Husband and Wife Co-pastors Are Popular But Bible Scholars Are at Odds Over Whether It is Biblical

John Gray (R) and his wife Aventer, are both listed as senior pastors on the website of Relentless Church in South Carolina. | Photo: Relentless Church

It’s been some seven years now since Pastor Marty Anderson and his wife Robin have been serving together as co-pastors of Commonwealth Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, and everything, he says, has been copacetic.

“It’s equal,” he recently told The Christian Post about the power-sharing leadership structure between him and his wife.

“We also have a church council that helps lead the church as well. So when we have different ideas about the church, it’s not just us. We don’t have authority over the whole church. Our church is made up of a lot of leaders and a lot of leaders have to input and this Baptist church makes all the decisions for itself. They make the decisions of what pastors they want to have. They make the decision of how much we are going to budget.

“We give them direction and we help them and if we disagree on something we take it to our church council and we all work at it,” he said.

Marty doesn’t see himself as having any greater authority over Robin when it comes to leadership of the church and she likewise has no authority over him at the progressive Baptist church.

“Neither one of us has authority over each other. We’re more like a team,” he said. “I don’t have authority over her. I don’t make her cover her head. I don’t make her be silent and she doesn’t expect, demand anything from me.”

A few months ago, John Gray of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, who is listed with his wife Aventer as senior pastors on the church’s website called her a “covering.”

“I married a woman two sizes too big. I have to grow into Aventer. She’s a coat. I still can’t fit her. She’s bigger than me and she’s had to cover me while I grow up. I gotta grow into her. She’s a covering, not a lid. Because if a man marries a lid she’ll stop your dream. But if you marrying a covering, she’ll push you to your destiny. Let me tell you something, my wife has endured more pain birthing me than both of our children. She has sacrificed these last eight years, uncovering the painful areas of my manhood and covering the areas that could have exposed me,” he said in an interview on “Sister Circle” last fall.

While husband and wife co-pastoring teams like the Andersons and the Grays have been trending slowly at least over the last decade as a viable form of church leadership, theology experts dispute whether the model is supported by Scripture.

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Jason K. Allen, a Southern Baptist who is also a professor of preaching and pastoral ministry, argues that the Bible does not support that model of church leadership.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair