This post is the fourth in a series from my time at the Exponential Conference in Orlando, FL last month. I will post several others in this same category. I invite you to browse all of the notes that I took.

Exponential – Family, Marriage & Ministry

Orlando, FL

Speakers: Darrin & Amie Patrick
Topic: Battle Lines: Family and the Ministry
Text: 1 Timothy 3:15
Date: April 26, 2012

About Marriage

1. This is constantly a process.

  • Be careful of weighting your whole life condition on just the past three days of family and ministry.
  • Principle of 3s: Check the last 3 days, 3 weeks, and 3 months.
  • If you’re not careful, the church will become a mountain in the middle of your house, and everything will revolve around it.
  • Think of the ministry as a marathon, not a sprint.

2. Take care of yourself

  • Most church planters gain 20-30lbs in the first year. The stress pushes them to over eating, lack of sleep, caffeine pills, etc.
  • You must take a Sabbath (whatever is restful for you).
  • You must stay healthy (work out and eat right).
  • Don’t believe the lie that your stress level and busyness equals importance and significance in ministry.
  • There is humility in understanding that you have limits, and you are living in tandem with God to work within these.

3. Take care of each other.

  • Date Night: You must figure out how to continue dating each other. Doesn’t have to be dinner, late nights, or expensive. It can be a simple lunch.
  • Weekly Meeting: Talk about family plans, matters, and schedules.
  • Don’t treat each other like a problem to solve. Instead, treat each other like a mystery to discover.

About Family

1. Cast vision for your kids.

  • Daddy and Mommy have a job, but it’s not that much different than God’s calling
  • Don’t talk about church junk around your kids. Talk about the wins, but not the losses.
  • When you blow it, apologize and repent to your kids about it. Always, explain to them upcoming scheduling items that impact them.

2. Value the uniqueness of your kids.

  • Every child will have a different response to your role in ministry. Let them develop in that process.
  • You don’t parent your children. You parent each child. Differently (Proverbe 22).

3. Set boundaries to protect your family.

  • How many nights per week will you be out?
  • Is your family the mission? Or, will you leave your family aside, for the mission? What’s the important mission?
  • Your house: what are the boundaries for your home? You must be hospitable (1 Timothy 3). Find a way to make it work in a way that your family can accept.

Notes & Quotes

  • Don’t make a false dichotomy between your church and your family. They are connected, but not insuperable. Your family is part of the church.
  • To wives: Be your husbands biggest fan and his gentlest critic.
  • People will feign allegiance to your mission, but what they really want is a personal counsellor and friend. But, you just can’t manage that many friends or needy people.
  • If you do not have good boundaries, people will suck the life out of you.
  • Introverts in the Church by Adam Mchugh. Quiet: the Power of Introverts… by Susan Cain
  • Do the best you can to have friends outside of your church planting circle.