Life in a fishbowl: Survey gives voice to pastors’ spouses

12 Sep , 2017 World

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The vast majority of U.S. Protestant pastors’ spouses say ministry has had a positive effect on their families but many report being isolated and under financial stress.

A new LifeWay Research survey, released Tuesday (Sept. 12), finds that most spouses are directly involved in the work of their churches, with 1 in 5 holding a paid position and two-thirds serving in unpaid capacities.

“Spouses have an important role in the church, even if it’s not an official role,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of the Nashville-based evangelical research firm. “The variety of experiences kind of reminds us just not to tuck them into a single mold.”

The findings, discussed at the annual meeting of the Religion News Association days before their official release, present a picture of the varied life of the spouses behind the person in the pulpit. Some help with the church’s music or children’s ministries; some serve as secretaries or co-pastors; and others work outside of the church but also give a listening ear to troubled members.

While 85 percent of respondents said their church takes “good care of us,” 6 in 10 agreed that their family’s financial needs are not met by the salary received from their …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News

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