I’ve never had the privilege of reading anything from Doug Fields or hearing him speak in person, but I know that for students pastors around the world, he’s a legend. I’ve known student pastors who have worked for him and others who simply use his resources; however, I’ve never heard anything but GREAT things from Doug Fields. I got to meet him and talk with him for just a minute or two backstage a few hours before his session, not enough to get a full impression. However, after his talk all I can say is WOW! I think I love this guy. Doug came to speak to pastors of students and kids and he chose to focus on the subject of our families, our spouses and our children. Epic talk!
Here are two main truths.
- In ministry, there is always more to do. Always. We’ll never finish.
- If I don’t focus on my family, no one else will.
The sad part of all of this is that you may spend the better part of a decade investing in the lives of students, kids and families at your church, but once you’re gone, you’ll be a blip on the radar. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re more than that. They’ll find someone else to do what you did. Your replacement might even be better than you. Get over it. It’s the truth. The painful part is that the place where you’ll make the biggest impact is in your own house. Although you can be replaced in your job, you can never be replaced in your role as a mom or dad. Invest where you can make a bigger impact.
Doug made a few suggestions about about your roles as a parent in ministry.
- What are you doing to make your house fun? Live it up, have fun!
- What are you doing to make you working at the church a privilege for your family?
This part was funny. Did Doug’s kids get the best small group leaders? Absolutely! Did Doug’s kids have private sleepovers in the church facilities. Yup! Did his kids swim in the baptismal. Oh yeah! Too often our kids get the shaft as a result of our job. Our families pay the price because they get “left overs” dad or mom. We can change that, make it a treat that they get to be a pastor’s kid.
This was a great message for me to hear. I’ve made some changes this last year to put a higher priority on my family. I need to do more. I need to make the time I’m spending with them more focused and more intentional. One thing in particular that really spoke to me was how Doug said he never took work calls on his phone when his family was in the car. Never. I must admit that when I’m driving around town with Titus, I’m on the phone a lot. Titus isn’t really that talkative. We’re not really carrying on conversations; however, that’s not really creating father/son bonding time. I know I don’t want him veggin’ out watching videos, so I need to follow the same example and not “multi-task” at the expense of my family.