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Why Pastors Wives Need Retreats

The pastor's wife is perhaps the least recognized individual in the church. Her role is incredibly demanding and difficult. She is held to such high standards. She is expected to give freely to the church, raise the perfect family, uphold her husband's ministry, and be a role model for Christian women. She is most likely being watched, judged, and talked about.

She is most sensitive to criticism directed at her husband. She stays up all night to listen to him when he's had a difficult day at church.

She is the one who must deal with her children's needs and emotions if they refuse to attend church. She must also consider how this will affect her husband, the pastor, and what the congregation would think if they found out.

She is, most likely, expected to serve in ways that she doesn't have the time, gifting, or interest for. On the other hand, she might have valuable insight or a unique ministry to offer the church.

The Stress of Being a Pastor’s Wifethe stress of being a pastors wife

Who takes care of the pastor's wife? Who in her church is a trustworthy and suitable person for her to go to with her needs? Numerous times it's nobody.

Even though the pastor's wife has needs and hurts like everyone else, she is held to a higher standard and expected to be flawless. Everything she does and says—even her appearance—might be scrutinized and seen as a reflection of the pastor.

The pastor's wife has considerable stress, as we mentioned above. Just like other ministry leaders, she can experience stress overload or burnout.

Statistics gathered from surveys conducted by HB London, Jr.,, Campus Crusade for Christ, and Global Pastors Network, indicate the strain pastors’ wives face in their positions and how much they need support.

1. Stress in Marriage

Being a pastor's wife can put significant stress on a marriage. The demanding nature of the role often means you and your spouse have limited quality time together. The pastor's commitments to the church, including counseling, sermon preparation, and community involvement, can leave little room for nurturing the marital relationship. 

Additionally, the emotional and spiritual challenges faced by both you and your husband can create added pressure and strain on your marriage.

  • 80% of spouses think their husband works too much.
  • 80% wish their spouse would quit pastoring.
  • 40% of their husbands engaged in extramarital relationships.
  • 50% of their marriages will end in divorce.

2. Stress in Family

Being a pastor's wife can introduce unique stressors that impact the entire family. From the weight of expectations placed on you by the church community to the time demands and privacy challenges, you often find yourself juggling multiple roles. Balancing family commitments alongside church responsibilities can create a sense of imbalance and strain on family life.

  • 94% of pastoral families experience pressures related to their duties as pastors.

3. Stress in Friendship

Being a pastor's wife can also impact friendships. The unpredictable nature of ministry, such as emergencies or last-minute church events, can disrupt planned social activities, making it challenging to maintain consistent connections with friends. 

Additionally, the unique dynamics of being a pastor's wife may create a sense of isolation or difficulty in finding friends who can relate to your experiences. Pastors' wives need trustworthy, caring friends. Many pastors’ wives have felt their confidence was betrayed after sharing personal information with some women in their church.

  • 80% feel excluded and undervalued by people in their church.
  • 56% claim to have no close friends among churchgoers.

4. Stress in Ministry

The role of a pastor's wife carries its own set of stresses and pressures in ministry. The expectations placed on you can be overwhelming as you are often seen as an extension of your husband's ministry. 

You may feel the weight of needing to be involved in various church activities, lead women's groups, or provide emotional support to members of the congregation. Balancing these responsibilities with your own personal commitments and desires can be challenging. 

Additionally, you may face criticism or scrutiny from individuals within the church community, adding an additional layer of stress. Wives of pastors may experience a sense of being "unpaid assistants" in the church. However, many have a lot more to contribute to their ministries than allowed or supported. 

  • 84% feel underqualified and discouraged in their positions.
  • 80% feel pressured to serve in capacities in which they are not gifted.

Pastors’ Wives Retreats and Their Benefits

The Bible demonstrates that Jesus set apart time specifically for prayer, reflection, and fellowship. Those are the attributes that can be obtained from a retreat. 

A couple of definitions for a retreat are 1) a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax and 2) a period of seclusion for the purposes of prayer and meditation. 


A pastors’ wives retreat is a gathering or conference aimed at ministering to you as a pastor’s wife to pour into you so you can pour into those you are ministering to. You and other pastors’ wives can benefit greatly from going on a retreat for the following reasons:

1. A Reminder of Your Identity: 

God not only called your husband into the ministry but also called you to be exactly who God made you to be, not what the congregation, deacons, or elders want you to be. Connecting with other women who appreciate the subtleties of your particular role and its obligations is incredibly useful, despite differences in backgrounds and theology.

