Couples go into Church planting together

They are called, assessed, and sent as a unit. But the pastoral spouse often receives little training or ongoing support. Why do wives need support? Based on our research we provide clear answers for why training and supporting a church-planting wife is key to the long-terms success and thriving of churches.

Everyone who has been through church planting knows that it is a family affair. It’s ‘all hands on deck’ - the church planter’s wife and children are deeply involved. Yet spouses of church planters at most get a chapter in books on church planting -if they are fortunate. Here, however, Shari Thomas and Tami Resch have written and assembled an entire volume, filled with all kinds of tools, helping wives to not only cope with the intense thing that is church planting, but to grow powerfully and minister effectively. I’m grateful for their work.
— Dr. Tim Keller, author of Generous Justice and The Reason for God
My personal experience, and observation of dozens of church planting couples, all but confirm that the Enemy sends disproportionate chaos into the life of Church Planting Wives. This is shrewd as most men are more affected by their wife’s suffering, than their own. Compounding the problem is the fact that most church planters have a coach and regular touches with other leaders where support is extended while their wives are mostly isolated and unsupported. This remains one of the biggest “misses” in our thinking about healthy, sustained church planting. I am encouraged that Parakaleo is coming alongside church planting wives to change this.
— Duke Revard, Director of the Soma Family of Churches

We wouldn’t still be here planting a church if it weren’t for Parakaleo.
— Church Planter, Atlanta, GA

Beyond Duct Tape, Holding the Heart Together in a Life of Ministry

Authored by Shari Thomas & Tami Resch

Church planting and pastoral ministry can be lonely, stressful, and ambiguous. This resource, written by seasoned church planting spouses, addresses the essential truths that impact survival in ministry: story, gospel, idolatry, identity and calling, and community. Each of the five units includes myths, personal stories, and tools for deeper understanding and application. While the focus is on church planting, the tools can be used in any area of leadership and ministry. The book can be purchased here.


Parakaleo, from the Greek word for “coming alongside,” is dedicated to ensuring that both members of this team receive gospel-centered training and care. Couples have a high success rate for the survival of their church and their marriage when both are trained and coached.

Learn more about our research and why Parakaleo meets a unique need and strengthens marriages, supports ministries, and saves lives.


Church planting is just as difficult, if not more difficult, for the wife of the planter, than for the planter himself. Could this ministry to the wives be any more critical and important? Anyone interested in the success of a church plant should be invested in a ministry like this.
— Church Planter