Many of these churches claim to take Paul at his word when he says he doesn’t allow a woman to speak in church. That means that women still can’t be pastors or elders in a lot of churches, much to the frustration of many women.
Meanwhile, lots of pastors continue to plaster their smiling faces on church mailers and billboards with their wives, who inexplicably call themselves “co-pastor.”
I’ve got a clue for all the churches out there who are still trying to kick it old school and keep women out of leadership, as well as the churches that hire two pastors that happen to be married.
First of all, let me say this: I can’t stand so-called “co-pastor” couples. You know these husband-wife pastor duos. They’re like a preaching-singing-comedy-vaudeville team. They play off each other as one preaches and the other leads the choir, or some such thing. I get a strong suspici0n that many of these couples secretly work on a stage act that they hope to take to Branson, Missouri someday.
Why do these couples grind my gears? Because what are the odds that two people are called to pastor the same church, and well isn’t that convenient, they just happen to be married? Guess what. A church is not an Emmy Award winning Pastor’s Family Variety Hour. If the only person a pastor can work with is his wife, there’s a problem. You know how tough church committees can be to negotiate? Now imagine that the church committee has only two members, and those members are sleeping together, (or fighting about why they aren’t sleeping together), and tell me that’s a recipe for success.
There are literally no other jobs where husbands and wives can be hired to “tag team” it. Are there “co-teachers?” How about “co-doctors?” Sounds idiotic, doesn’t it? The only thing that couples can be is “co-owners” of a business. That’s why churches that hire “co-pastors” will find themselves with co-owners.
The Woman is Calling the Shots
I say all that to say this to the churches that are on the other end of the spectrum, resisting women in leadership. You know who you are. You elect men to be “elders” and women to be “deacons” because “deacons” are in charge of the nursery. Better think twice about letting women be in charge of children’s church. You never know if there’s a future pastor in Sunday School, and I’d hate to think that you put a woman in authority over him.
Now, are you Catholic? No? Is your pastor married? Yes? Then you have a woman in leadership.
A woman doesn’t have to be a “co-pastor” with her husband, or lead the singing, or bleach her teeth to have the most important church leadership job around. Her job is to be the pastor’s wife.
You know the saying “behind every great man, there’s a great woman,” right? It’s true (and so is the reverse). Every church with a great pastor probably has a woman is giving some wifely guidance to her husband. She’s going to be the one that your pastor counsels with first, and most often. Her opinion is the one he’s going to take most seriously. If you don’t think your pastor’s wife has anything to do with the direction your church is going, then you have never been married.
It’s not because women are controlling by nature. It’s because men in healthy marriages look to their wives first for approval, answers, and support, and it’s her job to give those to him. A pastor’s wife has the unique place of seeing her husband at work, and I guarantee any pastor cares first about what his wife thinks of the job he’s doing. Plus, she’s meeting…”needs”…that no church committee can, and that commands a certain amount of loyalty.
What do you think? Are “co-pastors” legit, or even biblical? What about all the other women? What place to women have in your church?