Ask her if she needs any help with preparation or set up. Or just show up and be willing to work hard.

Be flexible. Sometimes ministry doesn’t work out perfectly like we want it. Who are we kidding? Life doesn’t work out perfectly like we think we want it. If the nursery coordinator asks you to switch shifts, be flexible. If someone is sitting in your seat in the sanctuary, be flexible. If the pastor asks you to change your special or the date you sing, be flexible.  Long time ago I heard the phrase and I say it often, “I’m a willow. I can bend.” A friend of mine texted today and used the phrase “that’s my penciled in erasable plan.” I love it!

Be friendly. Shake hands. Introduce yourself. Your pastor or pastor’s wife should never see you just sitting around especially when guests walk in. Not too long a couple walked into church, walked toward the front, and sat down. An individual asked the pastor, “Who is that over there?” The pastor responded, “Why don’t you get up, walk over there, introduce yourself, and find out?” People aren’t going to want to return if members aren’t friendly. “But I’m an introvert.” Great. Pray the Lord will make you bold and greet people anyway. Maybe your pastor’s wife is an introvert, too, but you expect her to do that, right? (Ever since my thyroidectomy, I am much more introverted than ever before. I don’t always want to “put myself out there” but the Bible doesn’t give us exceptions on loving our neighbor, does it?)

Be on time. This isn’t going to set well with some people. I don’t like being late. I think it is rude. I also think it tells others their time is not valuable. I think it gives the impression that you are more important than the task at hand. We are training the girls “if you are on time, you are late.” We ask our nursery workers and Sunday School teachers to be in place 15 minutes before the service starts. When a nursery worker is late, the Sunday school teacher/helper can’t check their kid/kids in. That makes them late. Then they are not where they need to be greeting their own class. It’s a domino effect. Plus, as a visiting momma, I’d be a little leery putting my child in a nursery where the workers didn’t seem to be bothered to be there on time, like it’s an afterthought. When we moved to Florida we were told there was such a thing as “Florida Time.” People would get there when they got there. It was the “culture.” To me, it doesn’t matter what the culture is, be on time. There are lots of things that would be considered cultural, but that doesn’t make it right. (Cannibalism, child brides, rituals of human sacrifice…) I know, extreme examples, but still…

I am surrounded by some women who do all these things. I used to say I was spoiled, but my husband corrected me. I am blessed. Blessed beyond measure. When I had a miscarriage, these ladies rallied around me, taking care of my daughter overnight, bringing us meals, praying for me. When I gave birth to a baby that spent 3 months in the NICU, again, they took care of me and my family. They told us to be at the hospital as much as we needed and they made sure everything continued on without a hitch. When I had my second surgery for my cancer, my husband had to be at camp, so one of the sweet ladies picked me up from the hospital, took me home, and made sure I had what I needed.  I cannot begin to tell you what a blessing these ladies have been to my heart.

So all of that to say this. If you read between the lines, you’ll realize these are things a Christian woman should be doing as service to her Lord. In addition, it benefits the church and is a huge blessing to your pastor and his wife and family. Ask yourself this, “If my pastor’s wife conducted herself like I do would anything get done? Would people feel welcome? Would she be on time?” There’s an old song that says “What kind of church would my church be if every member were just like me?” It’s a convicting thought to be sure.

As one person has said, I serve an audience of One. And that is true. But in the process, we can be a blessing to our pastor’s wife. You might never know what a difference you can make.

Who cares about the nursery?


I believe a church has one main purpose: to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. If a church loses sight of that purpose, it ceases to be effective. I also believe that any ministry a church has should support that purpose. In my mind, one of the most important ministries a church can have is a nursery. I am a firm believer in the church nursery for a multitude of reasons.

