Archives For Leadership

I Love You More Than Ministry

Ryan Egan —  February 14, 2012 — 6 Comments

Marriage and Ministry Blog Tour

“If you have to explain to your wife and children why you were gone again, and the explanation is ‘because of ministry’ – something is wrong.”

The words above, paraphrased from something a friend and pastor said during a short message I was able to hear last month, rocked me.  They didn’t rock me because I was necessarily falling into this problem, but because I knew I had that potential.

Ministry has the opportunity to consume.  This can be a good thing, in a way, when we are consumed with an overwhelming desire to see souls saved and those under our leadership equipped and encouraged.  However, it can be an incredibly dangerous thing when we are so consumed with ministry that it consumed our thoughts, time, resources, energy, and mental well-being.

For those of us who are married, and especially married with kiddos, being consumed with ministry becomes even more dangerous.

I’m not a pastor (yet?), so I can’t even begin to imagine the toll ministry takes on the marriage of a full-time pastor.  However, even the limited amount of time I spend as a volunteer leader in the church has sometimes created strain on my own marriage.  So how can this be defeated?  A few ways come to mind for me:

  • Always be consumed with God and His Word.  This is one thing where consumption will never be harmful. I have a long way to go hear, especially in modeling it to my family.
  • After God and His Word, be consumed with your spouse.  Invest in your relationship.  Ask if ministry is taking a toll on your marriage and be ready to hear, and accept, truth.
  • Show your children that you are consumed with God and with your spouse.  Then, love and invest in them.
  • Show your congregation that you are first consumed with God, your spouse, and your children.  Model a Biblical portrait of family ministry before church ministry.  Your ministry to your family is one of the highest ministries you can have.
  • Take a break.  This is completely acceptable and even necessary.

I love ministry.  But I love my marriage even more.  God, give me the strength and wisdom to keep it that way.

Question: How have you worked with your spouse to prioritize how your relationship is balanced with your ministry?

One of the key components to being a worship leader who makes an impact is to be sure that you are spending regular time worshiping God in your personal life as well as corporately.  I’m realizing that I’ve been lacking in that area lately and would love to see a picture of what others do.

What do your personal worship times look like?  Structured/unstructured? Prayer/music? Extended Scripture reading? Share in the comments!

Beautiful abstract painting

Someone that’s been intriguing me with some fascinating thoughts lately has been Vince Marotte, a pastor at Gateway Church in Texas and author of the book Context and Voice.

He’s observing that the Church (as a whole) has become a place of consumption for too long and that Sunday morning is losing its value.  People come to a building, sit in the seats, sing songs written by people outside of their own church, listen to a pastor, rinse and repeat week after week.  With the advancement in both content consumption tools and content creation tools in our culture it takes much less than driving to church to hear a good sermon. Vince writes: Continue Reading…

Image of a man holding a canvas in front of his face with words "Not creative enough"

Something got my wheels turning.  I am placed in a strange juxtaposition of two different cultures.  The culture I serve, my home congregation is a beautiful and wonderful place; a place I so enjoy serving, but I think we’re just starting to scratch the surface of how to be creative.  We’re making excellent strides there and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

On the other hand, the online world of church creatives that I daily take part in is a place of bold innovation, extreme creativity, and fresh thinking that, at times, might even be offensive to some within my congregation. Continue Reading…

Anyone who is on some type of “platform”; being a pastor, worship leader, or even having a lot of social media followers, can quickly and easily run into a problem:

“Wow.  Look at this, I have some influence.  People listen to me.  This is pretty amazing.”

Now, the problem isn’t with people listening to that person, or even that they have influence.  The problem lies with how that influenced is used.  Will it be used for God’s glory or for personal gain? A new worship leader and blogging friend of mine says today that it’s possible and quite clear from Scripture that it could be used for both (think Moses, David, Solomon, the Apostle Paul), but there will always be a danger to take pride in the position we’ve been allowed to be placed into and forget about our call to magnify the greatness of God. Continue Reading…