Your primary, #1, above-all-else, first-and-foremost ministry in life is to your family.
There is no qualifier here. No "but," "or," or "and." There is no out-clause. No work around. No ifs, ands, or buts. You can be a pastor of 5 people or 5,000 people, but either way it's the same. Your primary ministry is to your family.
This week on the podcast we're talking to Dan Reiland, and as always the content is OFF THE CHARTS for pastors and leaders. Dan really is a never-ending source of amazing leadership lessons and encouragement and he has a HUGE heart for small church pastors.
But one part of our conversation is still stuck in my mind from when we talked a few months ago. (Sorry for the spoiler, but yes, we do record many of our episodes months ahead). He talked about taking a trip with his son to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Why does that stick out to me?
Because that's what really keeps Dan going. He loves leadership and training and mentoring, but when we asked Dan how he was doing and what he was up to, that's the story he told us.
This weekend Jeff's oldest son got married. Jeff is in the thick of his final and fullest semester of seminary and is up to his ears in school work. He's burning the candle at both ends and a little in the middle. It's incredible. But in the midst of it all, he carved out a whole bunch of quality time with his son this week. He shut out all the noise of school and ministry and was just dad to his son.
The church can burn. You can fail out of school. You cannot steal time from your family.
Tonight I read my son to sleep. That's not some incredible admission or me campaigning for a "Dad of the Year" trophy, it's something I do pretty much every night. And every night after he's snoozing soundly, I just stare at him a minute. And I take it in.
The church can burn. You can let the emails pile up. You cannot steal time from your family.
I encourage you to check out your life. Really. This isn't a guilt trip, it's just a check up.
How's your family? How's your primary ministry?
Are you a pastor first, or a dad/mom/husband/wife first? When all the chips are on the table, which side of the table are they on? If you're on the right track, stay there. If you've lost your way, today is the day to find your way back.
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