2. Spiritual Renewal: 

Retreats offer pastors' wives a dedicated time and space to reconnect with their own spiritual journey. It allows them to step away from the demands of ministry and engage in personal reflection, prayer, and worship. This spiritual renewal can help rejuvenate their faith and strengthen their relationship with God.

3. Emotional and Mental Refreshment: 

Ministry can be emotionally and mentally taxing, and pastors' wives often carry the weight of the congregational needs and challenges. A retreat provides an opportunity for them to rest, recharge, and focus on their own well-being. It offers a break from the constant demands and responsibilities, allowing for self-care and rejuvenation.

4. Connection and Support: 

Retreats bring pastors' wives together with other women who understand the unique joys and struggles of ministry life. It provides a supportive community where they can share experiences, gain insights, and offer encouragement to one another. The connections made during a retreat can foster long-lasting friendships and a valuable network of support.

5. Personal Growth and Development: 

Retreats often include workshops, seminars, or guest speakers who provide insights and tools for personal growth and development. These sessions can equip pastors' wives with practical skills, guidance, and encouragement to navigate the challenges they face in their roles.

6. Perspective and Reflection: 

Stepping away from the day-to-day responsibilities allows pastors' wives to gain fresh perspectives and reflect on their ministry journey. They can reassess priorities, evaluate their goals, and gain clarity on their purpose in serving alongside their husbands. This reflection time can bring renewed focus and a sense of direction.


Overall, going on a retreat allows you, as a pastor's wife, to prioritize your own well-being, nurture your spiritual life, find support and connection, and gain valuable insights for personal and ministry growth. It is an investment in your own self-care, which in turn benefits your family, church, and the overall ministry you serve.

What Should a Pastors’ Wives Retreat Look Like?what should a pastors wife retreat look like

A pastors’ wives retreat should be an experience that leaves you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and ministered to. A successful retreat should build long, lasting friendships where you can feel encouraged and where you can be vulnerable. 

During a retreat, you are encouraged to disconnect from technology, external pressures, and the demands of everyday life. This intentional withdrawal allows you to focus inward, reconnect with yourself, explore your beliefs, values, and purpose, and gain a fresh perspective on life. 

A pastors’ wives retreat should include the following:

  • Time for prayer and meditation
  • Personal time in the Word
  • Corporate time in Worship and the Word
  • Speakers who can speak into your life by being transparent, vulnerable, and real
  • Small groups to build relationships with other pastor wives
  • Free time

Optional extras to be included in a pastors’ wives retreats:

  • Time for pampering
  • Participate in a variety of land and water activities
  • Enjoy the great outdoors
  • Make s’mores at evening campfires
  • Learn and build new skills

In conclusion, a retreat holds immense importance for pastors' wives as it offers a dedicated space and time for you to prioritize your well-being, spiritual growth, and personal development. In the midst of your demanding roles and responsibilities, a retreat allows you, as a pastor's wife, to step away from the busyness of ministry and find solace, rest, and renewal. 

A pastors’ wives retreat provides an opportunity for you to reconnect with your own spiritual journey, deepen your relationship with God, and gain fresh insights and inspiration. By engaging in moments of reflection, prayer, and worship, you can find the strength and spiritual nourishment necessary to sustain you in your ministry role and to navigate the challenges you encounter. 


Additionally, a retreat fosters a supportive community where you can connect with other women who understand the unique joys and struggles of ministry life. The connections made during a retreat can provide a valuable network of support, friendship, and encouragement, serving as a source of strength and solidarity. 

Overall, a retreat holds immense importance in empowering you, as a pastor's wife, to prioritize self-care, nurture your spiritual life, seek personal growth, and build meaningful connections that positively impact your well-being and enhance your ministry journey.

Visit High Peak Camp and Conference Center to Experience an Amazing Retreat

High Peak Camp and Conference Center, located in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado is open year-round and offers a fantastic setting for your next group retreat! The Salvation Army Intermountain Division owns and operates the facility to share the Love of Christ with all who visit. 

The overall purpose of High Peak Camp is to serve the total person physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. The camping experience aims to foster within each individual a deeper understanding of our relationship with God and our fellow human beings. It also helps individuals appreciate and respect God's creation and humanity's responsibility for proper stewardship.

High Peak Camp is proud to offer facilities that are a unique blend of rustic and new. Our campus is the perfect place to host your retreat.

There is nothing better for facilitating deep conversations than being surrounded by the majesty of nature and the great outdoors. Those who come to High Peak Camp enjoy the bounty this area has to offer in a soothing setting. There are countless opportunities for quality time spent together, enjoying nature and connecting with each other.

If you are interested in more information about High Peak Camp and Conference Center, contact us or visit our website. We look forward to answering any questions you may have!