The Pastor's Spouse
There is nothing more precious to a church than the pastor's spouse ... usually. If you are a member of the congregation, chances are great that they are probably your greatest ally in dealing with the pastor. If you are a staff member, perhaps so, perhaps not. Following are some of the characteristics I have experienced with pastor's spouses. Some pastor's spouses have one of these traits while some have a mix. And, there are those jewels out there who really are as close to perfection as you may think they are. You just really never know until you experience a few situations. And, remember that your pastor, their spouse, their children and their extended family are only human. So, be sure to cover them in prayer when you run across an unhealthy situation. But, here is what you need to be aware of so you can pray and plan your strategy accordingly. Yes, you MUST have a strategy to survive church leadership.
- The Gossip: Here is a tip. If a pastor's spouse, or anyone else, talks to you about another staff member, a member of the congregation, etc., you can rest assured that they are gossiping about you. If they aren't today, they will be tomorrow.
- The Good Guy / Bad Guy: This is the spouse that sends you out to do the dirty work for them. If some unpopular decision needs to be carried out, they send a staffer out on the mission. Then, when the staffer has taken the fall for the action, they come behind them playing the good guy and comfort the broken-hearted. All the while, the poor staff member has taken the fall and nobody is aware that the comforter is actually the bad guy.
- The Jealous One: I have actually seen a church ripped to shreds by a jealous spouse. And, they were so good at deflecting blame I doubt if many, if any, realized they were at the heart of the issue.
- The Screener: This is the pastor's spouse who insists that staffers bring all questions or concerns to them prior to taking them to the pastor. If they are on your side, then presto, you're in! If they are not on your side, look out. You will probably stand a snowball's chance in "you know where" of accomplishing your mission.
Bottom line, be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. Realize that church work is much more difficult than secular work. This is due to the fact that in addition to dealing with work situations, you are also dealing with hearts and souls. And, most importantly, usually egos the size of Texas. So, tread carefully and prayerfully.
Keep the faith,