Things I Learned from John and Phil. Be sure to read more about who John and Phil are here.
I married my beautiful wife, devotedjoy, on Saturday, August 30th, 1997. We woke up the next morning and had no idea of the early morning tragic death of Princess Diana. We went to church, arrived a little late, and sat in the back. The preacher kept speaking of the tragic event and how sad it was. We sat there wondering what had happened, but he never said (during the time we were there). As soon as we left, we found a newspaper (pre-smartphone) to discover what had happened.
Scandal after scandal has rocked the royal family. I don’t have it all figured out, but from what I have seen and heard, Queen Elizabeth had a profound sense of duty to her country. Such a strong sense of duty, in fact, she failed to see the part her family played in the future of Great Britain. The Queen did not prioritize time with her spouse or children above that of her country. Often, she would spend weeks and even months at a time away from them. When she was home, it was often only a few minutes a day that she would spend with them. The result was catastrophic for her family and for the influence they would have on Great Britain.
As an Executive Pastor, I feel a great sense of duty to my Lead Pastor, to my church family, and to God.
John leaned in with coffee held tightly between both hands, his elbows on his knees, I knew this was something I needed to take seriously. He said, “First, you need to maintain harmony in your marriage. This is a big deal, without harmony, your career will suffer.”
When I think about the influence my wife and children could have for the Kingdom, I understand the significance of that statement. To have harmony in my marriage, I have to spend time with my wife and make spending time with her a priority. The same is true with my children. It may feel like I am not giving my all to the ministry, but in reality, I am giving much more than my all. I am multiplying myself to accomplish more for God than I could ever do on my own.
Phil piped in, “Talk to your wife, make decisions together, make money decisions together, and don’t hide anything!”
I wonder, as pastors, are we more concerned with meeting expectations and duty, or are we investing in having a family that impacts and influences people in a way that expands the Kingdom for the glory of God?