Ministry and Family—They Go Together!

By Mark A. Taylor

One of the questions late in our June BlogTalkRadio* program was, “How can a Christian leader get started with a missional approach to ministry?”

08_eddy_JN2All three of those interviewed—Jon Ferguson, Greg Nettle, and Jon Weece—agreed with the same principle: “Start by being a model of missional ministry with your own class and your own family.”

Weece, especially, took up the family theme. “We’ve reoriented our whole life around serving other people,” he said. “It’s very normal, for example, for our kids to understand this is what we’re going to do on Tuesday nights; we’re going to pack backpacks for kids in our city who don’t have food to eat on the weekends. On Thursdays, we’re going to go downtown and serve food to homeless people. We have calibrated our entire existence as a family around that.”

And in his testimony we can see a template for more than missional ministry. Every Christian leader can merge ministry with family life in a way that nurtures both.

Weece sees service as something the whole family can do—not just a task he’s paid to perform. And Christian leaders can go a long way toward helping their kids love the church and learn about God by helping them participate in ministry instead of expecting them to watch it or wait for it to finish.

Of course, this has limits. Preschoolers can’t write sermons, and teenagers can’t counsel couples contemplating divorce. Inevitably, the preacher, associate, or elder will need to serve, plan, teach, or visit at times and in ways kids can’t be involved.

But even when kids can’t take part in ministry, they can still feel good about it. When the leader’s spouse is supporting the ministry—praising it and praying about it with the child—the child is likely to understand its value. When the church leader shares with his family what he’s doing and why it’s important—when he finds ways to ask for ideas or prayers—the kids can feel involved in the work instead of alienated by it.

But the leader can do more than make his kids feel involved in ministry. He can actually involve them in it. In the process he will be setting an example, discipling his own kids, and extending his influence. He’ll discover and demonstrate how ministry is the perfect foundation for building healthy family life.


*Go to to enjoy this month’s program. Jim Street, Arron Chambers, and Randy Gariss will explore and expand on the ideas they’ve introduced in posts on this site. Listen live on August 15, 11:00 a.m. (EDT).

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