Cherish: A Ministry for PCA Pastors’ Wives
“I am so grateful for the Cherish program. Life can be isolating and lonely on the front lines of ministry. Finding another voice, one that reminds me that Jesus is real, and to have the opportunity to talk about my stuff—when I usually only talk with others about theirs. It’s been a gift to my soul.”
There are two things we know for certain about pastors and their wives:
- They love serving their church.
- Their relationship with the church is complicated.
Ministry is fulfilling but demanding. When they experience struggles, pastors and their wives often do not feel comfortable or safe confiding in church members. They are left feeling isolated with nowhere to turn.
Thanks to the 2018 Women’s Love Gift from CDM, PCA Ministerial Relief began facilitating counseling services for pastors and their wives. In 2019, we launched Cherish specifically to provide pastors’ wives with affordable and professional Christian counseling.
The results have been life-changing.
Here are four things to know about Cherish and its impact on PCA pastors’ wives:
- It is confidential. We never know who uses this service unless they tell us. We provide an online enrollment process that connects women directly with a professional Christian counselor.
- It is professional. We have partnered with two reputable Christian counseling organizations that conduct the counseling: CCEF and the Global Counseling Network.
- It is affordable. Though the first four sessions are always free, we recently expanded it to seven sessions through the end of July to alleviate the financial stress created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We depend on generous individuals and churches to underwrite this subsidy. You can donate here to make sure this service continues.
- It is making a difference. After just one full year of existence, more than 60 pastors’ wives have used these counseling services.
Here is what PCA pastors’ wives are saying about Cherish and the impact it has had on their lives, families, and churches.
“After a painful departure from our previous church and the stress of moving our family out of state for my husband’s new position, I found myself depressed and angry. Counseling was something I had wanted and needed for a while, but the cost put it out of reach. Cherish made it possible, though! It was such a blessing to be able to talk through my struggles and hear words of compassion, hope, and truth. Thank you!”
“What do you do when treated unfairly by the church? What do you do when one of your adult children is not walking with the Lord? Cherish provided an opportunity to talk to a neutral party who listened, empathized yet offered hope for this weary pastor’s wife! Thanks for offering such a ministry to pastors’ wives!”
“As a pastor’s wife, there are numerous situations that feel both heavy and confidential. Receiving counseling through the Cherish program has allowed me to unburden my heart in a safe and biblical environment. It can be scary and overwhelming to face my questions of the Lord and his providence, but working through them with my CCEF counselor has brought great clarity and healing. I am so grateful for this support from the PCA and can already see how this counseling will benefit my faith, my marriage, and my husband’s ability to do his job faithfully for years to come.”
Studies show that a pastor’s relationship with his wife is one of the most important factors when it comes to their husband’s sustainability in ministry. Cherish helps create healthy leaders who create healthy churches. Thanks to all those who make this ministry possible.
About PCA Retirement & Benefits
We prepare and protect PCA co-laborers in Christ by providing products and guidance in retirement, insurance, relief, and related services. We aim, through trusted relationships with our partners, to enable and encourage them to be more focused on ministry.