About the Author

Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith through following Jesus Christ. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa has lead thousands over the past 15 years to help make their walk with God an invigorating journey. Not...

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  1. Love these. As a Pastors Daughter I can affirm each and every one. I would also add one.

    Let their kids be kids. Don’t hold them to a higher standard simple because they are the pastors kids and should be “A better example”. They are learning about Jesus just like your kids are.

    I ran away from the church for a very long time because I wasn’t allowed the freedom in the church to grow up and decide to believe for myself. It was thrust on me to be a leader simply because I was the pastors daughter.

    I’ve since come back and I’m working on getting my pastoral degree myself, however, it came after leaving and deciding that it was God’s calling for me not the churches will.

  2. This couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. Thank you!! There is so much turmoil in our church right now. God is making some amazing changes and there are some people who are terrified of change. This is causing great stress in our pastoral staff. Thank you for helping me to love our staff!

  3. Thank you, Lysa. This pastor’s wife appreciates your message, and all points are very true. It could be our area or culture, but I think we would appreciate more of the old-fashioned practice of inviting the pastor’s family over for Sunday lunch or dinner occasionally. I really want to get together with people of our flock, but sometimes it is exceedingly difficult to host, especially since “home-making” doesn’t come naturally to me (shocker!), and since I do feel like it could reflect negatively on certain people spiritually if my home isn’t exactly in perfect order (my own issues, yes).
    Most importantly, however – honor. God has called, anointed, an equipped my husband to preach and lead this flock closer to Jesus – he is indeed the “Man of God.” What I would love to see is a holy reverence for the God in him, and a conviction that closes critical mouths and gossiping tongues against pastors all over this world – for His Name sake.

    • Thank you pastors wife for sharing that your home isn’t perfect. That is a struggle of mine as well and always a comfort when other women admit that it encourages me to do better. May God Bless you as you support your husband.

  4. Um…yes and yes and yes some more. My husband is an Assistant Pastor, and I would especially agree with number 4. There is no shortage of criticism and frustration shared, but encouragement is sadly missing. Thank you for this message, Lysa!!

  5. Thank you, Lysa, for your time and effort to research what pastors need from their congregations. As another pastor’s wife, I can concur all your suggestions are spot on. If people would only stop to think: What will create the most conducive atmosphere for God t to work in our church: negativity or positivity? What will give our pastor energy, passion, and confidence: criticism or encouragement? Too often we just don’t consider the consequences of such choices–and I include myself.

  6. Thanks, Lysa. Much needed refresher course in being hospitable and kind to, yes, even a pastor and his wife, who we so very often and quickly take for granted.

  7. Thank you so much for this! I agree with everything you said, but #1 is so important. My husband and I are church-planters, and tomorrow is our fourth service. Having people who we know will be faithful to be there, serving and giving, means so much to us.

    Would it be tacky for me to print this and put it in our church’s lobby? 😉

  8. I know my pastor goes above and beyond the call. Although it is a small chuch and during the week he has “free time” I still feel he goes over. For instance he called my dad a few years ago and they discussed things. A few weeks later he drove 20 miles, one way, to get my dad and rebaptize him. He has stopped in twice since to visit my dad. He even did my mom’s funeral and the church fed my family. Mind you my parents didn’t even go to that church. That is the kind of wonderful Christian man he is.

    A few years ago my pastor’s wife was dx with breast cancer. The whole church rallied around her. I personally made some food for them to eat after the surgery. I gave them several gift cards to Zaxby’s to use after treatment.

    I try to compliment them often & let them know I appreciate all their hard work!

  9. Amen! This pastor’s wife agrees, especially with the second point. We love to visit with folks from church, but in all honesty sometimes it’s difficult because we feel we are expected to counsel or help them with issues at the same time. I just really want to hang out, and get to know you and your family-that’s what I want when I spend time with people from the church. But all too often, we just need family time. Honestly there are some seasons when we are only all together as a family one evening a week. Really. Getting more family time is huge!

    And I’d also add, love on their kids-and let them be kids. Don’t expect their babies to be held by you all service long. Don’t expect to hold their babies at all. Just be there for them and encourage them as children, just like you’d want someone to do for your own kids.

    Thank you for some great ideas!

  10. Lysa- what a great list. Another pastor’s wife concurs!
    We were church planters for many years and this past year my husband accepted an associate (discipleship) pastor position at a very large church. It has been such a change for me to go from where I knew intimately the initial core team of 10 people to now coming in where I’m still learning faces and names spread across five services.
    Thanks for writing this 🙂

  11. This is great. There is often a misperception that pastors are somehow superhuman with boundless energy and bulletproof feelings. When our church got a new pastor a few years ago he completely blew that out of the water. One of the first things he brought to the church staff was a declaration that “You people need to REST.” He’s been very open about his humanness and that of the rest of the staff. They need rest. They need space. They need to be treated like people. I’m grateful for that perspective. It really changed the way I relate to church leadership for the better.

