A few years ago, Andy Stanley shared a message about the importance of managing the tension between ministering to your family and ministering to your church. To date, it has become one of the most impactful lessons he’s shared. Below, we wanted to highlight the key ideas Andy shared in the message as a way to encourage you as you put your ministry to your family above everything else. You can also watch this message at the end of the article.
If you don’t want your occupation to become a preoccupation that impacts your family, here are 6 things to keep in mind:
1. Realize whose responsibility it is to build the local church.
Remember… Jesus said that HE would build the church. The moment you take on the yolk to build the local church, you will worry about things you shouldn’t. And you’ll take that worry home with you.
2. Don’t give up what’s unique to you for something someone else will do.
Your only unique role in life is the role you have with your family. Your greatest contribution may not be something you do, but someone you raise.
3. Discipline with the goal of preserving the relationship, not your reputation.
The goal for your family is not to build a great reputation for you. Never discipline with your reputation in mind; discipline instead to preserve your relationship.
4. Pray together at every stage of life.
Get in the habit of praying with your family throughout every stage of life, not just when your kids are young.
5. Prioritize your marriage on your calendar, not just in your heart.
Every church leader would say that he or she values their marriage, but does your calendar reflect that?
6. Say “No” for now, but not forever.
When you give up hobbies or pass up opportunities in order to protect time with your family, it can feel like you’re saying “no” forever. But seasons of life are just that—seasons. They will pass. And down the road you’ll be able to say “yes” again to opportunities that are just as great.