We’re In This Together: Successfully Merging Family & Ministry


One of my favorite things about being in ministry with my pastor-husband was getting to work alongside him on a regular basis.  Over the past 13 years of ministry, I have been a sounding board, a secretary, a gopher (go-for this, go-for that), a cheerleader, a study partner (studying for ordination), and coworker.  I loved getting lunches together, laughing together about ministry mishaps, brainstorming about the next event, or processing through some struggles.

Another major perk to life in ministry is getting the freedom to involve your children in almost any aspect of it.  Of course not the inner workings, but we allowed and welcomed our children’s input and help with many church functions.  We were eager to show them how to plan for something, how to work through the details, how to find willing people to run it, and how to see it unfold.  Many times I remember my daughter helping with a bulletin board, or my son coming up with gross games for youth group.  Allowing my daughter to hear the appreciation expressed as people noticed her newly decorated bulletin board or being able to see the teens go crazy over the gross game my son helped create makes working ministry as a family not just bearable, but fun.  Let’s face it, ministry is demanding…of our time, our energy, and our attention.  Including and working together with the rest of your family is a win-win.

Consider this… Inviting and welcoming your family into your ministry:

  1. Models Jesus’s style of doing ministry.  Jesus never told his closest friends or family they were going to serve alongside Him.  No, He set the stage and invited them to jump on board.  When we do this it brings pride, ownership, and intrinsic value to their contributions.
  2. Makes way for grace when you have unforeseen demands.  When dad always had a deacon’s meeting and had to rush through dinner and get back to church, we were able to be a bit more patient and understanding since we were allowed to be a part of his world at church.  If Dad never invited us to be a part of his world at church, it would be easy to feel like we were getting cheated.  Inviting and welcoming your family now diffuses feelings of possible resentment later.
  3. Makes for great togetherness.  Our family worked many a long night with Dad at church to prepare for social events.  We ran around barefooted, lounged on the pews when tired, ate delivery pizza in his office, and yelled to each other from opposite sides of the church during those late hours of prepping….we were tired, but we were having fun too.  Making ministry memories with your family is what helps gel you together.  It is part of being a ministry family.

What one thing can you do this week to welcome your family into your ministry?  How can you invite your spouse or children into ministry tasks that will help them grow in grace to your ministry demands?  What ministry memories can you make this week?

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