I have never tried to protect my family from the ministry. Instead, I've always invited and even expected my family to be part whatever God has called me to do. I have actually discipled my family to embrace the fact that the price of ministry is something to be shared among family members! Anytime in Scripture God called a man and woman to follow Him into uncertainty, not only did it cost them, it cost their family. There is a price to be paid by a ministry family! I know this may at first sound crazy to you, but hand with me. I'll give you...
Five Reasons We Should Stop Protecting Our Family From Ministry
Taking our family along can help them depend more on God.
When things are difficult, our prayer lives usually grow. This can happen with our children. At a recent conference, one of my kids LOST the ministry credit card in a crowded room. After looking for it everywhere to no avail, my son Paul (who’s eleven), said he was going to pause and pray quickly that someone would just come up and turn the card in to us. Two minutes later a lady approached us with the card! BINGO! Prayer life strengthened and faith built.
Taking our family along can help accelerate their maturity.
When our families get to go along with us in ministry and experience not only the wins but the thrill of defeat, they are able also to see how we respond to victories and defeats and learn how to respond to those more wisely in their lives. Jesus took the disciples along with him, even to the garden where he sweat drops of blood, and it marked their lives forever, and prepared them more rapidly to mature and lead beyond him! We should do the same.
Taking our family along can help them feel part of the Team.
I want my family to feel like they are PART of what I am doing. I want them to know I can't do this without them. I want my wife to know she is my partner, and we are ONE, so we are always called to do this together! I want them to learn and grow closer not only to God but to me, by experiencing what I get to experience. I want them to feel part of the TEAM! I tell my family all the time...we are a team! Win or lose we lose as a team!
Taking our family along can give them experiences they'll never forget.
I ran into one of my workshop rooms at #Exponential where I would teaching to find three African American ladies praying down Heaven...over my KIDS who had been waiting on me in the room! They'll never forget that! Yep, that's Brian Houston, Founder of HILLSONG, and my oldest daugther at #Exponential. These are experiences they will never forget!
Taking our family along can help make them hungry.
I am constantly allowing my spouse and children to see and hear about the life change God is producing through our ministry. I want them to meet the people. I want them to hear their stories. Playing a part in seeing someone’s life changed is like a drug! When we’ve seen it up close, we usually want to play an even larger role in seeing it happen more! We usually want more of that!
Don’t be a workaholic. Don’t burn yourself or your family out. But don’t try to protect them from the price of ministry altogether, either! When we protect our families from the price or ministry, we also rob them of the blessing. Now that's tweetable. Take your family along for this glorious adventure called life and ministry. I can tell you from experience, it’s worth the hassle.
If you're interested, I wrote a ton more about this in my book The Measure of Success: An Impassioned Plea To Pastors.