I am frequently asked by pastors to help them process going to another church. They want to make the wisest decision and that involves asking the right questions. I always appreciate when a pastor is diligent in this process.
Although it should certainly be a “call”, I believe God often allows us latitude in discerning where we serve. And one right question may avoid a wrong decision.
I previously post 25 Questions the Prospective Pastor Should Ask the Church.
But what about the spouse? I equally believe they need to be asking questions. In fact, sometimes they can ask the “better” questions.
I gave this advice to a pastor recently and he asked what questions his wife should ask. I decided to share here what I suggested to him.
10 questions a pastor’s spouse can ask a prospective church:
- What will family time be like for our family? Can I expect it to be protected/honored by the church?
- Can you give any examples of what the church does to protect my family?
- What expectations are specifically placed upon me in terms of serving in the church? What is my assumed role in pastoral care?
- My passion is ________. Will I be able to fulfill this passion here under the current context and structure?
- What was the role of the last couple of pastor spouses?
- Within the culture of the church, what is it like in terms of treating the pastor’s spouse? Will I be subjected to criticism? What about church gossip?
- Does the church encourage me in traveling with my spouse?
- If I were to ask the last pastor the source of the greatest stress in serving here as pastor what would they say? How would the spouse answer?
- How many weekends off a year should I expect/plan for our family?
- If they could have, what was something the church would have changed about the last pastor’s spouse? What did they love?
Any others you would add?