3 practices for pastoring our own children

Ministry is a team sport. Our wives and children do so much to support our ministry to the local church. As we pastor everyone else’s families, we can also establish healthy rhythms in pastoring our own family.

Dedicate your children to the Lord in prayer

I was not looking forward to the carpool line when my son started middle school, but my perspective completely changed when I used this as an opportunity to pray daily with my son and his friends. Since we know that God works through prayer, the best thing we can do as pastors is to regularly dedicate them to the Lord in prayer.

In Scripture, Hannah was mocked for not having children and she brought her concern to the Lord in fervent prayer. When her son Samuel was born, she knew her child was a blessing from the Lord, so she dedicated him back to the Lord in prayer, saying, “For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore, I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD” (1 Samuel 1:27-28, ESV).

Our children are gifts given by God for us to steward and we cannot pastor them properly in our strength, so “let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 14:6, ESV). Consider when you can privately and publicly pray over your children—for their salvation, interceding for them, for their friends, and even for their future spouses.

Debrief everything from a biblical worldview

Prior to pastoring my church, I was a college minister for 10 years and had dozens of students spend their summers serving with Centre Kid and Fuge camps. One skill these students learned is the art of “debriefing everything.” These college students could take any activity or any situation and point it back to a scriptural truth about God. They could seriously take a game with shaving cream, rubber chickens, and water balloons, then have a group of wild kids take a knee as they debriefed the game in a way that pointed the kids to God and shared the gospel.

This is a skill that will serve us well as we pastor our children. Deuteronomy 6:4-7 says, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

In this Scripture we have received what is known as the Shema and the Greatest Commandment, along with instructions to teach these truths to our children every day and all day long. Consider how you pastor your kids by pointing them to scriptural truths about God. As we do this consistently, we help our children develop a biblical worldview by putting their days and experiences in proper perspective.

Devote time to family worship

In 2006 my wife and I bought our first little house, and it included the most pitiful little oak tree. For three years, I consistently watered that tree and saw no growth or improvement. This past summer, I drove the family by our first little home where, to my amazement, that little tree had grown into a towering oak tree that now canopied over the home and gave shade to the whole yard.

When we pastor our home by consistently leading our children in family worship, it may seem like a fruitless task, but over time, we can trust God to grow our children into “oaks of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:3). In his book Family Worship, Donald S. Whitney encourages families to spend about 10 minutes daily reading narrative passages in Scripture, praying, and singing together. Whitney encourages families to “have realistic expectations” about family worship. During family worship, your toddler may be having a tantrum, you may feel like you’re competing for attention with your kids’ phones, and the dog may come in and throw up on the floor. As Whitney shared about his own family worship, he said he never felt like there was an atmospheric movement of God in his living room and he often wondered if anything of value was accomplished.

But with family worship, it’s the faithful and consistent pastoring of our homes that we pray will result in God making oaks of righteousness. Consider how you can pastor your children by consistently incorporating family worship at home.

Lead Pastor
John Aaron Matthew
Clear Lake Baptist Church
Most Read

Barber exhorts Southwestern graduates to go to the harvest

FORT WORTH—Get to work in the harvest, Southern Baptist Convention President Bart Barber challenged the 301 graduates of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Texas Baptist College during spring commencement held May 3 on the Fort Worth …

Stay informed on the news that matters most.

Stay connected to quality news affecting the lives of southern baptists in Texas and worldwide. Get Texan news delivered straight to your home and digital device.