Confidentially Speaking: A Ministry to Pastors' Spouses and Family

My name is Joyce Thomas, and I’d like to welcome you to the Family Ministry page for clergy spouses and families! Our mission is to create a space to support and encourage the spouses of pastors, including male and female spouses, and their families, by assisting them as they journey through ministry with their clergy partners.

As a retired pastor’s wife of 31 years, I believe I can contribute a wealth of information that would benefit spouses of pastors and their families. I have seen, experienced, survived, and learned to celebrate the challenges that come with ministry. We have served two congregations, one small that was groomed and grew large, and another that was already large and well established. One is in the center of the city and the other in the suburbs. They are in two different denominations, and are well known and respected in their communities. They both are thriving churches that made efforts to participate in and meet needs in the lives of their people and the greater community as well. Though they have similar characteristics, they each had their own set of challenges and expectations for the pastor’s family when we were there.

Through the experiences of these two churches, I developed my passion to support pastor’s spouses and their families. I understand the weight pastor spouses carry trying to live up to the many expectations placed on them, such as participating in all events, role modeling a perfect life (which is not possible), or  having an intimate relationship with members who will not let you know who they are really. These and other challenges have caused enormous amounts of stress for many clergy spouses and have caused some to reject their place in being a help-meet and full partner with their clergy spouse in ministry.

My goal is to offer a safe, confidential, and comfortable environment for any spouse of a pastor to share their thoughts on how ministry affects them, whether negatively or positively, and allow them to plan how they would like to participate as they move forward in supporting their clergy spouses, families, and congregations in service to God. I will even invite them to dream about their own lives outside of ministry, maybe expressing hopes and dream that have been hidden for a long time.

I invite you to explore these topics:

• Learn about the spouse and family of the clergy
• Receive tips to navigate through ministry as a clergy family
• Rediscover hope and dreams that you might have forgotten
• Find resources for clergy families
• Visit our blog and events page