As a Pastor or leader there are issues that one must addresses when raising Children in a Church environment. One of these issues is, “if my children are not growing, or not fitting in at the church I’m (the parent) is ministering at what do I do.” This seems a particular issue of families ministering at small churches across America.
Some would say, “If God has called you to a church, he didn’t forget you had children. He has called all of you.”
Others might say, “Maybe God has not called us here, and we need to relocate.” This is particular hard for a family where a parent is a minister. For non-pastoring parents this seems to be the answer.
The third way might say, “As the pastor or ministry leader I’ll stay, but I’ll send my children to a place that best fits them, encourages them, and helps them grow.”
This is not an easy answer either. To break up the family unit, just so a parent can continue to minister at church is not ideal, even wanted. However, it may be necessary.
The picture of church should be a community of believers, a family. And it should be made up of families. Yet, a growing number of churches are more like hospitals. They are filled with dysfunctional people, who are beaten and broken seeking serious help and healing.
And just as if you worked in a ER or trauma unit on the front lines of a battle you would not want your children to see that carnage, some churches are not suited to raise a family. Some churches, like a job, only you have been called to witness the pain and blood you studied and prepared to see and handle.
I wish all churches were functional thriving places, but reality is not so kind. Like missionaries pastors are called to minister to a group of people living within a specific cultural context, dealing with particular hurts and dysfunctions. However, like many missionaries, we may have to send our kinds off to boarding school, or simply take them somewhere else while we walk into trauma room of our local church.
Our children need to grow up some place functional and healthy so they don’t get burned with the pain or hurts of others. The sights of battlefield ER would leave lasting scars on any child’s eyes. We need to have the same love for our children as to not let them see the inside of some of these dysfunctional churches.