There is a principle about serving in vocational ministry that is as true as the existence of gravity. Ministry is… (church drum roll please)… hard!
This doesn’t mean that the difficulty of ministry is never co-mingled with seasons of comfort and joy, but continually interacting with human sinfulness and crucifying one’s own sinfulness at the same time is not for the faint of heart. There is also a specific group of people within the church that deals with the hard seasons of a pastor’s ministry in a unique way, and that is the pastor’s family.
The potentially harmful impact of ministry upon one’s family should concern every pastor, and the following video discussion among three pastors offers timely wisdom in helping families navigate the hard seasons of church life. In the video published by The Gospel Coalition, pastors Vermon Pierre, Mike Bullmore, and Ryan Kelly discuss this issue. Each pastor is unique in his season of ministry as well as the makeup of his family.
What are these principles to remember as pastors guide their families through ministry turmoil?
• Openly acknowledge the season of turmoil.
• Think through what information to share in terms of age appropriateness.
• Discern what is helpful or unhelpful to share with your spouse.
• Be intentional about shepherding your family and allowing them to see your dependence on the Lord. Show godliness under fire.
• Protect an attitude of warmth and love toward the church.
• Maintain the home as a place of solace and rest for your children.
• Remind your family to not be surprised at hard times and that the church is the Lord’s, not yours.