4 Ways to Support Your Sister in Christ5 min read

Since 2008, I’ve been a pastor’s wife. When my husband of 16 years was ordained, my life was changed drastically in many ways, but it didn’t really change me. For example, one thing which remained the same was my deep-seated, God-given desire to cultivate meaningful relationships and spend quality time with my female relatives and friends. It was more than a simple enjoyment of female relationships. At the end of a successful women’s event at our vicarage congregation, I recall telling the church council president’s wife, “Women need women.” 

 This desire for fellowship has grown over the years to now include the relationships I share with the wives of pastors, deacons, vicars, and seminarians, as we find ourselves being uniquely equipped to support each other through the seasons of pastoral ministry. I have identified four specific ways that we can best encourage and bless our sisters in Christ, and all women for that matter:


I find it comforting that in every “How-To:  Healthy Church Worker” article, prayer makes the top of the list. We don’t need a fancy video series or a 12-step program or a weekend retreat to get plugged into our Source of power to support each other. Prayer is free and never on back order! In our relationships with women married to men in ministry, prayer support buoys those friends and keeps our bonds strong, even if we don’t see them often. More significantly, when we have opened ourselves to a meaningful relationship with another sister in Christ, we can call or meet in person to ask for prayer. In moments of fellowship when we see our sister is not her usual self, we can ask this beautiful question, “How may I pray for you?” A natural response from our sister then is to ask how she might pray for us, which strengthens our relationship with each other and with the Lord. 

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18 NIV).


At the 2013 Katie Conference I found myself at a table with five women that I did not know. To my delight, I discovered one of them lived 15 miles away and our husbands had graduated from the seminary in the same year. We made plans to get together the week after the conference and enjoyed a morning of talking and getting to know each other. That led to more visits. The highlight of these summer get-togethers was going to garage sales and thrift stores to search for treasures. Our children are not the same age, but that didn’t stop them from playing tag and having a picnic lunch together. I cherish the moments we get together and have fun as sisters in Christ.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity” (Proverbs 17:17 ESV).


If you’ve been praying for a sister in Christ and perhaps having fellowship with her, this may provide the opportunity to hold each other accountable for areas in which you personally struggle and express the forgiveness we have through Christ. These areas may include reducing your sarcasm level (a trouble spot of mine where a friend recently held me accountable with great results), making a lifestyle change (Be Well Rewards –, helping you in a relationship with someone at church that you are in conflict with, or simply holding you accountable to read your Bible every day. Your sister in Christ can be an invaluable gift from the Lord in holding you accountable when you ask her.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17 NIV).

Protection from Isolation

Isolation is an age-old tool the devil uses to discourage us in difficult seasons in ministry, and these will come. The evil one whispers lies that often have the theme: “You are the only woman who understands your current circumstance; it’s because of your failure that this pressure is so great.” This leads to shame. Believing that lie removes us from the beauty of turning to our sisters in Christ for prayer, fellowship and accountability, as well as a listening ear.

No, your sister may not have walked in every situation in which you find yourself, but she will have experienced moments of heartache which serve to assure you that you are not alone in your experience; there is nothing new under the sun. Allow the Lord to minister through this sister in an empathetic way, with words of tenderness and reminders of God’s promises.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV).

So reconnect with a pastor’s wife that you know. It doesn’t matter if it’s been a week or year since your last conversation. Simply pick up the phone and enjoy the unique connection that only comes from another special sister who partners with her husband in ministry.

Make new connections or strengthen existing ones at the 2014 Katie Conference on April 25-27 in Bay City. The Conference, “Identity Check: Remind Me Who I Am,” promises to be fabulous, based on the format of our successful 2013 conference “Under the Tree: Holding Fast” that included in-depth Bible study and small group conversations instead of lecture format. I look forward to seeing you there and hope you join our Katie Conference Facebook Group ( to begin making those connections today.

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About the Author

Stacey Stahl is the wife of Rev. Michael Stahl (teacher of theology at Saginaw Valley Lutheran High School). She is mother to Alannah and Jaden, and the Communications Coordinator at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Saginaw.

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