For married clergywomen, a supportive spouse does not seem quite as significant for job satisfaction. Their support is more diffuse, coming from many sources, mostly outside the congregation. Says Schaller, "Husbands are not necessarily strong support systems for clergywomen. We still are not sure what to do with lay men married to ordained women. In many ways, the parish ministry has always been organized on the assumption that the pastor is male and has a wife. And, therefore, the wife is expected to be the number-one support system."
Another area of support of satisfied pastors comes from laypeople.
One October Sunday a year and a half ago, as Steve led worship at Dry Creek Bible Church, he noticed several in the congregation wearing "I Love My Pastor" stickers. When the music stopped, several ushers began wheeling groceries, including 24-packs of Coke and a frozen turkey, up the center aisle. After the commotion subsided, Steve learned that it was Pastor Appreciation Sunday (which Focus on the Family began promoting nationally in 1994). A church leader got up and said, "I want to give you an opportunity to share what Steve and Priscilla mean to you."
After the testimonials, a woman dedicated and sang a song to the Mathewsons. At that point, Steve stood up to give the sermon, but another, older church leader, Ray Pierson, interrupted him. "This is a hostile takeover," he said. The ushers then proceeded to hand out a new bulletin entitled "Dry Creek Bible Underground Currents." The title on the first page read "Dry Creek Bible Church Shows Appreciation to Pastor." Another part read: "May the Lord continue to use you in the Gallatin Valley as you minister … and may He ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.