attention ministry wives: I want your advice

In 109 days I will marry a pastor.

Last Sunday I worshipped with my wonderful new church family in PA and realized I am woefully unprepared for this major transition. How do I adapt to this new role without losing myself? What’s the best way to manage expectations about my involvement in every activity? When do I share my opinion in a class or planning meeting and when should I stay silent? How can I be present and attentive to each person who wants my attention—and how do I keep from collapsing in introverted exhaustion on Sunday afternoon?

Oh, and, if you are the future wife of the pastor, but not yet the wife of the pastor, and you want the congregation to like you, and you want to build rapport with them and earn their trust, but you’re sitting behind a group of three sixth-grade boys who insist on whispering and laughing and poking each other throughout the entire service, what do you do since smacking them upside the head isn’t an option? (I quickly shushed them and hoped their parents weren’t mad. No one has yet called for Matt’s resignation.)

In a way, you can never be prepared for the big stuff like getting married or having kids—you just jump in and do the best you can. I’m ready to jump (in 109 days) and okay with learning on the job, but I’m also quite willing to be taught. There are thousands of women out there who have already taken the leap and who could teach me more than a few things—ladies, let me hear from you.

If you are or ever have been the wife of a pastor, what’s your best advice? If you’re the pastor’s wife at a not-too-big church, even better. And if you’re the pastor’s wife at a not-too-big church in the northeast, wanna just skip this step and be best friends?

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