9 ways to support your husband in youth ministry (1 of 2)

Ways to support your husband in youth ministryThe following post is contributed by my beautiful wife, Dana Schmoyer (pictured to the left, holding me shortly after I proposed). She often blogs about youth ministry from the perspective of a youth pastor’s wife at and is pretty active on Twitter.. She put a lot of thought into this post for you all. If you have questions, she’d love to answer them in the comments below.

9. Have fun and be care free.

Enjoy every moment you can. Don’t let the little stuff stress you out. It takes time to learn which adults work well with which students. Go where the spirit leads, and when he doesn’t, leave it up to others. A great way Tim has helped me to be carefree is by not telling me things that would probably upset me, such as someone either criticizing him or the youth ministry. I take it personally, and then I don’t look at that person the same any more.

8. Try something new.

I have found that youth really enjoy it when you are willing to try something you haven’t done, and when you do it with them. I am terrified of heights, and on our first canoe trip with our youth group we got to the part of the river with a bridge that they always stop at to jump off of. The kids were so excited for me to get up there and jump. It’s a great bonding time and then you have stories to share with them. Also, a great way I have found to bond with the boys is to play video games, and join in on sports games with them. Ask God to show you a new way to build relationships with the youth, and be willing to stretch.

7. Learn to say no.

Your husband needs to learn this too. I learned that if you don’t at least say yes a couple times when invited to something, then you probably wont be invited again, but when you say yes to everything it gets overwhelming. You can’t make it to everything, and that’s okay. It’s good for students to see you at their events, and it’s a good time to get to know their families. It’s also good that they see you model healthy boundaries. Make band concerts and plays a date with your spouse, but not every one. People will understand if you don’t make it to all the student’s extra curricular events.

6. Surround yourself with other godly women.

It is good to have fellowship with other women, especially since most of us like to chat, and sometimes our husbands can’t handle all that we want/need to talk about. Plus, after living with a man 24/7 it is nice to be around a female to relate to with all of our womanly quirks. Make sure the women are godly so you can lift each other up in prayer, encouragement and accountability.

5. Be present.

It is very easy for a teen girl to develop a crush on her youth pastor, especially if he is hot (like my husband!). The spiritual aspect of any relationship becomes intimate, that is why we are to surround ourselves with other godly women, not men. Wives, if the students see you regularly (I know this is probably harder if you have kids) and see that your public interaction with your husband shows that you two are totally in love, this will help girls know he’s romantically interested in you, not them. Husbands, if you aren’t quick to catch on, then let your wife help you notice signs of a crush. Be careful with how often they call or text message you, and be careful with how frequently you respond. If you reply or answer the phone every time or almost every time, they will more than likely contact you even more. I have seen a few girls crush on Tim, which is tough, because my feelings towards them change. I am not as friendly, I try to hide it, and then I have a bad heart issue. Another sign of flirting is girls who like to take boy’s hats. I’m pretty sure any girl that has gone through jr. high knows that is a for-sure sign of flirting. Tim doesn’t make a big deal of it when girls do it to him. He just ignores the action, and it soon stops. Wives, let your husband minister to the boys, and you get to know the girls and be a positive spiritual role model to them. This allows a girl to feel comfortable with you, and when she wants to talk with your husband you can be present. Tim and I love to take a girl out to eat together when they need closer attention. If you’ve already been present, it’s not weird for you to be there as a “chaperon.”

This post was written and contributed by my wife, Dana Schmoyer. Part 2 is coming tomorrow. Part 2 is now posted.

Posted on December 1, 2008

  • Dana, thanks for this article. I think that there will be many wives of youth pastors who will find some helpful stuff in here.

    Tim, I’m wondering if you might consider also finding someone to do a post entitled: “9 ways to support your wife in youth ministry (1 of 2).” I’m sure there are many female youth workers as well who read these blogs, and perhaps their husbands might be interested in ways in which they could be even more supportive of their wives in ministry.

    As I said – there are some helpful ideas in here. And I think it might work for some couples. However, my wife is currently working toward getting a PhD, and so many of these suggestions just don’t work for our situation. Sarah works extremely hard – and puts in long hours for her school. She is great and super supportive of me and helps me think of youth group games (which I hate….), program ideas and lots of other stuff. She’s also a very helpful person for me when I need someone to talk through certain issues that come up in the ministry for me.

    But as for her going to lots of events with me, being around the ministry a lot, being able to say “yes” to almost anything – it just doesn’t work for our situation.

  • @Adam Walker Cleaveland: Yeah, that’s a good idea! It might even work well to have the post come from a married female youth worker, huh? You’re definitely right that there are a lot of women youth workers who read this site. This post doesn’t mean to exclude them by any means — this is just the topic my wife wanted to write about, and she did a good job!

    As for “being able to say yes to almost anything,” I think that’s a misunderstanding. Tomorrow’s post will clarify that.

  • @Tim, thanks for the comment. Perhaps, I should clarify. I meant that because of my wife’s busy schedule, she just doesn’t have the time to say to almost anything….didn’t want to imply that Dana was saying wives “should” say yes to almost anything…

  • Adam: Thanks. There are lots of spouses who have commitments such as school and kids which make it harder to be present at things, and that is okay. It is good for people to see the healthy boundaries set up. Right now in our season I am able to be active, but we still set boundaries so people don’t expect us to be at everything. Plus it’s fun to see the surprised and happy students and parents when we do show up.

  • Hey Tim,
    This is a great post by your wife. Tell her thanks for giving her time to do that. My wife and I are fairly new to ym and found this article very helpful. Are there any other resources out there that you could point us to that may help in this area as well?

  • Great post! Thanks for writing. I think the last point is so key. Women can notice this stuff so much better than men, and we men need to listen to our wives when they get the feeling something isn’t right.

  • Seth


    I sent the link to my wife and she said you should write one for how youth workers can support their wives. Should I feel convicted?

  • @Seth: lol Maybe you should just ask her. That would be better than me telling you 9 lame ideas I come up with anyway! :-)

  • Sam Ebere

    Hi Tim & Dana,
    Thanks so much my dear brethren for this wonderful ministry.
    Stumbled on your website today and have been there for ssometime now.

    Dana, thanks a lot for your article.
    I’ve been in student ministry for more than a decade and have been marrieed for 11yrs.Reading you made me appreciate my wife more.
    The resources here are truly God-breathed.

    And CONGRATS! on your new ‘bundle of joy’ who is on the way.

    Certainly I will stay-put with you to help me in my ministry to undergraduates in Nigeria, through Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students(NIFES,a memeber movement of IFES)where I serve, providing leadership to more than ten staff and student leaders across 24 campus fellowship groups.You can see how much your ministry is relevant to me.

    May His Light continue to lead you.

    Samuel Ebere

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