Dear pastor or elder, your congregants need to know that you don’t share everything with your wife. Trust can quickly disappear otherwise; and, your wives need to be protected from carrying unnecessary burdens. We are shepherds of the church–and of our spouses. Let us be wise in fulfilling our callings and responsibilities. Ask yourself a few questions before you run home from that counseling appointment or elder meeting. In the long run, your congregation will thank you, as well as your wife.
What should an elder or pastor share with his wife about issue or people in the church? My guess is that previous generations of elders/pastors probably shared too little with their wives. Again, it is only a guess, but I would submit that in our day and age many pastors and elders share too much.
How should a pastor or elder decide what to share with his wife? Naturally, we desire to let our spouses know the struggles we are facing, the issues at hand, and the thoughts occupying our minds. We long for their counsel and wisdom. A pastor or elder who forsakes the counsel of his wife is a fool. Yet, this does not mean that we share everything with our wives regarding the ministries God has entrusted to us. The responsibility does not belong to them and neither does the burden. Additionally, most congregants do not assume anything they relay to their pastor or elder will be conveyed to their spouse. A congregation’s trust in their leadership easily diminishes when unnecessary talk pervades. Once trust lapses, the ability to shepherd follows suit.
After years of mistakes, I now think through three questions before sharing any information about issues or people in the church with my wife.
First, will sharing this disrupt my wife’s worship?
Will it lead her to think poorly of someone in the leadership of the church, on the Sunday platform, or another member of the congregation. Will this information cloud her view of the church and dominate her mind on Sundays? In effect, will it distract her in the midst of corporate worship? I am the shepherd of my wife as well. This must never be forgotten. I am charged with caring for her soul and want to see her enjoying the full blessings of worship. Therefore, I balk at disclosing any information that could possibly disrupt her participation in worship on Sunday mornings.