For Those in Ministry

Great Advice for Pastors and Their Families


The advice most given from pastors is “Be sure to select a day for your Sabbath and keep it.”

I tend to agree that taking a day of rest is good for many reasons. Sure, to avoid burnout. But I think, too, that it is the best thing you can do for your wife and family. Monday was our day of rest. We home-schooled. I noticed quickly that my husband started going to the office on Mondays because I was working with the kids on school. So I decided that Monday would be a day off for us as well. It was many times our “field trip” day.

 Here’s what Kate Motaung, a fellow pastor’s wife shared with me.







Shortly before our firstborn turned one, my husband accepted a call to be the assistant pastor of our church in South Africa. He had served in college student ministry for six years prior to the transition, but this would be his first pastoral role in a church setting.

Within ten months, our second child was born, I had knee surgery, my mom was re-diagnosed with cancer in America, and to top it all off my husband was studying at the time as well.

Needless to say, it was a trying period.

Dreading Sundays

It was so easy for us to be like ships passing in the night – blinking a brief light of “hello,” but rarely communicating beyond the blip in the darkness.

During that time, I grew to dread Sundays. It sounds terrible to admit as a pastor’s wife, but I did. I enjoyed the opportunity to worship and fellowship, but then I had the unpleasant task of keeping the kids quiet while daddy napped before going back to church in the evening.

Monday was our Sabbath

While I dreaded Sundays, I lived for Mondays. My husband did such a good job of protecting Mondays as his Sabbath day. He would switch off his phone for the whole day – if there was a genuine emergency, people could call my phone. He resisted checking his emails. Since our kids were too young to be in school, we often spent the day visiting his mom or just being home without an agenda. In short, we relaxed. And it was glorious.

God created the world in six days, then He rested. Be like God. Take time to rest. Especially in a ministry role, it is vital to step away long enough to recharge your batteries before jumping back into the game.

If you’re in ministry, do yourself a favor:

  • Pick a Sabbath day, and protect it.
  • Be diligent in this.
  • If you struggle to take a Sabbath, ask someone to hold you accountable.
  • Turn off your phone.

The world will keep spinning, I promise.


advice for pastor's


Kate Motaung grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan before spending ten years in Cape Town, South Africa. She and her South African husband have three children. Kate is the author of the ebook, Letters to Grief, hosts the Five Minute Friday blog link-up, and has contributed to several other online publications. She blogs at Heading Home and can be found on Twitter @k8motaung or on Facebook. Kate is represented by Credo Communications. Her memoir is forthcoming from Discovery House


Check out Kate’s post … Why Pre-Marital Counseling is not Enough


2 thoughts on “Great Advice for Pastors and Their Families

  1. It is certainly the truth. Otherwise, we find ourselves in this never ending spiral downward. The thing is , that seldom do people even notice that you are working so hard. It doesn’t bless you or the church.
    Many times all the work you are doing should be the work of others. But they will sit back and let you do it all. As a layman, I got caught in this trap…. wearing many hats in the church. When I moved to a different church. Several stepped up in the first church and started doing things and then the church began to grow. It’s a hard pill to swallow when you see that you may have been the one holding the church back!

  2. That is one of the key things I was taught in seminary and I try to hold it as tight as I can. Sabbath is so important.

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