They say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. That is often true in a 200church. The loudest person often receives the most attention. The loudest are often the ones with complaints and gripes. They may be the ones who are upset that things are not going their way. I say move them to the back of the line!
What about the quiet widow who is lonely and hurting? She will never say anything to you, or complain that you haven’t visited her. She should move to the front of the line.
What about the man who is worried to death about his job? There have been layoffs and cutbacks and he is afraid he is the next neck on the chopping block. But he won’t complain to you or ask for help. He will die trying… to fix his own issues and problems. He should move to the front of the line.
How about the child who is compliant and obedient because she is afraid of disappointing dad, or because he is trying to compensate for not being the brightest bulb on the athletic team? They won’t complain or gripe. They also won’t ask for help. The quiet children and teenagers need to be moved to the front of the line.
How about the couple that serves week in and week out? They will never ask for a week off. They will show up with a fever. They are empty, because they give and give, and get little encouragement or recognition in return, saying they are “doing it for Jesus”. Believe them, they are doing it for Jesus, so be Jesus to them and encourage them and love on them for the work they do.
Are you worried about the loud ones, the complainers? Are you spending a lot of energy trying to fix their problems or make them happy? Forget it. Move toward the oiled wheels, the ones that aren’t squeaking. Like high blood pressure, the silent killer, these people are dying in their silence and they will never tell anyone. No one will know until it is too late.
Help the ones who are hurting right in your own congregation. Let this short post encourage you to move toward the quiet, hurting person in your church this week, with love and care. Help them, and in the spirit of Matthew 25, help Jesus.
You are in trouble, and you know it. Because you know it, and you persist in ministry as though all is okay, perhaps you really don’t know it. Because if you really knew it, you would get help for the situation you are in. But you are not.
Is it money? You have been taking money from the church and so far no one has noticed. You justified it early on because it was only small amounts, and you justified it because you never get overtime. It was owed you. You've spend too much, and now you are in too much debt, way too much! Now you are taking more and more, and you don’t feel near as guilty as you used to feel. You are dependent upon the money you are taking from the church. You’re in trouble.
Is it gambling? The cousin to embezzlement is gambling. Perhaps it’s even the cause of it. You are taking from the church to feed your addiction to gambling. Again, you started small, harmless. Now, you are in over your head. You can’t stop, and you have to travel to new and farther places to keep yourself fulfilled. It’s a rush, but you know it’s wrong. You're in trouble.
Is it pills? You needed them in the beginning, and now you are addicted. You didn't mean for it to get to this point, but now you are big time addicted to painkillers. You can’t function above 50% percent in a day without them. You have multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors, and you are taking too many, too often, and have been doing it way too long. You don’t know how to get out. You're in trouble.
Is it porn? You need the images, the moving pictures. Years ago it was not available, and you were okay, you kept it at bay. But now, you can’t remember a week in the past two years when you were not involved with that “other woman”. Porn has a lock on you. It is such a part of your life that you can’t live without it, but you are so comfortable with it that you don’t realize its deadly grip. You’re fear where it will all end. You're in trouble.
Is it another woman, or man? Again, you never intended for it to happen, but you've broken your marriage vows. You can’t tell anyone, or you will lose your ministry position, your only source of income. You don’t know how to stop the relationship. You wonder if the person you are seeing will blow the whistle on you if you abandon them. You are really scared of what will happen, and you don’t know what to do. You're in trouble.
Is it alcohol, or illegal drugs? You need them to function, and you need them to escape the pain. But you know that your cover is going to be blown. It’s only a matter of time. But until then, you plan to just continue your pastoral ministry. Use mints, wear sunglasses, use alibis and aliases, and cover up all the evidence. One day you will be found out. You are hoping that day will never come, and yet you would not mind if it were tomorrow. You're in trouble.
Are any of these things true of you? You know why I am writing about this today? Because of our theme this week – the pastor’s kids!
