While compiling research for the book “Resilient Ministry,” the authors recognized the importance of pastors’ wives, and their emotional and spiritual health. “In general,” said co-author Bob Burns in a 2013 byFaith interview, “the most significant human factor in the sustainability of pastors in ministry is their spouses.” The important role of the pastor’s wife is not lost on the leaders of Parakaleo, Mission to North America’s (MNA) ministry to church-planting wives. In the nearly 10 years since Parakaleo’s inception, its leaders have seen and heard the stories of countless women struggling under the pressures of ministry.
Parakaleo’s latest venture is called Project PMS. With tongue firmly in cheek, Parakaleo co-founder Shari Thomas explains, “PMS stands for Plan for Ministry Sustainability.” The project aims to provide a funding and growth model for Parakaleo’s already successful ministry. More than 130 church-planting wives receive monthly training and support via 16 local networks.
The vision of Project PMS is that every church-planting wife gets the coaching, connecting, and care needed to thrive in this stressful stage of ministry. “We want every couple who goes through a PCA church-planting assessment to include Parakaleo in their budget for church planting,” explains Thomas. “We would also like every presbytery to include this in their budgets.” And finally, Parakaleo leaders hope that every church-planting initiative will set aside finances for spouse training and care.
Project PMS will enable Parakaleo to continue to offer vital support to church-planting wives through training events, local networks, Gospel coaches, and much more. “This is the missing link in the church-planting system,” says Jay Kyle, a Redeemer City to City director, about Parakaleo’s work. “You have a product here that can save lives.”