I am thankful to be at a church that loves our children and encourages me to spend time with them. I have members who ask about the time I am spending with them and have never received a complaint for the time I take with them or the times I bring them with me to ministry activities.
On that subject, the need for churches to care well for their pastor’s children, Chap Bettis has provided seven important exhortations for the way churches can shepherd their pastor’s children. Let me share them with you:
- Give grace to the pastor’s children on Sunday.
- If you have a concern, talk to your pastor about behavior that characterizes the children. But do so with an attitude of loving acceptance.
- Be generous in your praise.
- Limit church criticism and complaint to private conversations among adults.
- Be brave and rebuke the critics. Unfortunately, not everyone in the congregation will follow this suggestion. When grumbling and faultfinding spill over in front of you, speak up.
- Give your pastors room to deal with their children’s hearts. Older children will go through some spiritual ups and downs. How will you think about those bumps? With care and affection? Or self-righteous judgment?
- Give your pastors margin to minister to their families. Children need their father. . . . Even as a church member, you can encourage your pastors to care for their families.
These seven guidelines and the explanations Chap provide come from twenty-five years of ministry with, by God’s grace, children who are not embittered towards the church.
May God multiply Chap’s testimony, and give pastors church families that shepherd their children well, even as they shepherd their church.
Soli Deo Gloria, dss
[photo credit: ThomRainer.com]