I became a Senior Pastor at the age of 26; there was nothing “senior” about me at the time, apart from the wisdom gleaned as a preacher’s kid. A few things I was certain of: 1) that I was called by God 2) that my family wasn’t collateral damage and 3) that ministry is a marathon not a sprint.
The decision to guard and prioritize my family was made considerably easier at the birth of my firstborn, Sydney. That day I held her up to the light and professed to God that she belonged to Him, as I have done with each of my children, and promised to be the steward of the gift He had given me.
Early on I would tell my congregation that Friday’s is family day and if you died on Friday I would come see you Saturday, but family day is sacred. I was ruthless instilling borderline fear not to mess with Pastor Jeff on family day. To this day it is still sacred, though time has smoothed the edges and my kids are busy with school and work, it is still sacred because it represents my priority to my family, to just being home.
This week as we stood huddled as a family in our entry way praying for my daughter as she returned back to her college campus, I sent her out asking that God take the covering of our home with her. That the love, peace, security, faith and commitment to “be” family will follow her all the days of her life.
We live in a hurried and hectic world, your kids will appreciate (later, much later) the driving them here and there for the bustling churn of their choices, but more and I would suggest far more they will remember when you took the time to just “be” with them.