CTA, Inc

Marriage and the Stress of Ministry

Item#: MM20-32


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Listen in as Pastor and Mrs. Schultz share helpful practices for managing stress together.

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Guests: Matthew and Kristin Schultz. Matthew is a pastor and ministry consultant. He has successfully shepherded multiple churches through times of transition and has helped not-for-profit agencies and churches of all sizes reimagine their ministries. Matthew currently pastors a congregation in New York state. Kristin works in health-care communications, volunteers on various committees at church, and leads Bible studies.

Introduction: Explore tools to recognize and address the stresses of ministry and how they affect marriage.


  • Stresses of ministry—managing expectations
    • Recognize the expectations for yourself and your families
    • Have frank conversations with church leaders regarding expectations for you and your family. Are there “unwritten rules”?
    • Recognize stress and follow up on that—be aware of your own feelings and discuss them with your spouse.
    • Be intentional about talking with one another—about both big and small things.
    • Set “ground rules” to help manage expectations.
    • “I’m missing you!”
  • Stresses of ministry—managing time
    • Availability for church members to gather for ministry is often outside of traditional working hours.
    • Be strategic about using time wisely.
    • Set aside time as a couple to do nonobligatory things.
    • Communicate with one another regarding upcoming obligations so both have input.
    • Give yourself—or your spouse!—permission to say no.
  • COVID-19 has added stressors to already stressful situations:
    • Changes in routine and new obligations, everyone in family suddenly in the same space
    • Stress of working from home: “Living at the office”
      • Commit to properly transition
      • Resist the temptation to prolong the workday
    • Managing concern for other family members
    • Coping with how long it’s been and how long this could go on
    • Coping with new expectations for church and what that means for ministry going forward
  • Be intentional about . . .
    • Communicating with one another
    • Bringing the stressors to God in prayer—lay it at the feet of Jesus!
  • Look for the silver linings of the COVID-19 work situations
    • What have you learned about each other?
    • Connect briefly—in ways you haven’t before—because you can!





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