Delegate more as a pastor’s spouse

Posted Aug 09, 2017 | Academy of Preaching and Celebration

By Joyce Thomas

Many clergy spouses assume leadership over ministries, church projects, and their own homes all at the same time. They often do so without asking for help, leaving themselves overworked. However, a team of people working together can be much more effective at completing projects in a timely matter and with less stress. I have found that delegating to others who are committed to the goals of a ministry can help improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Working with a team gives leaders more time to clarify the vision, goals, and strategies for their project. It gives leaders time to pace themselves and better accomplish what the project or ministry is designed to do. It also allows leaders to build camaraderie with those on their teams. A good team works together in harmony because they want the project to represent their performance and receive positive feedback for working future projects.

I learned some of these lessons when I worked in the women’s ministry at my former church. I had taken leadership over the women’s retreat committee, which took nearly nine months of planning, visioning, goal setting, strategizing, and delegating. Taking lead on this kind of project was a huge endeavor, as I became ultimately responsible for the whole project. However, I had to recognize my own limits and the fact that there were many able-bodied women willing to help. I also noticed that when I began to grow my team and delegate responsibilities, I started getting buy-in from those who would benefit from seeing how the parts of the project would come together through their input. The women enjoyed bring a part of the team.

Working as a leader of a team, instead of on your own, will give you valuable support as you accomplish your project goal. Asking for help and delegating during a project will allow you to work smarter and more effectively and not feel rushed, overworked, or frantic at the end. It is critical for clergy spouses to learn to delegate in their church work and work less on their own, by inviting others to participate with them. 

Remember this outstanding quote on delegation by Jackie Jackley: 
“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.”

Dr. Joyce Scott Thomas is the Associate Director of the Academy of Preaching and Celebration.

The Academy of Preaching and Celebration at CTS seeks to generate excellence in preaching and worship. To request permission to repost this content, please contact