Soul Care for Ministry Families


“For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.” (Hebrews 6:10)

Ministry is the most exciting, frustrating, exhausting, fun, rewarding, encouraging, enjoyable, weird, and maddening job in the world. Missionaries, pastors, pastors’ spouses, and pastors’ children may have few safe places to freely confide and be refilled. Psalm One is committed to encouraging ministry families.

It’s been said that the pastor’s wife is the only person in the church without a pastor. Amazing women juggle church, home, children, family, and finances--as well as marriage to a husband whom some think is either a saint or a monster.  People may come alongside her in friendship and appreciation, or they may ignore the pastor’s wife, shove her out of the way to speak with her husband, or demand unattainable perfection from her children, her home, her wardrobe, her knowledge of Scripture, even her baking skills. It can be a hard and lonely role. As a little kid, I wondered, “why won’t anyone be her friend?”

Pastors call me, saying, “I need this stuff, too!” There are a lot of “pastors’ wives’ husbands” who also want soul care, rest, and tools to handle the competeing demands of minsitry and life.  They seek out skills and support to walk intimately with God and serve Him in integrity.

Children of pastors call and say, "I love the Lord, but I have some baggage from growing up in the church." Pastoral families are trusting Jesus and they love the church, no matter what, but sometimes sheep bite.

Tending one’s own soul often gets pushed to last position—if it makes the list at all. When professional ministry actually erodes a vibrant connection with God, when church and God are seen as one and the same, the soul withers through battle scars, isolation, loneliness, or simply benign neglect. It’s easy to lose our joy and our vision of God. Connections, laughter and fun can be replaced by stress, apathy, frustration or weariness. Sometimes, we find ourselves running on empty.

Ministry should come with a warning label: “Don’t try this alone!” We all need support, encouragement, rest, genuine friendship, resources, input, and tools to keep our heart alive toward God.

As a Steering Committee member of the Caregivers Forum, I link arms with ministries around the world to provide encouragement, training and resources to strengthen those on the front lines. In Psalm One Ministries, we have  Days of Refreshing and  Refocus and Refuel Retreats in Southwest Ohio for pastors and their families to come (preferably "undercover") and be refreshed. We have two 2019 Soul Care Retreats just for pastors' wives: Feb 8-10 Cincinnati and Feb 22-24 Wisconsin. We also have occasional retreats and events in other locations.

Take a break from pouring out and come to be refilled and restored.

  • Would you like to stay in the loop for soul care retreats, articles, and other encouragement for pastors' wives?
  • Are you in ministry and seeking life-giving resources and rest?
  • Interested in helping us support, strengthen, and encourage pastoral families?