Posted in: Marriage and Family
Parakaleo was birthed out of a PCA research project that Shari Thomas, daughter of a church-planter and wife of a pastor, did on the major factors determining the health or death of church-planters’ marriages. Scott Thomas was able to meet with Shari recently in NYC for a brief interview.
Here are some results from Shari Thomas’ Study of PCA Church Planter Spouse Stress and Satisfaction Levels:
• 100% of church planting spouses surveyed have requested mentoring or coaching.
• 65% of church planting spouses say their husbands (men who tend to be absent from the home evenings and weekends) provide their primary emotional support.
• 59% of church planting spouses lead 1-3 major ministries in the church in addition to family, community and personal commitments.
Add to this these statistics per Focus on the Family:
• 80% of pastors’ wives report having struggled with depression
• 56% of pastors’ report having no close friends
Shari’s list of primary factors that determine the wife’s satisfaction or stress levels are as follows:
• The husband – the person and work of the husband as he is involved/uninvolved with his wife.
• Support system
• Sabbath Rest
• Reliance on Christ
• Boundary Ambiguity
• Physical Health
In this interview, Shari notes that in the church planter assessment process, the most important factor in assessing satisfaction of a wife of a church planter is not actually her relationship with her husband (originally the highest-rated factor), but in the wife’s understanding of the gospel for herself.
The wife’s understanding of how sinful she is, and how she is more loved than she can imagine frees her from being a slave to performance or having her identity rest on what others think of her. She is freed by the gospel to face the issues of being a church planter’s wife with truth and joy.
Parakaleo is a network that offers coaching and help for church planters’ wives. Read more here.