First, we should always remember the pastor has a responsibility. He is called by God to preach the Gospel and minister to the saints. In that same vein, we have a responsibility to help him. How do we do that? By being attentive to the Word and engaged in the service. We have a nursery to allow our pastor the freedom to preach whatever the Holy Spirit has laid on his heart. It is much easier to do that when the service is free of distractions. You might not see the little kid 3 rows behind you that is waving his hands in the air (waving like he just don’t care) and twirling around, but the pastor sees it. We should determine to do our part to keep the services free of distractions. We should also remember that services are not just for the saved. Hopefully, there are lost people in your service. (A wise pastor once said, “If everyone in your church service looks just like you, you’re not doing something right. You should want those that look different to walk through the doors.”) Satan wants nothing more than to distract them from hearing the most important message they need to hear.

Secondly, kids make noise. God designed them that way. They coo, they giggle, they talk, they belch and pass gas. The nursery is designed to allow those children who do not have the capacity to be still to be a kid.  The nursery is designed for kids to be kids and to allow adults to listen in the service without distraction. I recently read an article on this where the author was adamant: Babies are NOT a distraction. I respectfully disagree. Babies can be a distraction. They are cute. They smell good. They smell bad. They smile. They giggle. They spit up. Babies are wonderful creations, but they CAN be a distraction. Again, we should do everything within our power to keep the services free from distraction.

Not only that, sometimes it’s not the child who is a distraction. Sometimes the adults accompanying them are the distraction. The baby smiles and the adults start elbowing one another to look at baby Joey. Now those adults are distracted, the pastor might be distracted, and the adults around them may be distracted. Once a child becomes mobile, they want to move. Trying to keep them penned up on your lap is a difficult job. Very, very few children under the age of 1 will sit quietly without squirming. When the child starts to squirm, the adult feels like they have to entertain them. Yes, this can be done without noise, but it can’t be done without distraction. I’ve watched plenty of parents play peek a boo or make faces at a child to keep them entertained, but to do that, the adult becomes a distraction. Also, many times they lose track of the message.

I once had someone tell me they were taking their child out of the nursery because they were starting preschool (3 years of age) and needed to learn to sit still.  Honestly, that would have been fine, had they made their child sit still. But unfortunately, that was not the case. This child didn’t even have to sit down. Sadly, one Sunday, guests sat behind them. After services the guests told me they would NEVER sit behind that family again. What a sad testimony! Our actions don’t affect only us, they also affect all those around us. This couple had a hard time paying attention to the service because the mom either let the child do what he/she wanted or she was disciplining the child right in the middle of the service.

Let me add right here that training your child to sit in services does not start at church. It starts at home. Waiting until they are in the middle of a church service to sit perfectly still and quiet is unreasonable. If you teach them little by little at home, they will be much more successful at church.

Also, a nursery frees you up to be involved in the ministry yourself. I play the piano for a majority of the services. It would not work for me to sit out of that ministry or try to juggle ministry and sitting with my child. I have friends who teach Sunday School, and one just recently told me she needed to put her baby in the nursery because the teens (whom her husband teaches) would be easily distracted by such a beautiful baby. (She didn’t say beautiful, but trust me, this little girl is a cutie!!) One teen has special needs and he would love to look and coo at this sweet thing, but taking her to nursery helps keep him engaged in the class.

Nursery workers should realize what a wonderful opportunity they have. They have a direct part in the service even though they are not in there.  I firmly believe when someone gets saved, the nursery workers play a part in that. They are lovingly caring for the children so the pastor and the adults can pay attention. Nursery workers may also be the first members a guest comes in contact with. Their attitude has a profound impact on whether or not the guest feels comfortable.  When we travel and are at other churches, the nursery is a key factor. While on vacation recently, we attended a church where the nursery was well staffed, and more importantly, very friendly. When we dropped them off, we had the feeling the workers took their ministry seriously and deemed it important. The workers were very welcoming and were happy to explain where they would be and where we would pick them up. When we went by after services, our children were called by name, we were told how they behaved, and all of this was done with a sweet attitude.

I encourage you, if you don’t already, utilize your church nursery. Give the message your undivided attention. At our church, our nursery is not an after thought. I want it to be an important ministry. I don’t want the nursery workers to be on time, I want them to be early. We never know when a guest will walk through the door and if no one is in the nursery to greet them, they assume the church doesn’t place a high priority on taking care of their children.

