by Art Greenlee
Recently, I spoke at the National Old Paths Bible Conference at the Shenandoah Bible Baptist Church on the subject, “Involving Your Family in the Ministries of Your Church.” Dr. Jeff Owens interviewed me in a question and answer type fashion on this subject.
I was humbled at the request to participate in such an influential session. In all honesty, after having spent 20 plus years in independent fundamental Baptist churches with my family, I had never given thought to this exact subject; however, this important subject is something that we must study if we want our children to stay involved in the ministry after they leave our homes.
We have a total of eight in our family. My two oldest children married in the last two years. One was married in 2010 and the other in 2011. Because some of our children got married, God provided the opportunity to enlarge our ministry potential by 33%! All added up, with my oldest daughter and her husband serving at Mt. Olivet Baptist Temple in Lexington, Kentucky, and the remainder of our family serving at the Shenandoah Bible Baptist Church, we lead or participate in twenty-five different ministries. If you count our combined totals (six of us in the bus ministry, etc.), it would be over fifty ministries in which our family is involved! Wow, there’s no rest for the weary, but we love it! The different ministries we are involved in spread the gammit of our two church’s Christian schools, the bus ministry, Sunday school, music (choir, special music, ensembles), children’s churches, soul-winning ministries (to include a Dunamis Club, where our family, as well as other church workers care for and have fun with the K-6 grade boys and girls while the soul winners are out on Thursday nights), youth Sunday school groups, sports, and our church grounds and improvement ministries.
You may wonder why our family is involved in all these ministries. At first glance this question may generate an obvious, “Duh?” response, but as our pastor wisely pointed out, “In the obvious comes our true intent.” The reasons we are so involved in these ministries are as follows:
First, there’s a great need. Jesus said it well, “…The harvest is truly plenteous, but the laborers are few:…” (Luke 10:2) We want to help people to be saved and help them grow. Second, I made a decision early in my Christian life to obey Joshua 24:15 when it says, “…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Third, we really do love Jesus. Want to make much of Jesus in our lives, so we demonstrate it to Him through our service. Fourth, it is an honor to serve our Saviour, our man of God, our church family, and those who have gone before us. Fifth, it’s fun! It truly is fun living for Jesus because it gives life the most meaning. It’s truly memorable and exciting…it’s the BEST!!!
Let me share with you several thoughts on how to get your family involved in the ministry.
1. Pray early (even before the delivery room) and often for them to give their hearts to God, and to their mom and dad. My dear best friend (my wife) and I both have a daily prayer journal/list that includes areas, activities and events in each other’s lives and in our children’s lives.
2. Stay excited about serving the Lord. I need to stay addicted to the ministries to which God has called me (1 Corinthians 15:16). No drunk or druggie is going to be more addicted to their sin, than I am to serving Jesus. My addiction is pure and powerful!
3. Keep up your daily walk with God. Beg God often for His power, for that is where the power comes from to serve the Lord. Stay faithful to your Bible reading, prayer, and tithing. Take on a Scripture memory project like memorizing the Psalms. It will do nothing but help your walk with God!
4. Stay connected with each family member. Stay involved, interested, and in love with each one. Serve them. Do things with them outside of church activities. Stay humble, admit your mistakes. Keep a biblical perspective. Be real. Your children need real parents who care and do things with them outside of just going to church and being involved in church ministries.
5. Be a soul winner. Soul winning keeps you tender, and it will keep your focus right. When your family sees you soul winning and hears about your soul winning experiences, it’s motivating to them.
6. Use your competitive nature to keep working at reaching goals, striving to do more, and to be better.
7. Have fun as you serve together in the ministry. Laugh at yourself and the things that happen while serving the Lord.
What are the benefits of having your family so involved? First, souls get saved, people are helped, and God is glorified. Second, you are closer and happier as a family because you are involved in a common purpose and investing in the eternal. Third, character is built, social graces are refined, and your church family will be strengthened. There is no better character development program than serving the Lord in the local New Testament Baptist church! Fourth, your preacher will be helped and encouraged. Fifth, you will sleep better at night – plum tuckered out! Sixth, priceless memories will be made with your family and church family. Last, God’s protection and power will be more evident in your life and in your family’s lives!
by Art Greenlee
Original article can be found at http://www.oldpathsjournal.com/articles/just-for-youth/1639-getting-your-family-involved-in-the-ministry.html?showall=1