As we discussed in the previous post, we will be a mighty force God can use, when we work together as a team. Part of that team is our children.
When we think of mentoring we may only think of mentoring others in ministry, but that should not be the first on our priority list. The first priority of mentoring should be our children. There are children who grew up in pastor's homes that are no longer attending church. There are those who want to have nothing to do with ministry because of the way ministry happened in their home.
It is very easy to get caught up in doing ministry, that we tend forget to be the mom or dad God has called us to be. A top priority should be taking time to enjoy each other and have fun. Don't bring along the cell phone, the calendar, the watch, or the internet. Just be a mom. Just be a dad. Let the kids enjoy you with your undivided attention.
If we go through our lives totally devoted to church ministry and neglect our kids; how can that glorify God?
Why not have the philosophy of bringing your kids along? Allow them to see you do ministry well, so they will have a healthy attitude toward ministry. We should be leaving a legacy our children can be proud of. Give them the opportunity to look back and say, "My mom and dad were great pastor's, but they were even greater parents."
That is hard to do in a church society that has preconceptions of what a pastor is suppose to do for their church. As pastor's it is our responsibility to train our congregations in the expectations they should have of their pastor. I know that is hard in a church that has been around a while, but it is so important. You will have your children with you for the rest of your life; don't neglect them, or you may lose them.
Allow them to follow you. Learn from you. Be a mentor to them. How do you go about mentoring those you are training on your staff or in your congregation? You spend time with them, sharing with them, and allowing them to almost shadow you, in order to glean wisdom from you. That should be how our kids react to us. As they become teenagers they are going to want to spend time with their friends. If we, as parents, have been great models for them to follow, they will also value spending time with their mom or dad.
How do you do life in front of them? Will your kids see ministry as a great thing; or will they want to stay as far away from ministry as they can, because of what they have seen in their own home? Our children are so important and we only have them for a short time.
These are just a very few thoughts on leaving a legacy and bringing our children with us in ministry. My goal has been to get each of us to think about how we are doing life as ministers and as parents. For those of you who are single and read this; I pray it will help you think about how you will do ministry, as a couple and parent. Be prepared to discuss it with whomever the Lord gives you as your life partner in marriage and ministry.