issue30 ereed 2023

Issue 30: Setting Expectations on this Issue Will Make or Break Your Home

Feeding & Leading the Sheep

Before we jump into the newsletter for today I'd like to shine the spotlight on my dear friend, Brandon Sutton, a dedicated pastor who has recently launched a podcast tailored specifically for pastors. If you're seeking fresh insights, encouragement, and practical advice to enhance your ministry journey, I highly recommend checking out the Faithful & Fruitful Podcast. It's available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Now to the newsletter.

Churches hire pastors to lead and shepherd them. They interview them to discern their preaching ability, credentials, and specific skillsets. Pastors then come into their church with a desire to dive in with the people and serve the church.

But one of the often-overlooked components in this scenario is the list of expectations the church has on the pastor’s wife.

That’s the subject of this week’s newsletter.


Many churches have expectations of a pastor’s wife. They want her to host parties, lead the women’s ministry, serve in the choir, help in the nursery, and countless other roles. Churches usually develop these expectations based on previous pastors and what their wives did.

This is not a good plan. It is important for the pastor, not the church, to set the expectations for what his wife will or won’t do. If a pastor doesn’t do this, the church will quickly try to impose expectations.

I believe the minimum requirement for every pastor’s wife is to be a good church member. This means that they attend church, participate in the life of the church, read the Scriptures, commit to discipleship, and live with a faithful public witness. These are the expectations of every church member.

I do not think pastor’s wives should have expectations beyond being exemplary church members. Anything they do beyond that in terms of serving in specific ministries should be left to their discretion, capacity, and giftings.

1 Actionable Tip

Set the expectation with your church that your wife’s involvement in ministry will be up to her.

It is the role of the husband and pastor to set this expectation with the church and help his wife feel secure in it. For pastors with wives who want to be super active in ministry and leadership, that’s great. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it is crucial that this doesn’t become the expectation for every pastor’s wife.

Setting this expectation early in your tenure at a church will set the tone both at church and home. If you have been at your church for a while and never did this, begin now. It’s okay to let your wife be a good church member and to protect her from unhealthy expectations of other church members. She’ll thank you for it.

Opportunities for Next Steps

1. KJM Student Camps in 2024. I’m excited to announce that Knowing Jesus Ministries is launching our own camps in 2024 called ARISE Camps. Check out the announcement video and join a list of leaders interested in hearing more as details finalize.

2. Student Minister Leadership Lab. We are excited about pouring into student ministry leaders with a practical workshop style event. Join us in Nashville August 3-4th for coaching and practical help for leading an effective student ministry. Register here.

3. Engaging Truth Conference at Ridgecrest. Join us in the mountains of North Carolina on October 13-15 for our national student conference. We’ll gather with Trevin Wax, Matt Smethurst, Dean Inserra, Neil Shenvi, Abigail Dodds, Katie McCoy, Journey Worship Co. and many more. Register or learn more here.