#Yoked: Stories of Clergy Couples

Yoked magnet

Andy and I wrote a book. About being a clergy couple. About family. About marriage. About ministry. It’s called: Yoked: Stories of a Clergy Couple in Marriage, Family, and Ministry.

We are convinced people are thinking to themselves and aloud, “How the hell do they write a book on that?!?” Especially when we are totally clueless. And newbies. And tired. And know of much older, wiser clergy couples than ourselves. Who could come up with much better advice. On pretty much anything everything.

Honestly we didn’t write this book thinking it would provide advice or any kind of wisdom, really. A lot of it came out of wanting to process all the changes happening to our family at the time – new job, new babies, new town, and new season. But, ultimately we always feel like it’s just so much better for everyone to know that other people are going through the same things  – the same sleeplessness, the same fights, the same questions, the same where-is-the-light-at-end-of-the-tunnel angst.

At the same time, our story isn’t universal. Like there are numerous permutations when it comes to “traditional” family – meaning there isn’t really a blueprint for family these days – clergy couplehood happens in a variety ways. We are just offering the stories from our lives. And hopefully at the very least people will read and see a way not to do things, if you get my drift.

We don’t mean to be so self-deprecating. Honestly, there’s so much to be thankful for in our lives.

This month I’m hosting a series on clergy couple stories. Obviously there are more than us, and more all the time. And there are many couples who are a lot smarter and way more energetic about it all – so we should definitely hear from them.

Carol Howard Merritt: On Being Yoked

Megan Clapp: Practicing Family Devotions

Sara Hill: Callings Woven Together

Heidi Bolt: Two Churches, Two Kids

Meredith Holladay: All We Know

Mindi Welton-Mitchell: Parenting and Planting

Adam Walker Cleveland: Getting Into It

Katie Todd: Waiting in the Wings

Guest-posted at Rachel Held Evans “Troubling the Waters”

April Fiet: Co-Pastors

Kiran Wimberely: Pulpits and Pews

Jim and Jes Kast-Keat: Working (Not) 9-5

Laura Stephens-Reed: Vocational Niche

Erica Liu: Remember the Sabbath
Sarah Robbins: Blessed to be a Witness Part I
Ben Robbins: Blessed to be a Witness Part II

10 thoughts on “#Yoked: Stories of Clergy Couples

  • January 5, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    We graduated together 1966, went to Seminary (NYC) together to 1969, married 1967, child 1971, commune: 1972-1975 – and in the meantime, our idea of professional clergy couple went by the wayside – spouse went on to two other theology degrees (1979 and 1999), youth ministry (1975-1980), Associate (1980-1984) and Senior head of staff (1984-2011) and now retirement (both). I went the way of computers and technology.

  • January 7, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    we both entered seminary as second career Inquirers, (I started a year before Jim, he stayed home to get son #2 through senior year of high school). We always felt called to serving as co-pastors together-but in this financial era, not really do-able- so, in 5 1/2 years of ordered ministry, have done the: shared 1 call between 2 people and 2 yoked churches, shared 1 call along with other, outside work, now share part of 1 call between us, Jim retained call to second of yoked church, and I took another, part-time, stated supply call while still being 1/4 time at one church. …notice this still does not add up to 2, full-time calls. We love this work. still feel God is calling us to ordered ministry, but are heart-broken that we have not been able to find 2, full-time co-pastoring calls.

  • January 11, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Thanks for doing this! My husband and I have been co-pastoring for 7 years now, and it’s been a huge blessing to us. The beginning was rough as we navigated discerning gifts and how to divide thins between us, but now that we’ve figured that out, we really love the opportunity to use our gifts as well as the flexibility of having a parent home with our kids.

    • January 11, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      Would love to hear a story from you all!! Do you have any time or interest in writing something for the series?

      • January 13, 2015 at 3:58 pm

        I notified Rev. Meg – she got your (new) book.

      • January 13, 2015 at 9:22 pm

        Not sure if you were directing that to me and/or bobraxton, but I’m available, if you’re interested. 🙂

  • January 26, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    This is great. My husband and I have co-pastored since we graduated from Seminary in 1996. It takes some effort to help a congregation catch the vision, and colleagues sometimes treat us like we don’t really know what it’s like to pastor a church. But we love working together and as a team we bring gifts and talents beyond what one person could. It has had it’s challenges and it’s rewards, but I really believe God has called us to this ministry – together. Thanks for writing about your ministry!

  • Pingback: On-the-job insights | Laura Stephens-Reed

Comments are closed.