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Now that YOUR kid is in your youth ministry…

18 May

I have seen over the past few days, youth leaders posting that their own kids are now entering their youth ministry. Admittedly it can be a scary thing. It brings out a whole new outlook on practice what you teach. Your kid will now be right there to remind you of what you spoke about last week when you are not living it out.

Some things to keep in mind regarding your childs health, well-being, and transition into your youth ministry.

  • Always double-check with your child BEFORE you share a personal story that involves them. It may help to drive the point home, but if you don’t ask permission, YOUR drive home might be a long one.
  • Child before student. Remember they should feel more important than any other kid in the group. The last thing you want to hear them say when you are old is, “My Dad/Mom was so loving and spent so much time with other peoples kids…I wish he had loved me like that.”
  • Let them have some of the behind the scenes benefits of being your kid. Enough said.
  • Download with them after youth nights. Your son/daughter can be one of your most honest and helpful critics, giving you insights on what works, and what doesn’t. Get their input.
  • Let them have their own experience with their friends. Don’t play the parent role. I know that can be difficult, but they need to be free to succeed and fail on their own.
  • If you have small groups in your church, have another leader lead your child’s group. Give them the opportunity to have other Godly adult influences in their lives. A small group should be a safe harbor for them to talk…even if it’s about you!!!

Having your own children in your youth group can be a HUGE blessing, or a nightmare…it’s up to you as the parent and the leader.

Related post from Jim Burns and Cathy Fields

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My Ministry Mistress

24 Mar

Have you ever had an early morning revelation? One of those 4am kind?  I am not sure what woke me up so early, but I definitely had something on my mind, that sank into my heart. Being involved in youth ministry it’s not a regular 9-5 40 hour a week job, I knew that starting out. There is some flexibility that comes with the position, and I love that, but my ministry switch is never fully switched off. There is always email/text/Facebook to answer, events to be planned, meeting to attend, lessons to be written, and so on.

This early morning wake up call made me realize, I have been cheating on my wife and family with a mistress named ministry. I have been robbing my family of time, energy, and attention. Fear weighed heavily on my heart, what if when my kids are older, they feel I payed more attention to other peoples kids than to my own? After reflecting on what ramifications of that would be, I knew somethings had to change. Later that afternoon I received a call from a fellow youth pastor and friend, Barry Sharp. We spent some time unpacking my feelings, what boundaries I could place in my life to protect my first ministry. My wife and kids. Here is what we came up with.

  • No working from home when I should be spending time with my family- Here I sit at a local coffee shop
  • De-tech when spending time with the family- text, email, Facebook, phone calls, etc.
  • My wife has first and final say on my calendar
  • Establish boundaries with my students and leaders
  • Give away ministry pieces if someone can do it 80% or better
  • Date my wife once a week
  • Spend one on one time with my kids weekly
  • Involve my family in ministry whenever possible and appropriate
  • Keep Thursday’s sacred

While my ministry switch might not ever be switched completely “off” my prayer is that I will be able to pause when I spend time with my family.

Pastor what do you have in place to protect your first ministry? I would love to hear what you are doing.

It’s a Dad and Son Thing!

12 Mar

So excited today! My wife and son surprised me at the lake today. Tanner wanted to try fly fishing, so we gave it a whirl. I sat down with him and taught him the basics. About 3 casts later he hooked in to a pretty good size rainbow trout! Man he was so excited, but I think I was more excited for him! The giggles and squeals that came out of my elated little boy brought such joy to my heart, I can’t even explain it. I am a proud father…

New Addition

24 Jan

Today my sister in law Keri Pinon gave birth to a 9.6lb baby boy named Jacob. Momma and baby are doing well. It’s such a cool thing seeing a new life enter into our world. Congrats Keri, Enrique, and big brother David (2 years old).

Christmas Morning

25 Dec

Had to wake up Tanner this morning…then on que had them all come out together. Love seeing their eyes light up when they first see their presents 🙂 It makes me smile. 

Merry CHRISTmas everyone!

Christmas Eve Service

25 Dec

Christmas Eve service at Alive Church Jim Phillips gave the message, what an awesome night! Kids opened their presents from Grandma and Grandpa, their aunts, and cousins. Oh yeah, and ours too! Now off to bed, birthday party tomorrow! Jesus is King!