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Leadership Development: Family Matters


by Healthy Growing Churches: Who remembers the show from the photo above? We don’t see many shows like this one on television anymore. Wasn’t it great to see the same plot unfold every week on TGIF?

Great, loving, supportive family
Problem or challenge unveiled
Resolution – 30 minutes later

Perhaps this type of show, though wholesome and safe for kids to watch, conditioned us to think that any issue that our family faced would have a natural, clear resolution…in about 30 minutes. Reality check. It just doesn’t work that way. You all know this. Family issues are typically quite complicated, and when you’re in ministry, family can be the one thing consistently in the back seat.

Last week, we talked about leadership development from the perspective of leading yourself well through the cultivation of your personal spiritual life. Now, let’s take it to the next step, which is family.

The Truth

Family matters. It matters way more than how many people show up at your church this Sunday or how full your leadership pipeline is these days.

Family matters. It is more important than your next hire. It is even more significant than how creative and spiritually insightful your sermon is for this weekend.

Family matters.

How we are leading ourselves, our teams, and our churches matters too. However, all of that must always take a back seat to leading well at home. Leading well at home is our first and highest priority. Life and ministry will ask us all to make sacrifices. We cannot let our family or our marriages be something that gets sacrificed on the journey of building a great ministry.

Take a few minutes to finish this short blog post and use it as a checkup for how things are at home right now. What needs to improve? What needs to change? What needs a better action plan moving forward? How are you discipling your spouse and your kids? Are you preparing them for the day they meet Jesus face-to-face?

Just in case you forgot, family matters.

My wife, Andrea, ran into an older pastor friend of ours last week. They stood in the lobby of the hospital in our community and talked for more than thirty minutes, catching up. During the conversation, Terry made a statement that overshadowed the whole conversation with Andrea. He said, “The greatest gift any pastor and spouse can give to a congregation is to model a healthy, Godly marriage.

Wow! No truer words have been spoken to us lately.

Great Marriages Don’t Just Happen.

With twenty-eight years of marriage in the rearview mirror, Andrea and I have learned some valuable lessons along the way. The one that tops the list for me is this: Great marriages don’t just happen. We have to work at it. Life invites us to work hard at a lot of things, but nothing should get more of our attention and effort than our marriages. So, what are you and your spouse doing to foster and develop a healthy, Godly marriage? What are you doing to work at and on your marriage?

If you have children, they are the handful of people in the world that you are called to disciple first. Are you creating an environment in your home where your children can become all God created them to be? Do you have conversations and moments that will help them discover their fullest potential as a person and follower of Jesus?

As the parent of two grown children, Andrea and I have more than two decades of history and stories to tell about our parenting journey. Some of that history we would love to relive many times over. There are, for sure, moments that we would like a do-over. We did some things well and others, not so much, but it’s not about perfection. It’s more about time and presence.

Patterns and Rhythms

When it comes to parenting, healthy patterns and rhythms over time matter big time. When our kids lived at home, one of our rhythms was family dinner around our kitchen table multiple times in a week every week. We had one rule that protected this rhythm and that was no technology out during dinner time. No cell phones, tablets, or television. Those family dinners provided consistent space for us to engage, talk, and stay connected in the midst of crazy individual and family calendars.

What rhythms and moments are you creating to ensure you have the time and space to pour into your children? You only get one shot at this journey. Develop a plan. Work the plan and make adjustments to the plan as needed.

Family matters. Are you leading well at home? If so, then great! Keep at it. If not then what are you going to do about it today?

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