You should reach out for help, before you are caught and absolutely have to, under compulsion. Why? Because of your kids! Because you love your kids, you need to seek help – big time help! If you initiate, you can get the best possible outcome. If you wait until you’re caught, no one will ever believe your sincerity to get better or turn your life around.
What to do?! Call the person you know, the person you trust. If that person doesn't exist, email us here at 200churches. Jonny or Jeff @200churches.com. We want to help you. We don't know you, but you can talk to us. Maybe that makes it easier? We love your kids, the pastor’s kids. Do it for them. Or, don’t do it at all, and wait to get caught.
If none of the above is true of you, thank God, and be ready to help others who are not as blessed or obedient as you are.
What's it like to raise ministry kids? Well, honestly, not a whole lot different than raising any other kids! We believe that raising kids in the context of ministry in the local church is a huge benefit. Being a pastor's kid has its pros and cons, but we think there a ton more pros!
In Episode 34, Jeff and Jonny talk about pastor's kids, and are joined by Jeff's son, Doug. Doug and Jonny are both pastor's kids and have grown up in a ministry family. Jonny has two preschool sons, and Jeff has three adult children, and one at home. In this episode, you get both perspectives: raising pastor's kids, and being one!
We've all heard it before – the pastor’s kids, the elder’s kids, and the deacon’s kids are all the worst. They are the behind the scenes disasters waiting to happen. They are the worst behaved, the most manipulative, and the sneakiest troublemakers of all the kids in the church. Watch out for the pastor’s kids.
Urban legends die hard. As my kids got older, and were, well, good kids, people would seem delightfully impressed by the reality that they were not skulks. They sometimes acted surprised by the fact. Many would say, just wait, until they start walking, or talking, or get into the terrible twos, or threes, or go to school, or make the wrong friends, or hit junior high, or become teenagers, or get into high school, or get a boyfriend or girlfriend, or… something! Just wait.
I’m still waiting. The truth is, I don’t know if being a pastor’s kid has much to do with it. In fact, I never told my kids they were pastor’s kids. I’m not sure they would know the difference. They’re just my kids. I would actually go out of my way on occasion, when giving them a specific directive, and say, “This is not because I am a pastor, it’s because we’re Christians. We would do this if I were a truck driver or insurance salesman” (no offense to truck drivers or insurance salesmen!).
Sometimes there were situations, although I can’t think of a single instance, I know there were a couple, where I would say, “we are the pastor’s family, and we need to do this, and it’s OK.” But ninety nine percent of the time, the fact that I was a pastor never affected the things we did or did not do as a family.
This week we are going to talk about pastor’s kids on the podcast. Jonny grew up in a pastor’s home, and at least one of my adult kids will join us, to talk about what it’s like to be a pastor’s kid. We will discuss the pros and the cons, the blessings and the challenges. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out, because we haven’t recorded it yet – so we might all be surprised!
I have a feeling that the experience a kid has in a pastor’s family has much more to do with the parents than it does with ministry, or even any specific church. This is true with most any family though, and a pastor’s family is no different. The parents set the tone for the family, they determine the direction of the kids’ hearts. I mean, don’t they? I think we’ll talk about that on Wednesday’s episode.
One of my kids recently told me that a positive to being a PK was that church people were nice to him. I think this has as much to do with his attitude as it has to do with the people themselves. He has a positive attitude, and he perceives people positively. However, we have some really good people in our church, and they certainly have treated him well.
We want to encourage you that your kids in ministry can have a phenomenal experience and truly be blessed to be in a ministry home. That’s our goal. But for today, know this: your heart, your attitude, and your integrity as a parent will have everything to do with how your children turn out. If you are the real deal, it is highly likely they will be too!
What questions might you have about raising kids in a pastor’s home? Put them in the comments below and we will try to answer them in the podcast this week!
Welcome to the 200churches blog! We have hundreds of posts covering every issue imaginable. So pull up a chair, pour a cup of coffee, and stay awhile.
Subscribe today and get Our 7 Favorite Ministry Resources FREE!