Disclaimer - I know that I am most likely not going to be the pastor’s wife at your church, however this is a message that is applicable to all people in the church.
My name is Gen and I am your future pastor’s wife.
My husband is busy studying 50-60 hours a week, learning Greek, Hebrew, biblical counselling and how to exegetically preach the word of God so that he can be faithful with the word when he comes to your church. He is amazing. He loves the word of God and we are excited to come and be part of your congregation.
I wanted to let you know that my husband, your pastor is a mere human. Though he studies a perfect, holy, righteous, and just God, my husband is not any of these. He makes mistakes, he sins, but not the type of sin that would disqualify him from being an elder as found in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
I want you to know that he loves God with all his heart, he loves his family and he truly wants to serve the church with the gifts God has given him. Our family has given up everything for him to pursuit this dream/calling we feel the Lord has asked.
Please remember that your pastor is going to make ‘mistakes’. He will make some small ones and some big ones. He will also always have some sin that the Lord is working on, hence why my husband still needs a savior. He may make a wrong decision involving the church or he may have to make a decision that you think is foolish, but he thinks is right.
He might even have to confront you on something in your life, but remember he is doing it out of love. He doesn’t sit at home thinking ‘hmmm, who can I attack today.’ No, as he examines scriptures and is being held responsible before God, he wants to be a faithful shepherd.
I want you to know that I am scared. I have seen how the church loves to devour our men of God over these issues. I see how even godly churches go after the pastor, they blaspheme and slander the elders rather than discuss in private. We don’t follow the Matthew chapter 18 verses 15-18 principle when we disagree with the pastor. Yes, Matthew 18 is about dealing with sin, but the principle can be used when confronting someone on disagreements.
I want to remind you that as the body of Christ we are not to be like the world. We are called to be different. If you have an issue with your pastor take it up with him. If you feel hurt by something he said, or he did, talk with him. Don’t hate the church because of one comment he didn’t even know hurt you.
Don’t put your problems or issues on social media when you haven’t even brought it up to anyone else. This is true not just for your relationship with you pastor, but with your church, with all people. Don’t hide behind the keyboard, if you have a grievance or sin to address, rather pick up the phone and talk with the person rather than gossiping on Facebook. Making it your status and having people like and comment isn’t going to do anything but work against the kingdom of God that we are trying to build together.
How to help your leaders
Can you pray for your elders and leaders? You may ask, “What can I pray for?” Pray that they would be faithful to handle God’s word accurately, that they would have the wisdom to deal with all the different situations that arise in the church, that they would have the joy of the Lord as they serve, that they would be humble, that they would be filled with the spirit of the Lord, that they would walk in a manner worthy of Lord. Pray for their family to do the same and for their children to know and love the Lord.
Keep short accounts, if you were offended by your leader, go see him. Encourage your pastor to run the race. Extend grace when they make decisions you don’t agree with. Assume that your pastor wants the very best for you and the church. Watch your words and what you say about your leaders, make sure you are lifting them up.
Called to Submit
There are going to be times when you disagree with the godliest of your leaders. We are human and we will disagree and think we know how things should run. I had to recently check my heart when my pastors made a decision I thought was wrong. But, at the end of the day, I needed to repent for my attitude and submit to their decision, just as all Christians are instructed by God to submit to their leaders (as long as it doesn’t go against the Bible).
With a submissive heart it can be appropriate in some cases to suggest changes to the right people, through the right channels, at the right time. Taking to Facebook and bad mouthing your leader (or anyone) is not the proper way to do it. Writing a letter, emailing, calling, going for coffee is the appropriate way.
At the end of the day the Lord is going to hold you accountable for how you treat and submit to your pastors/elders. He is going to look at how you submitted, what your heart looked like. My husband will be accountable for how he leads his flock, you won’t. So change what you can.
In closing, this doesn’t just apply to your relationship with the leadership, but how you treat the leaders of government that the Lord placed in power, or your boss, or co-workers, or even other members of the church and your family. Church let us be different then the world. Let us be willing to talk with one another, quick to extend grace and as James chapter 1, verse 19 tells us to be “quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.”
See you soon
Genevieve Wilson is a happily married home-schooling mum of 3, whose passion is to see people come to know Jesus. She is a seminary wife to her amazing husband.