Being in pastoral ministry has its great moments and its challenging ones. Here’s my thoughts on the best and the hardest of them all.
The Best: Getting to know so many different people. Being a pastor’s wife gives me opportunities to meet new people (yay!) and our social network is greatly increased as a result.
The Hardest: Getting to know so many different people.
In regards to the hardest, I’m not talking about those with personality disorders or even the complaints people make (although these aren’t a walk in the park either). Rather, I find the hardest part of being a Pastor’s wife is that we are regularly exposed to the sadness and suffering that others face. When your network is greatly increased by your husband’s profession as a pastor, you end up knowing more people who are diagnosed with cancer, marriages that are on the rocks, those dealing with childhood trauma, unexpected deaths and you attend funerals more frequently.
As a social worker, I can no longer live in naivety towards human suffering. My profession reminds me of the brokenness of this world on a regular basis. Also, as a pastor’s wife, I also can no longer live in naivety towards human suffering as there’s rarely a week that goes by where someone that we know (as a result of pastoral connections) isn’t heavy on our hearts.
You may be able to appreciate why the best thing about being a pastor’s wife for me is also the hardest. Being in ministry means that we trade some naivety for additional tears and sadness in this life. To know more people (the best) also requires to know more suffering (the hardest).
There you have it, that’s my answer to what’s the best and the hardest part of pastoral ministry as of July 11th, 2013. If you have a thought, don’t be shy, would love to hear from you in a comment below.