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It’s amazing to think that we could spend our life serving in the church and turn around and discover that our marriage is in shambles,  have no relationship with our kids, and go home to a house filled with misery. Tonight at The Orange Conference Doug Fields helped us process finding balance between our call to do ministry and our responsibility to lead and love our family. This life of following Jesus can’t be defined only by what we say but it must be fleshed out in how we live.  We have to model what following Christ looks like in our everyday life. The sad truth is that many of us are so passionate about our job that we leave little room to invest in the lives of our spouse and children. How can we talk about the importance of family when we constantly throw our family under the bus and blame it on Jesus and churches we work for. The question we all need to wrestle with is, will we fight to gain margin so we have the time needed to SERVE OUR FAMILIES. When you leave your church people will miss you for about five minutes before they start looking for the next leader to fill your spot. When you abandon your family (physically or emotionally) you are leaving your family with a vacuum that really can’t be filled or forgotten. How can we fight for our families? Here are some thoughts Doug shared tonight…

CHANGE the channel (listen to a new message)

  • Some of us are stuck on the channel of hearing the expectation of other people and making your family live up to that standard…CHANGE THE CHANNEL! Turn the dial and set your own family standards
  • This is the channel of unrealistic expectations

UNPLUG from church (set boundaries)

  • We have to stop being available to the church all the time…we must be FULLY PRESENT when we are home
  • You can change your location without changing your connection…set boundaries so you can engage

SERVE ice cream (go out of your way to make sure you home is a fun place to live)

  • Be fun and make sure your family has FUN (trips, time, games, LAUGH!)
  • Put as much work into making our homes fun as we spend making our church environments fun places for kids and teens to be!

If I’m going to expect families in my church to change…I will be waiting for a long time. I have to change and set the right pace for my family! I have to set the example.