I hope you’ve had a memorable summer. One that included fun time with your family. Spending time with our family is maybe even more important for pastors than anyone else. Our children see us 24/7 in our role as pastors, definitely more than the children of businessmen and women in our church. So stepping out of our professional role to just enjoy being mom and dad is very important. Turn off your phone, ignore your texts and concentrate on moment with your kids.
I was made aware of this importance last week when our out of town family descended on us for a week. Our oldest child and her family were home for her 20th high school reunion, so our son and his family selected the same dates and all the Hildreths were together for eight days. Three adult children, their spouses and five grandchildren. More than once Mike and I teared up at the joy last week brought us.
Family is what it’s all about folks, don’t every forget that.
Only 3 Left!
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Here’s a newsflash for you: churches have power struggles. (I’ll bet you were surprised.) Often novice ministers are unprepared for this fact of church life. This is why a mentor is so important because it is usually at the first board meeting our husband’s discover that sheep bite, and that supremacy in a church’s power structure is very important to some members.
Church members sometimes take on the characteristics of children. This makes sense when you realize we are their spiritual parents. One of their childish practices is to pit one pastoral partner against the other. It can be done in several ways, but one is by seeking the power of private knowledge: “Do not tell anyone about this, not even your wife (husband).”
We have found it levels the playing field in church politics by rarely agreeing to keep confidentialities from each other. When Michael is cautioned, “Let’s just keep this between ourselves,” he generally inquires why. We are one before God and therefore feel that free-flowing information is important to our ministry. It doesn’t mean that we do share it, just that the confider needs to know that we might share it with our spouse. The advantages are:
1. It keeps someone from gaining emotional superiority. Knowledge is power, and manipulators exult in the feeling that comes from being privy to information even the spouse doesn’t know.
2. It keeps both our eyes open to what’s going on in the church.
3. Two of us praying over a situation are better than one alone. This does not mean that I know everything. Michael is very wise in knowing what information I can emotionally handle and what needs to be kept to himself. It is not that I have to or do know everything, it is that when a situation arises in which little antennas go up and common sense demands: why shouldn’t my spouse know this? that we civilly inquire, why not? Just something to think about.