Many pastors’ wives have asked the question, “How do I know when to give my husband input about ministry or a sermon without sounding bossy or nagging?” There is a fine line in communicating these suggestions.
I want to share what one of our local pastors’ wives shared on this topic and I believe it will be a blessing to you as you navigate through ministry.
First of all, it is really wise that you realize that you can sound “bossy or nagging” when offering input, so it is important to guard against being that way when your heart is to support and help your man.
So, I would start with prayer! Since I was not called by God to be the pastor, and it is not my “job” to have the wisdom to handle all things, I realize that even though my ideas sound good to me, it may not be God’s plan for the church/situation. Since God did call my husband, and he is responsible before God to lead, I pray for him to hear from God concerning the very issue that I have on my heart. I pray that if it is God’s plan that He would give my husband that idea and would impress it on him. I consider it a very important calling for me to be the most diligent intercessor for my husband – he needs to hear from God on so many things!
On the other hand, God has also placed me as a partner to my husband. So, sometimes after praying, I still may feel led to offer a suggestion or throw out a thought (with humility). I would start by telling him a couple of things that he is doing really well and give him the encouragement he needs to be able to hear some constructive criticism.
My husband really relies on my perspective during his sermons. He preaches three times each Sunday morning and I get to hear him the last two times. So between the second and third service, he always turns to me to ask for feedback, “What should I change?” “What should I leave out?” “What didn’t relate/work?”
Sometimes I share a thought that struck me like, “I would word that differently” or “You may want to lose the illustration on point number 2” or “Make sure you emphasize . . .” Most Sundays, I just say, “Perfect! Do it again just like that!” What I have learned from that is that he really wants my input and really needs my approval.
If you give your husband a steady diet of positive input and encouragement, it will probably help him be more open to your suggestions. – Suzy
Our pastor husbands do depend on us for honest feedback, but let’s make sure we are waiting until the right time to share that feedback especially if it is constructive criticism. And remember Sunday right after the sermon is not the best time to do this.
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