Sunday, July 19, 2009

Is your wife your first ministry?

I'm hearing it all the time:
You family is your first ministry.
You are pastor in your home first.
I get it: there is a priority at home. And it is a service to Jesus. I get Ephesians 5, that a husband is to be like Christ to his Church. And serving in a church is never a valid reason to neglect your home. Not with a warning like this!

But is anyone else uncomfortable with the language?

Wife as ministry?
Pastor of my kids?

I prefer Husband and Father.



Anonymous said...

I don't mind the concepts (though of course struggle with their execution), though would agree some of language is problematic.

Good and bad in it really.

Ali said...

Yes I am hearing you. As a single person I find that it conveys something very strange. Sometimes when I am struggling to find anyone at church who is available to do anything with I have this odd thought that if I got married then overnight I’d be somebody’s “primary ministry” – and then they’d have an obligation to come to the movies with me. I’m sure there’s something very wrong with that ...

(And it doesn't sit quite right with me the way we frequently use language that makes relationships sounds like "work" - I had never heard the M word used so often for everything as when I got to Sydney - I think in a subtle way it makes people start viewing them as "work". And of course they do take a lot of effort, but it's about so much more than that.)

Ali said...

P.S. I actually came over here too to see if you are still doing the bloggers thing tomorrow night?

Nathan said...

Yeah, I'm with you.

You don't hear many chefs saying their first customers are their family...

I think "husband" and "father" come with their own inherent responsibilities.

Justin said...

See new post, Ali. Free Monday 27th?

Ali said...

Oh, I am not actually - am on leave next week and getting someone from the airport right about then. But not to worry - I will get there one day (tonight wasn't ideal either because something came up!).

graeme said...

If pastoring is seen as taking up a position of authority over others, I am not comfortable with approaching my wife in that way.

(Though, I have to say, on grumpy Monday mornings after a day of 'ministering' it's the default position I readily take).

If pastoring is serving and caring for others - where they are at, preferring to empathetically walk alongside - then I'll give it a shot.

(Though, I have to say, on grumpy Saturday evenings before a day of 'ministering' it's the graciously patient position she readily takes).

Markus said...

I don't know - considering oneself a shepherd of the family flock doesn't seem to bad.

Perhaps part of the problem is our perceptions of what 'ministry' and 'a pastor' is?

What about reversing the language - how would you feel about considering the pastor as the 'father' of the congregation?

SeaPea said...

wait, who said your family is your first ministry? doesn't sound kosher.

byron smith said...

I would have thought that serving God was our primary ministry.