Partner in Bivocational Ministry

By Adethia Rudd

My husband has been a bivocational pastor for over 16 years. He was not in the ministry when we married, and I’ve learned some things through the years that may help another wife who is struggling with her new role as I did.

Be Supportive

Proverbs 31:12 says a virtuous wife will do her husband good and not evil. Recognize that secular work is stressful and can drain your husband of spirituality. Support him and pray for him and his ministry within his secular job.

My husband is a contractor in a managerial position. He encounters opportunities to witness to lost men on the job and through a weekly Bible study at work. This is vital to his ministry at our church, because he lives what he preaches.

Help in Ministry

We joke that my husband was definitely called to preach, but not to make phone calls or to mail cards! A wife can take on that aspect of ministry.

Send encouraging notes to church members, call when they’re sick, and make brief visits when necessary. Put their upcoming medical procedures on your calendar so you can check on them or remind your husband to call them. These matters will spread your husband’s time a little thinner during the week.

Pay Attention to Unsaved Spouses

Invite unsaved spouses of church members to fellowships to let them know you love them. Minister to them with cards and food when they experience illness or loss of a loved one. They may be won to the kingdom by your good conduct (I Peter 3:16).

Manage Ministry-Related Calls at Home

This is important, because often your voice (and the background noise) is the firstcontact a person will have with your husband’s ministry. I learned long ago when a caller asks for “Brother Rudd” or “Reverend Rudd” to grab a pen and paper.

Be polite. Teach the children to take good messages or to find you quickly. Ministry-related calls for my husband are often long distance. Be diligent to pass on the message as soon as possible. Know when to call your husband at work.

Be Hospitable

Let your husband know in advance that he may invite the missionary home after church. We’ve enjoyed many visits over the years by simply leaving home that morning prepared to invite the guest speaker or singer to come and share a meal with us.

Your husband will delight in spending quality time with other Christian workers in the comfort of his own home. Best of all, he will be energized and renewed in spirit on Monday morning.

Respect His Study Time

He likely does not have hours in a quiet church office to prepare messages. Teach your children to give Daddy the peace he needs at home, even at the expense of your time with him.

Be Available to Your Church

Let them know they can call you for confidential wise counsel and that you can be trusted to pass any messages to the pastor as soon as he gets home. This makes you a partner in his ministry and helps your church have a more available pastor.

The task can seem daunting to both the newly called minister and his wife. There are too many empty pulpits to ignore men who will give their best to a pastorate in addition to working a 40-hour workweek. Your church will be blessed by your husband’s real-world perspective, and you will be blessed for your partnership with him.

About the Writer:Mrs. Adethia Rudd and her husband David pastor in Texas.