Friday, June 16, 2006

Should the Preacher have a Life Outside the Church?

The minister MUST have a life outside the church if he is going to be effective for the Kingdom of God. One thing I want to do from time to time is to post lighter sides of the ministry or things not really that deep theologically. Now don’t get me wrong, I love to read theology and get into the study of it.

It is really easy to get bogged down in the ministry to the point that is all we think about and work at. Lets don't let that happen and may you continue to put things into proper perspective in your life. Many times it is easy to forget what is really important in the kingdom of God. Yes, we should preach for the glory of God, live for the glory of God, seek to share our faith and to forsake daily sin. There is something else most important, they are easy to overlook; they are easily neglected; our families. We need to remember they are our pride and joy in the ministry in which we have; we should remember our precious brides, and children and lift them high to our churches. We must guard and protect them against harmful so-called Christian people who may not even be saved. How we need to schedule time with our families. If we don’t schedule time with them it will just not happen. We will be another minister who has forsaken his family. Maybe not physically, but spiritually. This minister is a failure not only in the home, but in the true church of Jesus Christ. Our churches need to see that we are family-men, dedicated to them at all costs. We should take a day or two off each week to spend time at home with them and having countless, never ending fun. We need to be men that continue to court our wives; having a date night as often as possible. Brothers, let it not be said by your children that, "Daddy had time to play with all of the other kids in the community but me." We need to let our own know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we love them and they are important to us. Brothers, the computer needs to go off and the books put away as much as possible when we leave the church study for home. What are we communicating to them if we our minds are on areas of ministry all the time and not on them? That they really are not that important to us, we don't care about being the husband or daddy in the home. At that point our ministry goes down the tubes and we better cry out to God in repentance. We need to reflect and teach our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to our families. Personally, I could do a better job of all this.

Really, if we call ourselves Ministers of the gospel and do not spend time with our families they will begin to resent us and the ministry which we are involved. Let’s be honest, what we are at home to our families makes or breaks our ministry. Yes, we need to have a love for the Lord Jesus Christ first and His church, but let’s remember that we are the spiritual head of our household. If we lose our families, we none the less disqualify ourself from the ministry. Christ has entrusted us with special gifts at home. I found out after the fact when I baptized two of my daughters recently that people were really moved when I said I baptize you my daugher and sister in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. My wife reminds me from time to time that I am also the pastor to my family church members just like I am to the First Baptist Church ones. I have the responsibility to nurture all those in the church and that includes my family. Brothers, may you grow and excel as a family-man, God wants that from you as an obedient minister of the gospel. To Him be the glory and it starts, I believe, in the home.

I have to mention to you also in this post that the minister has to find ways of recreation and having fun outside the ministry. I know some of you are really good at this, I have seen the pictures on your blog. (That a way Fide-O!) A healthy minister does certain things outside of church life. Like hang with your family one scheduled day per week. Not to mention he finds things to do in areas of recreation. It may be hunting, running the dog or spending time outside in the woods. I know Spurgeon and many other great men of God would spend time during the week studying in the morning and going to the gym or something of the physical sort in the afternoon. For Jonathan Edwards it was talking a walk in nature to get with God in that capacity. A healthy minister in the Lord Jesus finds time to spend in recreation. I also think he finds time to spend with other Christian brothers. Not just at associational events, or in the church, but outside the realm of the church building on a patio or at a conference. It could be at a Starbuck’s or some other coffee shop visiting until they make you go home. Brothers, our churches and families will love us for this and if they do not see the importance we need to show them other wise. You bet we can abuse it, but we need to have a healthy balance of the activity in our lives as ministers. After all the ministry is more than an 8 to 5, clock in and out job, it is a calling by the Lord Jesus. I love being a pastor and would not trade it for anything in the world. Cherish it my pastor friend/brother, know that God has chosen you and elected you to do the very thing that you do and that is to be a minister of the gospel. Will you faithfully answer the call to be a well-rounded minister of the gospel of Christ?

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