This past week I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days in Orlando with 20 other Pastors from across the country. The purpose of our time together was simple–learn from one another.
We began by brainstorming 15 topics that we deemed important to discuss. Next, we each had three votes that would determine the topics that would actually be given priority. I was pleasantly suprised by those chosen. #1: How to care for your own soul. #2: How do you “set your kids up” to love Jesus as adults?
The time we spent talking about our children and children in general was invaluable. Here’s what I learned . . .
How to “set your kids up” to love Jesus as adults.
1. Take them on missions trips. (Seeing the church at its best, in action, has profound benefit for the life of your child.)
2. Emphasize the benefits of being a “Preacher’s kid.” (Ie. We often have flexible schedules that allow us to spend time together. We can share notes with our children from appreciative families who have experienced life change in the church.)
3. Protect your children from the negative side of the church. (Be careful of your conversations at home. Don’t allow your children to be drawn into church struggles.)
4. NEVER use your children in a sermon without attaining their permission in advance.
5. We, as parents, need to make sure that we are loving Jesus as adults. (Children should not see you as one person at church and a very different person at home.)
6. Take a child with you on a “work trip.” (Ministry frequently requires travel. Take your child with you and make it a special occasion.)
7. Read the book, Faith Training, by Joe White.
8. Invite your children to partner with you in ministry.
9. Make sure your children have godly friends.
10. Invite a “non-parental” friend to covenant with you to watch out for your child and to pour into their lives as much as possible.