Pastoring can take a toll. Pastoring can take a toll on your devotional life. Pastoring can take a toll on your marriage. And Pastoring can take a toll on your children. When our children are young it’s easy to keep them interested in church. The test of our parenting isn’t whether or not our children love to go to church, or VBS, or summer camp. The test is what they think about church when they become teenagers, and more so…when they become young adults and venture out on their own. There are too may PK’s out there who want nothing to do with the church. Here are nine ways to insure your children turn away from their faith and the church.
- Act differently at church than you do at home.
- Be away from your family more than two nights a week doing ministry related activities.
- Tell your children that you expect more from them because their father is a pastor.
- Invest at least 50 to 60 hours a week in church work so that you will be exhausted and spent by the time you get home, thus insuring that your family gets your leftovers rather than you at your best.
- When sharing problems at the church with your spouse, make sure to speak loud enough for your children to hear.
- Neglect your personal devotions so that you are handling the pressures of life and ministry in your own strength. Whenever this is the norm the first to suffer is our family.
- Don’t worry too much about having a day off (and remember a true day off means nothing happening that has anything to do with ministry) or vacation time.
- Give out your personal phone number and let your people know that they can call you any time they want. Remember, you’re a pastor 24/7. When the phone rings, even if you are reading your children a book, stop and answer the phone. Ministry comes first.
- Remember your priorities: Church, TV, spouse, children, your soul.
Having said all this, often times a ministry couple can do all the rights things and still have a child that turns from the church and from Jesus. It happens. It’s sad. But do your best and pray, and pray, and pray.