Monday, March 28, 2016

How much should the minister's family do?

When it comes to the families of those in ministry, there seems to be two sides of the coin; they are either included in everything or they keep themselves at arm's length.

Over the last decade, primarily due to geography, work schedule and expanding family, my wife hasn't been heavily involved in many of the churches I've worked at. 

But that's not always the case.

In fact, for some - either meeting an unspoken expectation from the church or feed from a misguided sense of duty from the ministry family - the spouse and children can become like extra staff members.

Ideally, no one should live in either of these wild extremes.

But we don't live in an ideal world and many churches waiver from being ideal.

So, what's the answer?

I think that the spouse of a minister, and especially any kids the have, should be treated the same any other active members of the church.

They aren't the default bible reader, but they might be on the rotating roster.
They aren't expected to be at every event, but they'll appear if it interests them.
They don't have any extra expectations in regards to how they dress or behave.
They can be asked to participate in a ministry/activity, but like everyone else, have the right to politely decline.

I think, if we loosened the binds of the minister's-trophy-family mindset and treated the minister's family like every other family unit in church - respectfully, seeking to include and engage them, utilizing the gifts that God has given them and making space for their talents to be used - then, ironically, many minister's families will feel more comfortable and better utilized within the local church.

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