Happy Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month


I never know how to really write that title. Is it Pastor’s Wife – singular? Is it Pastor’s Wives –  indicating a pastor has more than one wife? Is it Pastors’ Wives? Oh, well, I think you understand anyway. Somewhere, someone  has deemed March as the month to honor your Pastor’s wife. I want to be careful in writing this because I am the wife of the pastor. I am in no way writing this to rebuke the ladies at our church. Quite the contrary. I’d like to use their example to encourage you to do the same.

First, a few things about pastors’ wives. She is a church member, just like you. She was not born with superhero powers. Her parents did not send her to earth in an egg shaped capsule. She cannot read your mind. (Whew!) She probably did not major in Pastor Wife in college. While my husband was still in Bible college, we served in a church in Springfield, Missouri. A young woman often asked Mrs. Cobb, who was the pastor’s wife, if she would teach a class at the church on how to be a pastor’s wife. After turning down this request numerous times, Mrs. Cobb held up a toilet brush and said, “Do you know what this is? Do you know how to use one? Good. You, too, can be a pastor’s wife.” A pastor’s wife is a woman who is serving the Lord, same as you. The only difference is, she is married to the Pastor.

Depending on the size of your church, your pastor’s wife may wear many hats. In smaller churches I’ve found she wears quite a few. I’ve been pianist, nursery worker, nursery coordinator, fellowship planner, Sunday School teacher, jr church worker, custodian and so on. I’m not complaining. Most of the time I enjoy it. (Let’s face it, every one gets tired now and then.) But remember, your pastor’s wife may have children of her own, she may work outside the home, she may home school. She has all the responsibilities you have at home, and she still finds time to serve. Most importantly, she does it to serve the Lord. Her goal is to please Him in all she says and does. I Corinthians 10:31 states “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do ALL to the glory of God.” (emphasis mine) This should be every Christian woman’s desire. Secondly, she does it to be a helper to her husband. Proverbs 31 tells us that the woman in this chapter behaved herself in such a way that “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her,” (Proverbs 31:11a) I want my husband to trust me. I don’t want to be known as what the Bible calls Silly Women. I want to help and not hinder the ministry. Finally, she does it to be an example to her children. I want my children to know serving the Lord is required of the Lord. I Corinthians 4:2 tells us, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” Notice the word required. Faithfulness is not suggested, it is required. I want to model that for my children. Oh, I’ll fail, but I have to keep trying. And I want them to ENJOY it. Ministry is an exciting thing. We have a good time. There is an old song that says, “There is joy in serving Jesus.” You can have that joy, too. It’s not just for staff.

So now to the ladies I serve with. Last year, some ladies saw that March was Pastor’s Wife Appreciation month, so they decided to join in. They’ve always recognized my birthday, which is also in March, but now they add to it. I’ve received certificates for manicures and pedicures, certificates to have my hair done, and a massage. They have given me money for hats (Kentucky Derby style to wear on Sunday mornings) and purses. This year has been my favorite so far. The ladies all took a different day in the month of March to bring me and my family dinner. So for over half of the month I have dinner taken care of. These dates are spread out so we can enjoy leftovers. This is my favorite because each lady is giving of herself in some way. It may be a home cooked meal. It may be a certificate to my favorite restaurant. I’m only a couple of meals into this and we have enjoyed it so much. Even this past Sunday morning, one lady brought me a chocolate pie. It was still warm. yummmmmmmm… Only problem is I had to wait until after church to eat it. (Next time I won’t. I think I’ll start carrying a fork in my purse for occasions such as these.) I serve alongside some wonderful ladies, and not just because they bring me pie. They are a blessing to my heart and I count it a privilege to work with them.

I’d like to encourage you, if you appreciate your pastor’s wife (and you should), take a minute this month to let her know. It doesn’t have to be dinner. It could be a sweet note mailed to her home, it could be a drink at her favorite coffee shop, it could be a gift certificate to her favorite store, or it could just be a big hug while you tell her how much you love her. My next post will be how to honor your pastor’s wife all year (and it won’t cost a dime!)