Pastoring a church isn’t a 9 to 5 thing; it’s a lifestyle job—24/7! There will always be more to do than we can ever get done, and more people we ought to spend time with than we possibly can. Raising Passionate Jesus Followers
In the throes of it all, unfortunately, it’s often our family— the ones we love the most— who get left in the dust. We can’t let that happen!
Our family is the “proof” of our ministry!
Clearly, if it’s not working at home, we ought not export it. God places so much importance on caring for our wives and children, that he made it one of his requirements and qualifications for serving as an elder. (1 Tim. 3:1-7)
In Psalm 127:3, God tells us that, “Children are a gift of the Lord.” His gifts to us!
For those of us blessed with children, when it’s all said and done and we look back one day, it’s how well our kids are doing, and whether or not they are walking with Jesus that will matter the most. Not how many sermons we preached, or how large our church grew.
We don’t want our kids to simply “profess” a faith; we want them to actually possess a real and vibrant relationship with Jesus. Your top priority is that your kids will not only know about God, but actually experience Him!
The Apostle John said: “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth” (3 Jn. 4)
There’s no greater joy than seeing your children walk with the Lord.
Your greatest fear? That they would walk away from the Lord.
Once you’ve come to Jesus and had a child, there is no higher calling, no greater privilege, and no more important task than passing your faith on to your kids.
We want to raise passionate Jesus followers! Why?
Because Jesus said: “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Jn. 8:12)
As we pray and plan, prepare sermons, and counsel those in crisis, let’s not lose sight of our most important task; to give our kids what they need to thrive.
Three Things Your Kids Desperately Need From You
Our kids need to see that we are the same person at home as we are up front at church on Sunday.
The Apostle Paul was so close to the Lord that, although not perfect, he was able to say to the Corinthians: “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” (1Cor. 11:1)
Studies have proven what the Scriptures teach to be true: a mother and father who practice what they preach, and preach what they practice that are the biggest influence on whether their kids will choose to follow the way of Jesus or not.
You have more influence on your children’s choices than anyone else ever can or will.
Although we know there are no guarantees, when we lovingly show our kids a genuine walk with Jesus, why would they not choose to embrace His love and forgiveness?
Mark Twain once wrote: “I can live for three months on a good compliment.”
That’s so true, isn’t it? As we’re raising our kids, for every needed correction, we ought to give them ten “well-done’s!”
We need to regularly say things like: “Son, I’m so proud of you, and I can’t wait to see how God is going to use you to bless this hurting world we live in.”
Or, “Sweetheart, I am so glad God gave you to us. You have so much to offer, so much love and grace to give. Hold out for the right guy— you’re worth it!”
Lastly, more than anything, your kids need your presence. Not just “quality” time. Quality time is great, but they need quantity time as well. Look for ways to involve them in your ministry, bringing them along to experience God at work.
When our oldest son, John Mark, was 8 years old, I was pastoring a church in Santa Cruz, California. The elders gathered at 7:30 in the morning to pray before our first service at 8:00.
I asked them if I could start bringing my son with me. Of course, they said yes!
Sunday after Sunday, John Mark got on his knees with these men, listening to them talk to the Lord, and then joining in himself.
Today, he pastors a church in Portland, Oregon filled with Millennials. Most important, he loves the Lord with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength.
Today, this week—this year, let’s remember: after Jesus himself, our kids are our greatest gift, our greatest responsibility, and our greatest joy. We are privileged to love and serve them.
This week let your kids see the authenticity of your walk with Jesus. Give them heaps of your encouragement. And bless them with your very real presence.
If you do, you’ll never regret it. I guarantee it!
by Phil & Diane Comer, authors of the new book Raising Passionate Jesus Followers: The Power of Intentional Parenting
How to Use This Book
Parenting is not an exact science! We need loads and loads of wisdom. Thankfully, the Scriptures are filled with all we need to accomplish this task of raising the next generation of Jesus followers.
Phil and Diane bring both hope and practical help from nearly 40 years of pastoral ministry as well as from their own stories.
In Raising Passionate Jesus Followers: The Power of Intentional Parenting they offer biblically-based guidelines and real-life ideas parents can turn to at each stage of their child’s development.
This book is ideal for use in a leader-facilitated, discussion oriented small group study. A companion study guide to this book is in the works and coming soon!
In addition, Phil and Diane Comer travel to churches in the USA and around the world, teaching Intentional Parenting Conferences.
For more information about hosting a conference at your church, please visit Intentionalparents.org.