It’s a common practice in most Pentecostal churches for the senior pastors to be a married couple. Typically, the man will do most of the preaching. His wife will also preach, usually a bit less often. The wife usually heads up the women’s ministry. The man will typically have a mentoring and pastoral role to the team of leaders below him, or depending upon the size of the church, to much of the congregation. His wife may also have a substantial role in decision making and administration as well, though the administration aspect is less common. Sometimes she’s more talented in these roles than her husband.
Contrasting this, in traditional Protestant churches it’s not usual for the husband or wife of a senior minister to automatically take on a complementary pastoral or organisational role. Traditionally, the wife of a minister would provide a lot of hospitality, often working very hard without official recognition or payment. The female co-pastor of a Pentecostal church though, is typically officially recognised and on the payroll for their contribution.
In some respects, the modern Pentecostal recognition of the married pastoral team is much more equitable that then traditional Protestant way of doing things.
The co-senior pastor appointments seem to be based on whom the person is married to, rather than any particular gifting. Sometimes it is clear that both team members are actually gifted but the practice is so widespread that this doesn’t seem to be the main requirement.
Recognition of contributions are important, but is it really appropriate to make someone a pastor on the basis of their partner’s appointment to that role, regardless of whether they are male or female?
Should senior pastors be doing administrative, pastoral and teaching roles, regardless of where their giftings actually lie? A teacher may not be a pastor; a pastor may not be an administrator.
Do congregations have other members in their midst who are more appropriately gifted for some of these roles, who due to all this are overlooked, leaving the local gathering the poorer for it?
Of course, this assumes that its appropriate to have one married couple over the rest of the congregation – but maybe that’s another debate.