Is a pastor's wife also called automatically to be a pastor because her husband is one?

The reason why i am asking is because these days, one sees a lot of couples who are both pastors in a church.  There are churches that also encourages that a pastor's wife train to become a pastor too.  Is this biblical?

Clarify Share Report Asked March 19 2014 Mini Anonymous

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Q jcryle001 JD Abshire

1 Timothy 3:1 "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work."

1Timothy 3:2 "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;"

1Timothy 3:3 "Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;"

1Timothy 3:4 "One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;"

Titus 1:5 " For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:"

Titus 1:6 " If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly."

Titus 1:7 "For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;"

Titus 1:8 "But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;"

March 22 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Image41 Ezekiel Kimosop
Is a pastor's wife automatically called into pastoral ministry by virtue of her husband's calling as a Pastor? 

In answering this question lets first bear in mind that God calls us to his service on individual basis even though marriage makes husband and wife one flesh. He called Moses on this basis (Exodus 4:11-12). God may also quicken the hearts of others including family members to support the calling. Aaron played this role to Moses (Gen 4:14-16). Miriam, Moses' sister was a prophetess but she was an obstacles to his leadership because of pride for which God humbled her (Numbers 12:1-16) but she was effective in leading the women in worship (Exodus 15:20-21)!

My view is that a pastor's wife does not automatically qualify to become a pastor just because her husband is one. She is certainly an important pillar in his life but she may not have the calling to serve in that capacity. She should experience her own conviction and calling to ministry and possess the relevant gifts with which she can discharge the function of the pastoral office. 

There is no doubt that the pastor's wife is a vital ministry partner because there are several ministry functions such as marriage and family counseling that she will jointly undertake with her pastor husband. She may also handle the women ministries and other functions suited to her and even take care of the couple's domestic affairs where the husband is busy serving in the church. 

I am aware that some Pentecostal churches ordain the pastor's wife to serve alongside the husband in the church where she becomes his principal assistant. In other churches the pastor's wife even takes over the ministry when the husband dies or is by reason of any disability unable to discharge his duties. I do not find a biblical basis for this practice but I must also add that there is no express violation of scripture. 

My concern is that if a pastor's wife does not have a calling or gifting for pastoral ministry she may become an impediment to the church because she lacks capacity to lead and serve. It is also instructive to note some "conservative" evangelical church denominations forbid women from serving as pastors on the basis of their interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:11-14. 

I believe that the biblical model is where elders serve with the pastor who together are overseers of the ministry (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9). The pastor or bishop is the spiritual head of the church while the elders exercise both spiritual and administrative functions. The elders should therefore take charge of any transition that may arise where the pastor is indisposed. 

Again I am aware that church leadership structures depend to a large extent on the ruling church government system or denomination of the church. In congregational systems, members vote on any key issue including the appointment of the pastors. In Presbyterian or elder-ruled systems, elders choose or appoint the pastor who is also answerable to the board of elders. Some churches have adopted a hybrid mix between these two systems. 

The answer to this question therefore rests on the circumstances of each church ministry in question and the church regulations that obtain in each case.

July 11 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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