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Pastors: Don't Put Church First

I’ve heard pastors say if you take care of the church God will take care of your home. I totally disagree with that statement. The church is not married to the pastor, the church is married to Jesus. I have a bride and it’s not People’s Church, it’s Tiffany Cooper. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 3:4-5 that if a pastor can’t manage their home well then they will have a tough time managing the house of God well.

Our first priority is to lead well at home, and secondly to lead well at the church. This can be difficult for a pastor and sometimes we don’t know how to practically manage the home and the church well at the same time. 

I want to share with you some practical thoughts on how to manage home and church well.

First, I had to understand that there are different seasons in ministry and to be realistic about the seasons. There are some seasons at church that demand more of my time. My wife and I had to learn to communicate and prepare for those seasons. When we approached super busy seasons with realistic expectations, it helped us navigate those seasons without being angry and resenting one another. Here are a few examples: 1. When we first started the church, it was a super crazy and a busy season that demanded an insane amount of our time and energy. 2. Whenever we have launched a capitol campaign to buy land and build buildings, it required more of my time and energy. 3. When we built our first building and I was driving the entire process, it took a ton of time and energy to get the job done. It’s important to communicate and have realistic expectations during busy work seasons.

Busy seasons can’t be the norm. You can’t live 365 days a year for 10 years in a busy season. That’s called having the wrong priorities. Some people turn a busy season into a lifestyle. You can’t work 60 to 100 hours a week consistently and adequately invest in your spouse and kids. If you are living in a busy season and you always use the excuse that you are in a busy season so you can’t invest in your family, you have the wrong priorities. If that’s you, would you be honest with yourself today and admit that you have a problem and that you need to address it today. Remember, you aren’t married to your job but you are married to your spouse and you only get one shot at raising your kids!

Here are eight keys to managing home and church (work) well and making sure you keep family as a top priority: