Have you ever wondered what it was like to work in ministry? I mean worked, like the vocational this is my source of income type of work, not the volunteer in your free-time type(which is awesome, but that’s not what this post it about). I’m talking about the full-time, twenty four-seven, never really stops salaried type of ministry! The type were you find yourself lying awake late Saturday night thinking about every aspect of the service wondering if you forgot to get something prepared. Finding yourself thinking about who has what surgery when and where, or how you will possibly find time to connect with over one hundred and fifty people and, by the grace of God, remember their name or even how to spell it correctly. What about finding time to have friends, and most importantly finding the time to make your family a priority in your life. The demands never end and the clock essentially resets every Monday.
But have you ever wondered what it was like to be a Pastor or his wife? Have you ever wondered how lonely it must be for them. They unrooted their lives to come and serve in an area that they are more than likely unfamiliar with and nine-out-of-ten times they probably do not know anyone. Now, don’t get me wrong, church people are great, genuine, caring people. They give you cards, they welcome you, they might even show up to help you move in(Score!). But beyond the chocolates, gift-cards, and the “we’re glad you are here” sayings is the deep desire to be included, have friends, and feel connected.
I want my wife to feel included. It may be lonely for me on the platform, but think about how lonely it is for my wife out in the congregation. I want someone to reach out and truly know her for who she is and because they really want to, not because they feel like they have to. Yeah she’s the Pastor’s wife, but that doesn’t mean she is automatically connected. It’s lonely in ministry. It’s lonely to reach out to countless individuals and have them over for lunch, but rarely have the offer returned. It’s lonely to continually put yourself out there and receive silence. It’s lonely to be left on the outskirts because we don’t have kids, or we aren’t athletic, or because we look trendy, or because of our age. It’s lonely to serve and give so much to receive so little. We desire authentic connections and deeply-rooted relationships.
We want the church to be a place where we look forward to being, a place where Sunday brings hope, and where we can grow in fellowship with other believers. It’s hard work, but the burden becomes lighter when we have friends to help us along the way.
A Lonely Pastor and his Wife