  12. As a church planting pastor’s wife, I love this post. Thank you, Lysa.
    I personally like to be invited into someone else’s home because I am so often the hostess. I especially like when people invite us over and then show interest in getting to know us, not just share about themselves so they can be known by the pastor and his wife.

    I also appreciate when people have realistic expectations of me, when they realize that being the pastor’s wife is not a job and that it’s not possible for me to know everyone really well.

    Overall, I love being a pastor’s wife and I love our church!

  13. Thank you, Lysa! My pastor husband is currently lying sick on the sofa. Yes, the stress and issues of the church physically make him sick every few months. Our members that pray for us, bring chicken soup & encourage us make all the difference.

  14. Great stuff; right on! I’m married to a worship pastor, and I would say many of the same lessons are applicable for the entire pastoral staff. Thanks again!

  15. Come on people, let’s get real. So all it takes to make our pastor’s happy is to tithe, serve, and attend? It’s it really that simple? Is that all it takes to be a “Good Little Christian?” Come on people, Jesus came so that we may have an abundant life, all of us. Not just pastors and pastor’s wives. We put them on a pedastal like they are mini God’s and they are just people with a high calling to preach. Other Christians in the world have high callings in other areas in life yet we don’t seek to bless them? Yes they do carry burdens but they are not the only Christians who carry alot of burdens. it’s just they are up on stage and out in front. What about those Christians who carry burdens for many and are unseen by the Church folk? Funny all these comments come from someone with an attachment to the church. Well this one comes from someone who loves God and isn’t attached to a church so here’s another perspective for you. Yes you can give you pastors double honor if they are sheperding thier flocks as God calls them too. And not just standing up their for thier own personal goals and gains. And double honor doesn’t necessarily mean buy them gifts, giving them giftcards, etc. We just do that on our own account as if there is some gain out of giving the pastors nice gift. Like they can put in a good word for us. So yes honor your pastor for what he does, but don’t forget to bless and honor all those around you. Especially those in need.

  16. Dear Let’s Get Real,

    I am praying for you it seems that you may need to study your Bible specifically Heb 10:25 and realize that if you are a Christian you are living in rebellion and sin to what the Bible says in this verse. Please ask God to forgive you for forsaking the assembling together, get to a good Bible believing church, and start using the gifts that God has given you to encourage those who are in the faith as they encourage you!! It will amaze you how it will change your attitude toward life and it will restore the joy of your salvation.

    Thank you Lysa for these encouraging words to the children of God!!

    • Dear Truth Lover,

      Maybe you should read your bible a little bit more before throwing out scriptures. A gathering of believers doesn’t just include the church on Sunday. It can be at someone’s home, a parking lot, practically anywhere. Where two or more are gathered…. and our focus at church is celebration and worship. Not just to be counted as a number, give some money, and move on our merry way out into the world. Not once did i say not go to church. My comments were strictly based on the thought process that leads to worshipping our pastors and man, and not Jesus. Our main focus is not to attend church like good little soldiers and do exactly what we’re told by man. What happens to the 98% of your life outside of church? Giving gift cards and focusing on taking care of our pastors is not the #1 priority. It may be for them, but not for us. I could go on and on but it’s probably not worth fighting the religious hypocrites. I pray for Christianity to rise up and start doing the things that God intended we do, not focus on the laws created by man.

  17. Yes, what you have interviewed from Pastors and his wives are correct. Just doing the ‘as usual’ things consistently, I repeat, conistantly, is a great encouragement to the pastor and his wife. Thank you, thank you for such profound points. Mony.

  18. this pastor’s wife thanks you for this post. October is Pastor Appreciation Month~very timely! Thanks again

  19. Not sure if anyone reads this but thnks i used to think i had to b close to the leadership even in a small church. It helps to know while im not fond of cliques, that you have close friends and perhaps those that arent that close to you. Sometimes distance is better and before someone can intimately know you it should be lead of the Lord

  20. What a great message! As a pastor daughter, I agree with you about the basics. I love my pastor, Dr. Jeff Walker and his wife, Pastor Melissa, and his children. I feel honored in receiving a hug and be called by my name, since the second time I spoke with him at the end of the service. It’s a hard name for an American to say and he learned quickly. I pray for him always and my deceased husbands was his fervent admirer.
    We would be very happy if we would learn to honor, double honor, those in spiritual authority over us. God bless my pastor.
    Love you

  21. this is just great! thank you so much for this post 🙂 i am actually checking on monthly special events, and this one sure is :0 thanks again 🙂 you are a blessing!