(I love flowcharts and priority lists… more of that in a moment)
After a brief summer hiatus, posts will start coming more frequently.
I have some deep convictions about what this blog is and what this blog isn’t… I’m not SO into self promotion that I’m going to sacrifice things of lesser importance in order to keep posts regular.
That said, there are just a few times I’ll bail from blogging regularly… and those times are intentional. When I began posting thoughts in this space a few years back, I drew up some guidelines and priorities to help me along the way.
Today, I want to share with you The Order of Things.
I’m no good to the conversation if I’m no good to my church
There are amazing voices in the national conversation who aren’t involved in active day-to-day church ministry. I’m not saying that their voices don’t mean anything. What I AM saying is that, in order for my voice to mean anything (… and, let’s be honest, it should never be the loudest voice in the conversation), I need to focus on my local church and our local ministry.
This last May/June, our Student Ministry Director announced her resignation and I took on the oversight of all programming for kids and youth – cradle to college. The time that I regularly set aside for blogging and other conversations went on hold until we felt like we had things under control and set for the future. Not only did I pull back from blogging, but I pulled back in my pursuit of my 5 People to Meet list (See that list HERE) and may possibly put it off until next year.
At the end of the day, I’m stoked with those choices because I set up a system of checks and balances that reminds me that I’m useless in those conversations if I’m useless at my church.
I’m no good to my church if I’m no good to my family
I’ve seen too many of my ministry friends burn their family out by reversing that statement. For some reason, those of us in ministry often sacrifice our relationships with our kids and spouses in the name of our church. It’s easy to do – I think that’s why we see it so often.
It’s easy for me to say that leading a family to know Jesus is more important than bedtime stories with my toddler – and, for the short term, I think you can make that case. However, if you want to be involved in ministry for more than a couple years, your family has to come first. I didn’t come up with that idea – but I’m owning it and trying to live it out as much as I know how to. Now, I’ll be the first to admit (and I’m not just admitting this because my awesome wife reads and supports this blog) that I occasionally miss putting the kids to bed because of church events. But – it breaks my heart every time. The minute it stops breaking my heart – I need to check my motives and push the reset button on my calendar.
If I truly think that what happens in a family’s living room is more important than what happens at church, then I need to live that out in my own life.
I’m no good to my family if I’m not right with Jesus
At the end of the day, it all boils down to this.
Ministry and life have to flow out of my relationship with my Creator. It’s a non-negotiable. How can I expect my own children to seek out a relationship with God if I’m not modeling that for them with my own life? How can I encourage parents to talk with their kids about Jesus if I’m not doing the same? How can I write about equipping families and sharing the Gospel with them if I’m not ACTUALLY doing it? This is THE first thing when it comes to priorities.
It’s not always easy.
My senior pastor and friend, Jim Miller (pastorjamesmiller.com), spoke this last Sunday (listen to the podcast HERE) about the consequences of Genesis 3 – one of them being that one of the things that most separates a guy like me from a healthy relationship with God is my work (Gen 3:17-19).
I have to take care of the first things first if I’m going to have a voice that carries in the kidmin world… and having a voice in that conversation can never be a higher priority than my church, my family, or my faith.
All that to say, I’m back. Not because I have everything figured out – but because I’m working hard enough on the things that matter that I want to spend some time sharing some thoughts and ideas with the rest of the community.