Silhouette Andrew Pano

The Day of Joshua

I am often asked, "What should be my priority – family or serving God?" I believe that is the wrong question! Joshua did not say, “As for me I will serve the Lord and then I will serve my family.” Neither did He say, “I will prioritize my family and then I will serve the Lord.” He said, “As for me and my house, WE will serve the Lord,” (Joshua 24:15). No prioritizing. He simply confirmed that we will do this together, and “I” will lead the way.

Sadly, I see families torn apart by ministry. I also see the body denied the gifts because of this sense of choosing.

Small group leaders do not have to choose. The reality is that families can serve Him together whether they are homogeneous or multigenerational. Let me give three simple examples that I hope will inspire, motivate, and bring a revolution in the way leaders serve with their families and remove the concept that they are “too busy” for one or the other:

Example 1: Visiting a sick small group member can often be done accompanied by one of the leader’s children. Together they can pray for the member or together take flowers or cards made by all the family. The parent can then also spend time with the child on the journey and perhaps go for a drink with them before returning home. So together they serve the Lord.

Example 2: A leader preparing for a meeting can sit with the family, share what will happen, get ideas, and pray together. He or she can tell them what happened in the meeting as a result of their input … together they serve the Lord.

Example 3: Coaches should ideally meet occasionally not only with the leader but the leader’s family. When Pastors have days for leaders, they can arrange something very special for their children, so the children can understand that it is a privilege to be involved in ministry.

I believe the reason we have “Pastor’s Kid” or “Missionary Kid” or, potentially, “Leader’s Kid” syndrome is because leadership has not involved the children in ministry. When God called the parent into leadership, He intended that this calling would bless the entire family. It is time to restore the day of Joshua when families, parents, teens, and children together serve the Lord and no one is “too busy” for the other.