Making it to the End – Part 5
November 1 2014
Keep your kids out of the spotlight.
As we raised four kids, we didn’t put them in front of the church and say, “This is what your kids ought to be like.” Our kids weren’t always what I wanted other people’s kids to be like. More importantly, they didn’t (and neither do yours) deserve that kind of pressure on them.
One of the things our kids love about our church is that they’ve never had to compete with it. We made time for our kids. We didn’t get so busy in church that we neglected our children. We did a lot together. We did a lot of crazy things together. One time we bought the kids BB guns, but it was too cold to go outside and shoot them. So I just figured a way to shoot them in the house. We set up boxes with pillows in them and shot down the hall at them.
Another time I came home and our son Whit was nailing two 2×4’s together making something that looked like a cross. I asked him what he was building. “A skateboard ramp,” he told me. I said, “Whit, that’s a cross. Somebody died on the first one, and I think somebody’s going to die on that one if you try to run over it with a skateboard. Come on, get in the truck.” And I took him and the other kids to the lumber yard and we bought a bunch of stuff to build a good skateboard ramp. When we got back to our neighborhood, all the way down the road, the kids were yelling out the window, “My dad’s building a skateboard ramp!” In no time at all, we had twenty or thirty kids in our driveway riding on that ramp. And by the way, a lot of those kids are the leaders in our church today. I’m telling you, when you make an investment in kids, they pay you back.
We took time for our kids. And if I told our kids they couldn’t do something, I didn’t tell them it was because the people in the church wouldn’t understand. If we couldn’t go to a movie that wasn’t a good movie, it wasn’t because of the church, it was because, “We serve Jesus and that movie isn’t one we are going to go to.” Don’t use church as a heavy.
When they got older, we started our boys in the ministry at the bottom – laying sod. Thank God, little by little, I’d have department heads come and say, “I think we need to promote your son.” And another one would come along and say, “I think we need to promote him.” And finally they said, “We think your son ought to be a department head. Today, the people in our church respect my children, and they’re helping to take our church to a whole new generation. Other people saw the hand of God on them because we gave them the opportunity to move up through the ranks, to grow along the way, and to prove themselves.
Don’t force your kids on the church, and don’t force the church on your kids. If you want to have longevity in ministry, love on your kids and let your kids grow up normal.
November 1 2014