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God, family, then church?

God first, then wife, then children and then your church: that’s how a pastor should structure his priorities, right? Simon Flinders explains why he disagrees.

Great article. Very well argued. It is true that life is full of tensions and complexity. There is no easy way to resolve them with simplistic formulas. I really agree that case-by-case spiritual discernment is a skill we really need to develop. After all, we are people of the Spirit, not people of rigid priority lists.

That being said, I have heard of one additional compelling reason why family should come before the church: You can always find substitutes in ministry, but your wife has only one husband and your children has only one dad. No one can substitute your role in your family.

Agree or disagree?

Posted in Church, Leadership, Pastoral, Posts in English.

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2 Responses

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  1. Edmund says

    I think God first is a given. The question is what that means. Paul redefines his roles in life with “slave of Christ” as an adjective. Without that any list is meaningless.

    I don’t think in terms of what can be replaced and what not. Rather, I think we sometimes do too much and sometimes too little in various roles.

  2. Rob Haskell says

    Many pastors are too professional about their ministry involvement and this translates into ministry OR family. But my dad was a very personable pastor who spent lots of social time with people int he church and we his family were often part of that. Too many churches operate like incidental gatherings of individuals. The church is a community first. As such it ought to be an extension of the family. We should also remember that in some cases the church community is the replacement for family.