Friday, October 27, 2006

send the family to the front line?

so it seems that there are a couple really different views of the relationship between family and ministry for those in ministry.

i've always stuck close to the view that relationship with God comes first, then your spouse, then your kids and then your work or ministry. my dad used to tell me when i was just thinking about entering full-time ministry, "you'd be better off as a used car salesman than with a wife who does not support you in ministry." (nothing against used car salespeople!)

but point taken. an unhappy wife, spouse or family that is falling apart or even just not given what they need is no way to go about things. and probably even more so if you're in a vocational, all-eyes-on-your-family kinda of place in ministry. (which would all of it.)

in the past, there have been lots of guys who for various reasons have left their family high and dry in search of the next ministry breakthrough. i remember reading in college about D.L. Moody in a biography. he did just that and it didn't set right with me...probably because of my dad's voice in my head. but now, i wonder if dad's on to something.

a question i often wonder is, "what level of sacrifice is appropriate for a family?" let me be honest. it feels to me that most of the "sacrifice" of vocational ministry falls not on the minister, but the family. the time away from home, the lack of emotional energy left for the family at the end of the day, the hard to contain work/homelife distinction all end up robbing the family mainly.

"If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Tim. 5). i know this is talking about providing financially (which may exactly apply if in FT ministry!), but how much more important is it to provide spiritually and emotionally? from jesus' teaching, i would guess that he would say, VERY!

of course there's the whole jesus-says-to-leave-your-wife-and-children passages. i read those as jesus asking them to either 1)give up allegiance to them or, 2) give up the right to have a wife and children. i can't see jesus asking people to leave their wives and young children, especially in light of the fact that jesus, on the cross, is still caring and providing for his own mother.

so is it right to take time and emotional energy that is necessary for your family's growth to give to others in ministry? is it right to knowingly put kids or spouse in harm's way? what level of "taking from the family" is wise? of course i trust in God. but let's be honest, we're making decisions that affect not just our own lives, but other's too. it's one thing to trust God with our own life or death, but quite another to make the decision for another.

maybe physically dangerous and emotionally demanding ministry should be saved for those that are single. or maybe the expectations should just be lowered. (and maybe that might be an internal, spiritual adjustment for married ministers who try to do too much!) maybe that's what paul talks about when he suggests to remain single for the sake of the kingdom. maybe married people are trying to minister like they're single and sometimes end up single as a result of it.

would a soldier take his family to the front line of a battle? or what good soldier would have a family and then leave for the rest of his family's life?

i don't think either is a good option.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

fun with media

i like to collect fun christian media on the internet. (especially stuff that helps christian laugh at themselves.) here are some that i think are funny.... Jesus videos

Terminator and Jesus from MadTV

Reformed Gangstas (i consider myself both arminian and reformed, but this is funny!)

Real Christian Heroes (click worship and arts and then creative arts gallery)

Baby Got Book music video

anyone have anymore to add to the list?

why blog?

this was a funny page....

How to dissuade yourselves from becoming a blogger

it brings up a good question....why blog? it seems like there are several possibilities...
1) you have too much time and have nothing better to do
2) you want someone, anyone, to know you and in our disconnected culture and hope this might be a way. (well, now there's myspace for that ;)
3) you want influence and want your name to be on the internet. after all, megaphones on street corners are sort of out in our culture, so how else to get your message out?

my brother in law eric asked me the other day why i started blogging....i said that it's all about influence and fame. what? is that so wrong? :) if none of the good guys have influence, where's the world going to be in 50 years!

my original hope was to start blogging about some of my counter-western culture thoughts on parenting and family. when my wife and i started researching parenting styles (greener grass parenting? :), i didn't find a lot online from a christian perspective from the parenting style we were leaning toward, and i think there should be.

of course, this blog isn't anything about parenting and family. hopefully i'll start it someday soon....