For years, I neglected my family in favor of my 24 hours a day job as a minister. I believed with all my heart in the "calling", but slowly and surely, cracks began to form in my marriage. When we had our first baby. The cracks widened.
I just kept telling myself, "just one more project and I will get everything in order. Just one more trip then I will be home. Just one more late meeting and I won't have to fight with my wife about it anymore".
Then one day I opened my eyes. My wife and I were talking about a divorce, and my beautiful little boy didn't know me and certainly didn't care if I was around.
It hit me. God has called me to serve him, but he calls everyone to serve him. He may have gifted me to teach, but what does he require of me as a spiritual leader? For one thing, he requires that I manage my family before I even think about leading others.
1 Timothy 3:1b, 4-5 says, “If someone aspires to be an elder, . . . 4 He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. 5 For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?"(NLT)
In today's churches we get really caught up with who is a "vocational" spiritual leader and who is not. We use a paycheck from a church as THE indicator as to whether or not God has led a person to devote his or her life to God's work. I don't understand how we can so easily forget that Paul was a tent maker by trade (though this certainly didn't define his legacy) and never accepted any payment from the people he led.
1 Corinthians 9:14-15 says, "the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it. 15 Yet I have never used any of these rights. And I am not writing this to suggest that I want to start now. In fact, I would rather die than lose my right to boast about preaching without charge.
First I had to decide if being an employee of a church was fundamentally the same thing as working for God. I concluded the two are not the same. I also concluded that working for a church as a "vocational minister" was not a strain my family was able to endure, at least at the time. I've come to conclusion that whether or not I receive a paycheck from a church cannot define who I am, my calling, or my ministry.
Furthermore, I decided to put my family back together again.
I am saying that every man needs to care for his family first if his first priority is truly the will of God. I am not in any way saying that every pastor needs to step down from his ministry or every man needs to leave his job.
It is important for you to know that becoming a great family leader is a process for me. I have been focusing a while now, but I know it will take the rest of my life. And it will still never be right. I realize that I am still a young father and husband. This blog is meant to help other men learn along with me. I hope you will come along with me and Lead Yo Fam!
My Relevant Experience:
- This blog was established in early 2012.
- Youth and Worship Minister, 2006 - 2010
- New Testament Church of Christ in Hagerstown, Indiana
- Valley Mills Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana
- I led both ministries and the adult volunteers within.
- Graduated from Cincinnati Christian University Seminary, 2009
- Masters of Arts in Religion
- Pastoral Leadership Major