Wow! I never anticipated that many of you would read my last blog post titled, My 3 Biggest Fears As A Pastor Dad. I am honored that you would take time out of your busy schedule to read a few thoughts from my heart. As a follow-up to last week’s post, it is only fair that I articulate the greatest joys of being a pastor dad as well. The last thing I want to do is only paint one side of the spectrum bent towards negativity. Parenting is hard work with no guarantees but is also one of the most rewarding aspects of my life. As a dad in ministry, there are several things that bring an incredible amount of joy into my life. Here are a few.
1) Joy of Others Investing in My Children
One of the greatest benefits of being a pastor dad is that a countless amount of people who are investing into my children’s lives. Research shows that children and students, who have had five or more adults from the church that make a significant time investment into their lives, are more likely to stay connected to their faith beyond high school. This investment by others helps combat one of my three greatest fears, my boys walking away from the Christian faith. In addition to adults pouring into the lives of my children, I am thankful for middle and high school students loving on them. My boys love attending camps, retreats, and other miscellaneous events with the students. It amazes me how students love on and play with them. I consider it a great joy for my children to be loved by so many people of so many ages.
2) Joy of Exposing them to the Gospel of Christ at an Early Age
I might fear my kiddos becoming bored of church as teenagers due to being raised in it, but I am just as thankful to expose them to the gospel of Jesus from the beginning of life. Their foundation as young men starts early. It is a wonderful blessing to hear the transforming gospel of Christ at an early age. I cannot express how excited I am to see the day they surrender their lives to Christ and follow in obedience with baptism, Lord willing. What an honor! As mentioned earlier, Sloan and I are incredibly thankful for the people who are teaching our boys Scripture. Shoot … Zion, who is 6, already knows the 10 Commandments, the names of the 12 disciples, and almost every book in the Bible. It is all because the gospel is filtering into his life.
3) Joy of Serving Others as a Family
Another joy, which I am thankful for is through the act of service. As a pastor dad, opportunities to serve others as a family is a wonderful benefit that my boys are a part of. There is something special about serving together. Our children move from information to experience when serving. They might only be six, five, and four, but when they serve it is less about going to church and more about becoming the church. Serving provides an opportunity for them to look beyond themselves and to help others. I have heard it said before, “You cannot serve without growing, and you cannot grow without serving”. This statement has become personal to me. I have seen my boys take steps in Christ, through serving.
Despite the fears brought on by parenting, Sloan and I are blessed beyond measure. It brings a wonderful amount of joy into our lives to be surrounded by such an amazing church and to be supported by an incredible pastor and staff.