Once upon a time I would have argued for a special position for the spouse of a clergy. They were role model, mentor, key leader, etc. A few decades being that person on the pew has taught me a bit more.
The Person on the Pew is the most important person in the church.
Am I saying I am something so special? No. I am saying that the person - any person - who occupies that space on a pew is the key element in the church. They are the salt, the light, and the yeast of a healthy, productive, growing church. They are the problem, the reason, and the source of a dysfunctional, stymied, and stagnate church. That person is every member, every visitor and frequent friend. They are the most important people in any church.
Face it, pastors come and they go...sometimes frequently and that may be a related issue. Pastors cannot be the source of growth, development, vision or mission action. They are to motivate, lead, feed, and protect the flock in their charge. The herd has to reproduce; the herd of people sitting on the pews.
Ministers sweep in and out of a church's life but the people remain and they play a significant role in how healthy a church remains through the process of change.
The Person on the Pew makes the decision to place God's will for the church and their life as central to all that happens. They make the decision that they will continue to grow and develop their faith. They make the decision that their person is not to bring comfort to their members but to share life with those outsides walls. They decide to reach out in dynamic ways to act out the gospel by feeding the hungry, helping the sick, clothing the naked, and helping those in need. They decide to be the Samaritan and buck the culture to help a social outcast and then go the extra mile in the process!
They pray like they meant, read the Bible like they believe it, have a personal faith story they can share, and live each day imitating Christ, and spend they life knowing that only what's done for Christ will last.
The most important person is not the preacher but that person on the pew. With a little faith - small as a mustard seed - they can move the mountain!