In this video, which was filmed at a nearby conference, I was asked about some of the concerns related to pastors and their families. I tried to briefly to remind church leaders of the temptations that draw us away from this primary calling.
Pastors always need to remember that you’re qualified to ministry through your family, not apart from your family. So being a pastor doesn’t make you a good dad, being a good dad may help you become a pastor. We tend to invert that and way too many pastors, this constant temptation is to set aside your family and focus on ministry. That’s where you’re more likely to get accolades, more likely to get praise, it’s a public ministry. All of that, it’s where your salary is drawn from, there’s so many reasons that we can turn our hearts away from our family and towards ministry. And yet the Bible is very, very clear that a man must shepherd his own family well before he can shepherd the family of God. I mean, how on earth can he shepherd the family of God well if he can’t manage his own little group there?
And so, to focus first on wife and family. To love and honor your wife, to be that one-woman man, to be committed to her, dedicated to her, and then to raise your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. You cannot be a pastor in good conscience, you should not be a pastor, if you’re not doing that really, really well. If you’re not setting an example for the rest of the church in your care for your family and your commitment to your children and your love for your wife.
So, never ever to lose sight of that, never to turn your back on your family despite the temptation, despite how easy it is to do that. I think pastors need again and again to affirm that in their mind and then to be willing to ask their family, do you believe that I really love you and care for you, am I giving too much of myself to the church, too little to you. To candidly ask your family, and then to let them speak and tell you whether they’re seeing that or not.