My life as a pastor spouse

Posted May 11, 2016 | Academy of Preaching and Celebration

By Sonia Vorster

Looking back over my life as the spouse of a pastor, I remember the excitement when my husband stepped into his calling. I immediately began to search for the dos and don’ts for my role because I knew nothing of the duties or behavioral patterns of a pastor’s spouse. Though I did not find anything in my research in the scriptures, I did know that I would become a "First Lady" and that gave me joy.

I soon realized my number one duty was to stand next to my husband and be his cheerleader and encourager at all times, to love and protect him, as well as take care of the women in the ministry. I believed that when the Lord calls a man/woman to preach, God doesn’t only called them, but calls their spouse and family. Therefore, I played my role somehow with the expectation to love and to care for everyone, from the people in the congregation, to their extended families, and it left me constantly giving without receiving much back.

After our second year in ministry, my husband had two surgeries and my first lady role became more difficult. I had to attend to him, our children, the ministry, as well as myself. It was during this time that I learned to put on a mask to say that everything was okay. I literally felt I was living a lie because church members were always looking to this strong woman, but only I knew I was not so strong and I became dissatisfied in my role as a clergy spouse.

Out of the many levels of frustration in ministry and my personal life, I knew I had to do something. Someone suggested to me a coaching program, and I took the program with a promise to help me put things in perspective to live out my call in a way that was more pleasurable for me and pleasing to God at the same time. I no longer wanted to feel stagnated about not living purposefully, about not knowing how to pursue my destiny, and not knowing how to live out my passion. I wanted to find what difference I could make in my own life and the lives of others, not just as a pastor’s spouse, but as a human being created by God. I had a deep desire to get at the core of how to live my life to the fullest. I wanted clear directions how to live my life with purpose.

Through the coaching program, and a neuro-linguistic course, my life changed drastically. I confronted my internal battles and struggles to start living my life with purpose and passion. I found out that my passion had to do with equipping women and young people to lift their moral standard, self-esteem, and to live fully from the inside out. This was a more specific purpose than the general women’s ministry programs.

Being a first lady now is not as difficult since I discovered my purpose and passion and because of my strong faith and the coaching program, I am now travelling light. I have off loaded my baggage and I have made peace within myself to love and laugh a lot more. I am doing volunteer coaching for young people academically toward their careers, coaching ladies empowerment sessions, and participating in talk shows sessions with married women, and doing one on one coaching on different topics pertaining to life choices and standards of living. It is very rewarding and helps me to live my life on purpose as a pastor’s spouse.

I want to tell spouses of the clergy: live your life to the fullest by honing your passion as you serve God’s people. Serving with passion will help you to have more joy and satisfaction, and will make life more pleasurable on your journey. Serve with a heart to love by living your life on purpose and pursue your destiny, for it pleases God.

Sonia Vorster is a native of Johannesburg, South Africa. She was born in Alexander, Johannesburg and grew up in the Northern Cape in a small town called Hartswater. Sonia was raised by many women and a grandparent to make an impact and difference in the lives of other woman, which has become her passion. She is married to Johnny Vorster and together they co-pastor Restoration Worship Centre. She is first lady, spiritual leader, and inspirational speaker. She is also a life coach and NLP practitioner, having founded and given leadership to the Restoration Worship Centre Valuable Women’s Ministry for the 7 years. She is currently focusing on hosting married ladies groups and first ladies groups, as well as providing Life coaching for young adults and women. She holds a National Diploma in Office Management and currently studying to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Management. Above all her accomplishments, she considers supporting her husband in ministry and raising God fearing children her primary purpose and greatest joy. A mother of two, she believes in raising children by example. Sonia’s motto and mission is to impact, inspire, uplift, equip, and empower women through speaking engagements and other outreach ministry.

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