A few months ago I had the opportunity to spend a week in San Diego with some Executive Pastors who serve in large Churches from all across America in a round table conversation about life and ministry. As we built the agenda for our conversation a request came from the room down the hall where many of our wives were meeting, “Would you please discuss coming up with a better plan to minister to your family while ministering to the Church?” A fair request, but in a room full of driving, get it done guys who have a tendency to be addicted to progress it quickly became a sobering conversation.
The concern that arose in that room is the classic case of the shoemakers’ kids going without shoes. Call it a priority problem, neglect, or just plain sin the truth is that most of us in ministry know that conversation all too well. So is it possible to build an intentional plan to minister to your family while ministering to others?
Some time ago my wife came to me with a similar concern. The conversation pretty much went like this, “You help plan teaching series for thousands of people, mission trips, multimillion dollar budgets, hiring and staffing plans, and strategies to move an organization with over 6,000 people in it forward, you think we can come up with a plan for our family?” I had nothing. She was right. I was a schmuck and needed simply to repent and lead more effectively. After all people write business plans, marketing plans, financial plans, education plans, personal development plans and so on. Why not a plan for our family? So we went to work discussing the following categories:
• Family Mission and Vision
• Core Values
• Key Scriptures that have had a significant influence on our lives
• Rehearsing past family experiences, both the good and the bad
• Key family Axioms and language that we want to be a normal part of our family
• Spiritual and character formation
• Benchmarks and Outcomes
• Rights of Passage
As we worked through these categories, as you can imagine, it wasn’t just a one time conversation. It took a couple of trips to Starbucks, lots of writing, praying, soul searching, patience, and yes even a little arguing. But what we’re landing on is going to be the practical guardrails that hopefully guide our children towards becoming healthy independent adults who love God and do an incredible amount of damage for the Kingdom! Here’s a bit of what we’ve come up with and are integrating into our family.
God created the Alexanders to love Him, imitate Christ, and to serve others first.
“Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31
#1 Alexanders always tell the TRUTH.
#2 Alexanders show COMPASSION to everyone.
#3 Alexanders are RELIABLE, we keep our word.
#4 Alexanders use SELF-CONTROL, no matter what.
#5 Alexanders are HUMBLE; we don’t brag or show off.
#6 Alexanders are STRONG, we never give up.
#7 Alexanders make WISE choices.
#8 Alexanders like to have FUN.
Posted in Family, Spiritual Formation